Walking in the footsteps of the Reivers

Alan Brydon (left) and Ian Landles who've just published Walking in the Land of the Reivers
Alan Brydon (left) and Ian Landles who've just published Walking in the Land of the Reivers
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A BOOK describing historical walks linked to the Reivers is being launched in the wider Borders, writes Sally Gillespie.

Walking in the Land of the Reivers by well-known Hawick historian Ian Landles and Scocha’s Alan Brydon went on sale in Hawick last year.

Mr Landles said: “The walks were chosen on the condition that they had a connection with the Reivers. The great thing is how successful the book has been. We’re now trying to get it out in the wider Borders.”

The first print run of 500, available largely in Hawick alone, sold out and now the second run of 1,000 is being placed in bookshops throughout the region.

“All sorts of people are buying it. The great thing is we are getting feedback – people are saying, ‘I have lived in Hawick all my live and I’ve never been there’. You can’t go wrong with it,” said Mr Landles.

“It’s a two-part book in a sense, there’s a balance of historical information as well as walk directions.”

The little book came about as part of a Lottery grant which funded it and a musical play Reivers Moon, written by the duo and first performed at the Reivers Festival in Hawick two years ago.

It describes 15 walks in the region of varying lengths, from one-and-a-half to 10-and-a-half miles – ranging as far as the Yarrow Valley, the Cheviot hills above Yetholm, Langholm, Newcastleton, Teviothead and around Hawick among others.

The writers describe the routes and each landmark of historical note along with maps, map references, walk times and they note which OS Landranger maps to use.

Keen hiker Mr Landles said that while enjoying local hills such as Ruberslaw, he has no particular favourite among the book’s walks.

“I enjoyed them all, they’re all well worth doing,” he said.

Compiling the book took about 18 months. The former history teacher enjoyed the task, describing it as great.

“I knew what I was looking for and what it was going to include, but I had to look at various sources and you have to keep going back and checking things,” explained Mr Landles.

And his hopes for the little book? “That people will get out and explore our wonderful countryside and learn more about our heritage and history.”

“One of the most humbling responses we’ve had was a lady telling us her mother used to walk all these places but now she is housebound but when she read the book she said she could smell the grass. It’s appealing on different levels.”

Walking in the Land of the Reivers will be available in local book shops or can be ordered from Mr Landles.

For more information contact him on imlandles.ohawick@btinternet.com