Walk up, walk up, for festival

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SEVERAL walks are already full in the 17th annual Scottish Borders Walking Festival which starts on Sunday.

Walks through Teviotdale and Liddesdale will be led by local enthusiasts, including Hawick historian Ian Landles. Denholm-based hikes kick off the seven-day festival, with each including the top of Ruberslaw in the afternoon for an optional service at what was Peden’s Pulpit in the Covenanters’ time. The festival features three walks a day ranging from a gentle two-mile Walk It outing to long walks such as the 10.5 mile hike to the cairn dedicated to Borders and Australian poet Will Ogilvie.

Each day features a different area with Wednesday’s walks centring on Newcastleton and including hikes to the Dumfries and Galloway border and to the English border.

Evening events include films of local wildlife and on Monday fiddler Jenna Reid of Blazing Fiddles plays in the Heart of Hawick. On Tuesday there is an Hawick Archaeological Society talk and comic sketches by The SAD Dancers.

Musicians, including popular local band Scocha, will entertain in the Hawick Burns Club on Wednesday evening and on Thursday evening the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team will stage a demonstration at St Marys and Old Parish Church Hall. Writer and broadcaster Alistair Moffat will talk about his book The Scots: A Genetic Journey in the Heart of Hawick.

On Friday the Hawick Buskers’ Concert and ceilidh with music from the Stuart Anderson Ceildh Band starts at the Wilton Church Hall at 7.30pm.

For more information see www.borderswalking.com