Rail buffs print a ticket to walk in their shoes

Borderers with boots made for walking are invited to celebrate the beauty and magnificence of routes between the region’s railway stations.

Monday, 23rd November 2020, 12:52 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd November 2020, 2:31 pm
Forbes Shepherd and Brian Gould at Galashiels Railway Station.
Forbes Shepherd and Brian Gould at Galashiels Railway Station.

Walking buddies Brian Gould and Forbes Shepherd, both from Galashiels, have collaborated on an in-depth new guidebook, Border Station Walks, which highlights 30 walks that begin and end at Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank stations.

It is aimed at both locals who want to re-explore areas on their doorsteps and the expected influx of new visitors to the region when the Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition centre opens in their hometown next year.

Each walk has information detailing its length, ascent in metres, level of difficulty and the terrain you will encounter. Maps are also included and are linked to the text to help ease navigation.

Brian, a retired lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “This came about because we do a lot of walking and we did a blog back in 2017 of the walks and it was from that the idea for the book came. We have five walks from Stow, 11 from Gala, 11 from Tweedbank and three that go between the stations. The walks run between three and 19 kilometres, some are flat walks and others are much more challenging.

“What we really tried to do was to celebrate the local area, there’s a huge amount of additional information apart from the walks and we filter out the area’s history, its folklore and its culture as they match up with each walk. For those new to the locality a short history of the Borders is provided and throughout reference is made to the contribution Sir Walter Scott made in developing the area’s unique identity.”

Brian and Forbes, a retired council environmental health officer, believe that in these stressful times it has never been so important to strap on a pair of boots and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise.

Launched this week and printed by Borderprint in Selkirk, Borders Station Walks, which contains dozens of stunning photographs and is in a handy A6 pocket format, costs £7.99 plus p&p. Copies can be obtained from Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/borderstationwalks.

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