Traquair to Galashiels

Three Brethren

Three Brethren

A rare combination of a free weekend and decent weather gave us the chance to get back to the Southern Upland Way for the last two sections: yes, we are frighteningly close to finishing this.  Today was the shorter one with a walk over the old Minch Moor drove road from Traquair to Galashiels.  So sit back and enjoy, because this walk was a cracker.

Looking west from Minch Moor

Looking west from Minch Moor

Jazz at the Cheese Well

Jazz at the Cheese Well

Jazz on Minch Moor

Jazz on Minch Moor

From Traquair the path starts a pretty steady climb on a good track up onto Minch Moor.  It was a lovely day and so I was soon casting off layers.  I had told Jazz that the first stop was at the Cheese Well where travellers would leave cheese gifts for the hill faeries.  I let her savour the thought of piles of cheddar just waiting for her.  So you can imagine her reaction to find a wee spring with a stone with non-cheese offerings: not so much as a sliver of Venezuelan Beaver Cheese 1 to be seen.  Pointing out some “landscape art” at nearby Resolution Point did little to help the mood.  However, after detouring to the summit of Minch Moor, an early lunch helped.

View west

View west from Three Brethren

View east

View east

Yair Bridge

Yair Bridge

With the climb out of the way it was a stretch of my favourite sort of walking over the high road with expansive views all around.  This continues to the high point of the day: the Three Brethren.  These are three large cairns, each within its own parish and a fixed point for the annual Common Riding where horse riders trace out the parish boundaries.  The view was lovely stretching east all the way down Tweed valley passed the Eildon Hills, south to England, and north to the Moorfoots.  It’s an attractive spot and we saw more walkers and cyclists here than anywhere else on the SUW combined.  Fortunately normal solitude resumed as we dropped down to the Tweed at Yair Bridge.

Jazz cooling off

Jazz cooling off

Drove road logo

Drove road logo

The standard SUW practice of putting another hill before the end meant we had to climb back.  All was going well until we were wandering through a field to discover it was already occupied with nursing cows and daddy giving us the evil eye.  A discretionary detour was called for with the only option heading further up the hill: sorry knees.  I reckon this added an extra 20 minutes to the day.  However, now we can see Galashiels and start heading down through the nice woodland of Gala Hill.  At this point the skies opened and we got soaked as trudged for the last 20 minutes to the end.  Note any similarity in those two time periods?

However, this was only a minor negative point on an otherwise lovely day and a walk I’d certainly be repeating.

Previous section of SUW: Tibbie Shiels Inn to Traquair
Next section of SUW: Galashiels to Lauder

Notes:

  1. You get extra points for recognising that reference.
Distance:23km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again:
Duration:6½ hours