Melrose welcomes walkers’ recognition

melrose, the first in the Borders to become a “Walkers are Welcome” town, is holding a hiking extravaganza next weekend.

The scheme promotes places which have something special in the way of amenities and walks for both local walkers and visitors.

The town was judged to meet the criteria of good amenities and walks last year after support from hundreds of local people, the community council, local traders and councillors.

To mark the award and launch Walkers are Welcome, organisers, the Melrose Path Group, is holding a walking weekend starting on Saturday April 30.

The group’s chairman, David Langworth said: “Becoming a Walkers are Welcome town will enhance the reputation of Melrose as a place for visitors to come and enjoy the variety of walks around the town, bringing benefits to the local economy.

“I am particularly pleased that our initiative has been given the support of Scottish Borders Council, Melrose and District Community Council and a large number of local businesses in the town.“

There will be an evening reception with guest speaker at the town’s rugby club next Friday, April 29, for the walking weekenders.

On Saturday there is the choice of a half or a full day guided walk, the shorter (eight miles) to Cauldshiels and back, the longer (10 miles) up Black Hill near Earlston and back via Leaderfoot and Newstead.

There will be a May Day ascent of the Eildon Hills on Sunday morning (May 1), a circular eight-mile walk round the Eildons taking in Bowden or a 13-mile walk via Trimontium, to Dryburgh Abbey, Mertoun Bridge and back via Bowden and the Eildons.

Melrose, at the foot of the Eildon Hills, is already familiar to many long-distance hikers as it is one end of the popular St Cuthbert’s Way and is on the Southern Upland Way and Borders Abbeys Way.

For more details and to register for the walks please visit www.walkmelrose.org.uk. or phone 01896 823015.