A gorgeous - and challenging - 70 mile circuit through spectacular upland scenery, with three lochs, a botanic garden, a couple of castles and the River Tweed along the way.
Distance: 112.4 km (70 miles)
Total ascent: 1,260 m
Click on the map for full OS route details and to download GPX data
Mainly B roads with plenty of single track through the hills. Lots of places to grab something to eat or drink along the way - Dawyck Botanic Gardens has a good cafe, Peebles is packed with places to refuel and Innerleithen is super cycling friendly.
Start outside The Five Turrets in Selkirk and head west out of town on the A708 - this is the busiest road on the circuit, but only BFTB (Busy For The Borders). The first stop should be St Mary's Loch - keep an eye out for ospreys which are active in the area during the late spring and summer months.
Take the minor road to the right at Cappercleuch and wind your way up to Megget Reservoir, well worth stopping to see. It's the largest earth dam in Scotland and as impressive as it sounds. The view south's very pretty too.
Continue on upwards to Talla Reservoir. Scottish Water, another imposing loch. If you like adders, you may be in luck. If you don't, you may want to watch where you put your feet.
Head north through sensational upland countryside until a sharp right turn onto the B712 takes you north east, eventually picking up the course of the River Tweed. Dawyck Botanical Gardens are a wonderful stopping off point with an excellent cafe. You'll also go past Stobo Castle - it's got a spa, if the limbs are beginning to ache.
Turn right onto the A72 and head east past Neidpath Castle and into Peebles, where there are too many places to stop off to mention. Cross the river on the Tweed Bridge and then turn right to follow the minor road that follows the south bank of the river. It's a pretty route with trees either side of the road: detour into Innerleithen for a couple of cycling friendly watering holes. You'll also pass Traquair House, Scotland's oldest inhabited house. Apparently visited by 27 Scottish kings and queens, though not by bike. It's a pretty ride back into Selkirk.
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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