Scottish Borders Festival of Walking 2002
Saturday 7 September to Saturday 14 September 2002
The eighth annual Scottish Borders Festival of Walking will be based on the attractive and historic town of Melrose. Since it was first held in West Linton in 1995, the Festival has travelled the length and breadth of the Scottish Borders with great success, visiting Hawick, Jedburgh, Lauder, the Berwickshire coast, Selkirk, and back to West Linton in spring 2002. The Festival is a week-long celebration of walking and the countryside, offering varied and interesting walks to suit walkers of all ages and abilities. There will also be music, talks and displays to impart as much as possible of the long and fascinating social, cultural and natural history of the area.
Melrose is an ideal base for the Festival. The town sits at the foot of the triple-peaked Eildon Hills and at the heart of superb walking country. Melrose is the western terminus of the St Cuthbert’s Way path and is also on the Southern Upland Way, and sections of both these routes will be traversed during the Festival. Melrose is steeped in history, and has at its centre the magnificent ruin of Melrose Abbey, founded in 1136 by King David I. The heart of King Robert the Bruce, who brought nationhood to Scotland in the 14th century, is buried here. Close by is Priorwood Garden, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and the stately River Tweed, noted for salmon fishing, flows beside the town. Just outside Melrose to the east is the site of Trimontium, a major Roman fort, while to the west Abbotsford House, the former home of Sir Walter Scott, can be visited. Melrose has an excellent range of accommodation and facilities for visitors, and won the title of Scottish Tourism Town of the Year in 1992. You will find that walkers are very welcome here, and the Festival promises to offer the very best of Borders hospitality, countryside and history.
Travel and Transport
Melrose is about 40 miles/65km south of Edinburgh and is easily reached from either the A7 (via M6 to Carlisle) or the A68 (via A1M to Newcastle). The nearest railhead and airport are both in Edinburgh; there are alternative railheads at Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle. Good bus services run from all these places to Melrose.
The Festival area offers an excellent range of accommodation including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast places, caravan and camping sites and self-catering units. Accommodation enquiries should be directed to the Scottish Borders Tourist Board, tel: 0870 608 0404, fax: 01750 21886, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no charge for the walks. Buses will be provided if needed to take walkers to the start of walks and/or bring them back from the finish, and a small charge will be made for this service. There is also a charge for the evening events (shown in the programme) and the closing Ceilidh.
A special area for Festival parking has been arranged in Melrose, and this will be clearly signposted. It is near the campsite and the Rugby Club, and is about 5 minutes walk from the Event Centre. Please use this car park, as the limited public car parking in Melrose is quickly taken up, especially at weekends.
We would like to point out that dogs are not allowed on Festival walks, many of which go through livestock areas. This rule is strictly applied. However, it does not apply to guide dogs accompanying registered blind walkers.
We ask all walkers not to smoke while on a guided walk, out of consideration to others and also to avoid any undue risk of fire. Thank you.
Participants in the Scottish Borders Festival of Walking take part at their own risk, and the organisers and sponsor bodies shall not be liable for any accident or injury, however caused. You are advised to check your personal accident insurance.
The walks have been graded as easy, moderate or strenuous, and it is hoped that this will assist walkers to select walks suitable for their capabilities. The descriptions given in the programme should also help in this respect. The amount of ascent is given where this is significant.
Catering for All
We are working with Scottish Disabled Ramblers to ensure that some walks are open to less able walkers. Details will be available from the Festival event centre.
Registration and Information
The Event Centre will be the Ormiston Institute in Market Place, Melrose. All walks registration will take place here except on Saturday 7 September when the hall is booked for other purposes and registration will be at the George & Abbotsford Hotel a short distance away. NB: Walkers must register for each walk before setting off. If you do not register you may not be allowed on the walk.
Most walks will be limited to a maximum of 50 walkers. Some walks, as shown in the programme, have a lower limit requested by the walks leaders, generally due to distance or terrain. Pre-booking is therefore strongly advised, and is essential for the walks with a tight limit on numbers. If your selected walk is full, we will offer alternative walks on the same day.