Innerleithen venue for annual walking festival

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Plans are well under way for the 19th Scottish Borders Walking Festival to be held in the Innerleithen area later this year.

The event is the longest established walking festival in Scotland and first took place in West Linton in 1995, before moving around annually to different areas around the Borders.

Hosts Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Clovenfords plan 31 walks in the local area, but also stretching as far as Stow, Melrose, Peebles and St Mary’s Loch for the September festival.

Evening events include a ceilidh with the Clarty Cloot, a beer festival at Caddonfoot Hall, an evening at Traquair and a quiz night.

Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Innerleithen’s fully operational Victorian letterpress printers, will be open for a special tour, followed by a supper at the Whistle Stop Café.

Talks will be given by Kellan McInnes, author of Caleb’s List, on his experiences of climbing the Scottish mountains visible from Arthur’s Seat, and the life and times of Caleb George Cash, an early Scottish mountaineer; and by Alasdair Learmont, on Robert Mathison, leader of the Innerleithen Alpine Club, which dedicated itself to the study of the geology, botany and antiquities of the Borders.

There will also be four ‘photo walks’ with Graham Riddell Photography, priced at £25, which will cover basic photographic technique and present many opportunities for shots of the local landscape.

Local historians Ted McKie and Ross McGinn will guide a walk through the town and talk about Innerleithen in times gone by.

The festival, supported by Scottish Borders Council, the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership, and Scottish Natural Heritage, attracts walkers from all over the UK and Europe, with hundreds of people taking part over the week.

For more information, visit www.borderswalking.com