The Border Abbeys Way is a secret delight I have long been enchanted by the sections I have visited, and one day intend to walk the whole way in one. It is lovely way to explore the prettiest aspects of some of the prettiest shires in the land. It winds through the Middle Shires, primarily in Roxburghshire, but visiting three counties in a circular walk of 65 miles.
The theme of the way is in its name: in the Twelfth Century, King David I built a series of monasteries, in his southern borderlands – they were unlike anything Scotland had seen before: they were modern, of the European pattern that was now established across England, and the great estates the King gave them made the abbeys wealthy. In later ages they became the soaring, Gothic wonders whose denuded bones now stand in the towns to which they gave birth.
Through three shires, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Berwickshire, by the Teviot and the Tweed and the lands between, this is a ring of delights.