Trip created by Craig Little
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The Borders is the part of Scotland south of Edinburgh that borders England – hence the name. This part of Scotland is an under-appreciated gem of Scottish scenery, history and culture.
Dotted with quaint villages and castles this area has spectacular scenery from rolling hills and lush glens to winding rivers and a beautiful coastline. Its quiet country roads mean it’s one of the best areas of Scotland to explore by bike.
With one guide on the road with you and a support guide in the van, we’ll explore some of the best riding that the Borders has to offer, stopping to visit some incredible locations finishing on the beautiful east coast.
Need a bike? See our bike hire page for details.
Our first day eases us into the trip with a short ride and lots of history to discover. We meet at Waverley station in the heart of historic Edinburgh and transfer out of the city to Rosslyn Chapel. This world famous 15th century gothic church features unique and beautiful stone carvings. Depending who you ask, they hold clues to either the location of the Holy Grail or the lost treasure of the Knights Templar. After a look around we climb on our bikes and begin our ride. A short distance later we reach the village of Temple, where we will have a quick visit to the ruined Old Kirk that dates from the 13th century. Afterwards, we spend the remainder of the day riding through rolling green countryside to the village of Peebles. (L, D)
Ride details: 60km/ 37 miles Ascent: 672m/ 2,206 ft
From Peebles today we ride out along the banks of the River Tweed on winding, shady roads. Then the views open up as we ride into the glens toward the village of Tweedsmuir. From there we strike deeper into the hills, challenging ourselves with the infamous Wall Of Talla’s 20% gradient climb*. We are rewarded with stunning views of quiet lochs and we’ll break for a picnic lunch before continuing on.
On the second half of our loop, we swing north again and continue on quiet roads through the glens to Traquair House, which is the oldest inhabited home in Scotland and has been in the same family since 1491. Here we’ll stop, with the option of enjoying a beer from their home brewery which itself dates from the early 1700s. From Traquair, it’s a short ride or transfer back to our accommodation in Peebles. (B, L, D)
Ride details: 80km/ 49 miles | Ascent: 812m/ 2,663 ft *The Wall Of Talla is harder riding than Blue 4 grade, however, the views and the ride down from the top make it more than worth the effort.
Today’s ride follows the River Tweed downstream initially, riding back toward Traquair. Passing it by we follow the course of the river on a tiny country lane, avoiding the busier main road. The river leads us to Abbotsford – the historic home of Sir Walter Scott who is perhaps the most famous of all Scottish writers, and arguably the inventor of the modern kilt. Here we’ll enjoy lunch in the cafe and a tour of the magnificent house and gardens.
Afterwards, we jump back on the bikes and continue on more quiet backroads through green rolling countryside to visit a magnificent abbey that is the resting place of the heart of Robert The Bruce. Our overnight stay tonight is Melrose, home of 7 a side Rugby. (B, L, D)
Ride details:41km/ 25 miles | Ascent: 349m/ 1,145 ft
Today we make a raid on the border! This morning we’ll follow quiet roads which wind through a patchwork of green fields, it’s a beautiful ride where you can admire the views and listen to the birds singing in the hedgerows as you go. We follow the River Tweed for a while before riding across a stone bridge and over the border into England. We then head east to the coast and through Berwick – “the town of disputed territory” – an area that changed hands between Scotland and England for over 400 years. Our accommodation this evening is a traditional English Inn, in the Northumberland village of Beal, here you can enjoy a local drink, after a successful border raid. (B, L, D)
Ride details: 75km/ 47 miles | Ascent: 676m/ 2,217 ft
This morning we head north again following the coast and crossing back into Scotland for a wonderfully scenic day of riding. Enjoy fabulous coastal views as we meet the residents of a bustling ‘seabird city’ at the soaring cliffs of St Abbs Head Nature Reserve. Passing through the small villages of Cove and the pastoral landscape our destination today is Dunbar the birthplace of the legendary naturalist John Muir, whose love of wilderness continues to inspire us today. (B, L, D)
Ride details:78km/ 48 miles | Ascent: 762m/ 2,501 ft
Today we ride a loop that takes us inland through pretty little villages and along country lanes, before bringing us back to the fresh coastal air and the colourful seaside town of North Berwick. After a delicious lunch at a local seafood specialist, we’ll board a boat that will take us on a cruise out to the Bass Rock. This huge lump of volcanic rock has over the years been a hermitage, a castle and a prison, but is now only home to one of the largest colonies of gannets in Scotland. We’ll watch them nesting on the cliffs and diving into the sea for food. Back on dry land, there is time to explore the town and the fantastic Scottish Seabird Centre before opting to either ride or transfer back to your accommodation for the final evening. (B, L, D)
Ride details:70km/ 43 miles with option to extend| Ascent: 666m/ 2,187 ft
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast this morning before we’ll visit Tantallon Castle, a 14th-century fortress that was regularly under siege until the 1700s. We will then transfer to the golf village of Gullane for tea/coffee and cake before the short transfer back to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station where the trip ends. (B)
During this trip, we will be based in comfortable small hotels where you can expect a warm Scottish welcome. We spend 2 nights in the small town of Peebles, 1 night in Melrose, 1 night in Beal, England and our final 2 nights in Dunbar.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £400 is charged.
Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.
On this trip lunch, each day will be either a picnic along the route or at a local cafe. Drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day as you require. Evening meals are included on throughout. Special dietary requirements are of course catered for.
On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guides will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
Your Guide will meet you at Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, in front of the tourist information office at 12.00pm on Day 1 of your trip.
You will be returned to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station at 12:30pm on the final day of your trip.
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|8th Aug - 14th Aug 2020||7 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,935||Book Now|
|21st Sep - 27th Sep 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,935||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Craig has over 12 years of experience in delivering travel experiences and events of exceptional quality across Scotland. As one of the longest-serving members of the Wilderness Scotland team, Craig’s speciality is in road cycling and mountain biking. His expertise and innovation helped create the Road Cycling Guide Award which helps all our guiding team deliver excellence on our trips.
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Blue Graded Road Cycling Holidays 4-6
Blue graded trips are suitable for people with a good level of bike fitness, who regularly enjoy cycling and may have joined a multi-day cycle holiday before.
Distances each day will be between 35 – 45 miles, cycling at around 12/13mph. Each day will be rolling and hilly terrain and there will be notable climbs most days. Some of these will be more testing and some riders may opt to push or ride in the support vehicle. Some climbs are also followed by exciting descents. We will be in the saddle for 5 – 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus some visits to sites of interest.