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Ettrick Forest road cycling circular

One of the finest road circuits in the Scottish Borders, largely on single track roads, through spectacular upland scenery, taking in lochs, hills and rivers.

Grade: Challenging

Distance: 62.6 km (39 miles)

Total ascent: 924 m

Click on the map for full route details and to download GPX data

This route starts and ends at The Five Turrets in Selkirk, at the heart of the Scottish Borders. Follow signs for Selkirk : Ashkirk : Roberton : Alemoor : Tushielaw : Ettrick Bridge.

There are some energetic climbs in the early stages but it gradually becomes less demanding. Much of the route uses single track roads through spectacular upland countryside, taking in lochs, rivers and hills.

This route takes riders through the hill country to the south west of Selkirk and the scattered remains of the Ettrick Forest, from where William Wallace once fought a guerilla campaign against the English.

Highlights include the beautiful Alemoor Reservoir (also known as Ale Water) and other smaller lochs along the way.

There's very little vehicle traffic, but do keep an eye out for sheep wandering onto the road.

There are several places for refreshment along the way, including the Smiddy Bar and Restaurant at Ashkirk, Tushielaw Inn, the Woll Restaurant and the Cross Keys Inn at Ettrickbridge.

Need somewhere to stay?

The route starts and finishes at The Five Turrets, the glamorous self catering holiday property near the centre of town, with fairytale castle looks and accommodation for up to eight people in four double bedrooms. And secure cycle storage on site, of course. The Five Turrets in Selkirk was named by The Sunday Times as one of the top 25 self catering properties in the UK for 2019. Check availability here.

This route was suggested by Scottish Borders cyclist and trail designer Pete Laing.

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