You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, according to the saying, so top impressionist Rory Bremner was drafted in to help get a new footpath off to the best possible start.
More than 100 people packed out Eckford Village Hall on Friday to see the Edinburgh-born television star, now living near Jedburgh part of the time, launch its new jubilee path.
The 12.5-mile route, connecting Eckford with Crailing and Nisbet, is mostly graded as easy or moderate walking.
Bremner – while impersonating the likes of the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama – cut a ribbon to declare the new path open.
The 55-year-old was also presented with a commemorative walking stick by villagers’ grandchildren Harry and Connie Grant.
Crailing, Eckford and Nisbet Community Council chairman John Campbell said: “We were absolutely delighted with such a huge turnout at our launch from all over the Borders and indeed further afield.
“This augurs well for the future, as I am sure that news of the superb walk and magnificent views will be spread far and wide and will encourage others, including organised walking groups, to attend.
“I am sure that the walk will be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike and will help local businesses such as cafes and restaurants on or near the route. This all makes for a great family day out and the people of Crailing, Eckford and Nisbet will be delighted to welcome visitors from far and wide.”
Doug Wilson, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support the opening of the new jubilee path.
“It demonstrates a real commitment by the local community council to further enhancing our region’s tourism offering and attracting more visitors to the Scottish Borders, an area renowned for its walking and outdoor pursuits.”
Bremner said: “I am delighted to have been asked to formally launch this walk on behalf of the community council and commend the volunteers for their efforts in making this project a reality.
“My family and I love to take a little time to relax when we are here, so we are looking forward to making use of this route during our visits.
“It’s a beautiful walk – rivers, bridges, glimpses of the Cheviots and the Eildons and great cafes along the way.”
Much of the path follows established routes, but two new sections have been added to create a circular journey taking in Wooden Hill and the Kale Water.