New walking guide in bid to attract visitors to valleys

Walks in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys book cover.
Walks in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys book cover.

Ettrick and Yarrow tourism operators are launching a new walking guide tomorrow.

Lord Steel of Aikwood will unveil Walking in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys, produced by the valley’s tourism group at Bowhill House, Selkirk.

Valleys project officer Julie Nock said: “The booklet looks fantastic and I hope it will encourage lots of people to come and walk in these beautiful valleys.”

Ettrick Valley resident Barbara Harrison, who lets out a holiday cottage in the valley, researched and wrote the leaflet over three months.

The guide features narrative, written by Barbara and others, maps courtesy of Scottish Borders Council and photographs which have been donated or which Barbara has taken herself.

The walks range in difficulty and length and include hikes at Bowhill to Ettrick Head, taking in the likes of St Mary’s Loch and the Ettrick Marshes.

Julie said: “Barbara has done an amazing job. She’s done a huge amount of work, taken pictures of the walks and walked them all to make sure they are okay. We’ve also had a lot of help from the Scottish Borders Council ranger service, who have been brilliant as well.

“Lots of people have given us photographs of wildlife that can be seen in the valleys and many have given us some really beautiful shots of the valley.”

The leaflet was funded by Leader through the Revitalising the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys project.

The forum is now working on a website for the valleys, thanks to funding from Europe and Buccleuch Estates, which it hopes to launch in May.

The Duke of Buccleuch has also lent locals Bowhill House and will provide refreshments for the leaflet launch.

The guide booklet will be available at valleys outlets and in Selkirk.

The tourism group evolved from the two-year revitalision project which ends this month.