Paddy Slacks and Tweed Valley road cycle circular
Up, up and away, through rugged uplands with only sheep for company - and a couple of exhilarating descents
Distance: 69.4 km (43 miles)
Total ascent: 1,030 m
Click on the map for full route details and to download GPX data
The route starts at The Five Turrets in Selkirk and heads west through pretty countryside, climbing slowly upwards as it follows the course of the Ettrick Water.
Beyond Ettrickbridge, the road continues to climb south west until Tushielaw, where the ride becomes a little bit more demanding.
Now it becomes a steep climb up to the highest point of the circuit, at Berry Knowe, where it turns sharply north east and descends to meet the A708 just south of Mountbenger, where James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, once farmed. The Gordon Arms - where Hogg used to drink - offers an opportunity for refreshments.
Cross the road and climb sharply again through wild and gloriously empty countryside, skirting Mountbenger Law and then it is downhill all the way to Innerleithen on the road known locally as Paddy Slacks. Watch out for the sheep - they are firm in their belief that they have right of way.
Just past Traquair House and before the bridge that leads into Innerleithen (which is a good spot for a break, with plenty of places to get something to eat or drink) there is a right turn onto a minor road with trees either side and the river Tweed to the left. Follow this until a fork, go right and join the A72 for the return to Selkirk.
Need somewhere to stay?
This is one of a series of cycle routes starting and finishing at The Five Turrets in Selkirk. The self catering holiday property near the centre of the town offers 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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#traquair #innerleithen #ettrick #ettrickbridge #shepherd #selkirk