Walk the walk, see the sights

The walks will take in the best sights available in and around Galashiels.
The walks will take in the best sights available in and around Galashiels.

The Galashiels Walking Festival takes place next month, and it’s hoped that fans of the great outdoors will be flocking to the town.

A series of led walks around the picturesque valley in which Galashiels is enveloped, as well as taking in some of the spectacular countryside further afield, lies in wait for walkers of all abilities, from Friday to Sunday, April 27-29.

Organiser Tracey Alder said: “Everything’s going really well ... people have started making bookings already.

“I think it will be even bigger and better than last year, as we have some lovely walks on offer.”

Transport will be provided where neccesary at no additional cost for those walks which begin outside town.

Ranging from “easy” to “strenuous/long” the walks are between two and seven hours long, and cost between £2 and £10.

It’s essential that participants come equipped with their own suitable footwear clothing and equipment. Check out the www.galawalk.co.uk website for more details on this.

For the walkers, there will be hot drinks and baked goodies back at the start and end point of all the walks ... the Focus Centre in Livingstone Place, Galashiels.

Some of the “easy” graded walks this year – such as the one on the Friday, around Gala Policies and taking in the Roger Quin stone – are supported by “Walkit”, a Scottish Borders Council-led initiative which aims to get Borderers to live healthier lives by enjoying the occasional walk.

These events will be walked at the pace of the slowest walker.

Other highlights over the weekend include the St Mary’s Loch Circular (The Ring of the Loch) which follows good paths and tracks; Traquair Kirk to Tibbie Shiels on the Southern Upland Way; a jaunt to the supposedly-haunted Buckholm Tower and Dobie’s Grave; and a route from Clovenfords to Galashiels via Torwoodlee and Meigle, taking in a 2,000-year-old broch and Torwoodlee Tower, built in the 17th century.

The last walk to finish is the seven-hour fairly strenuous hike from Traquair to Galashiels, following the Southern Upland Way through forest, past the Cheese Well, over open moorland and farmland – a superb opportunity to enjoy a wealth of upland flora and fauna and some stunning views of the central Borders.

Make your bookings by visiting www.borderevents.com or by calling 01750 725480.