Selkirk to Melrose cycle route

A lovely ride from Selkirk to the pretty Borders town of Melrose, mainly on dedicated cycle paths. Good for families. And fans of bagpipe-playing pigs.


Grade: Leisurely

Distance: 25.4 km (16 miles)

Total ascent: 337 m

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


The round trip starts at The Five Turrets in Selkirk, heading downhill to the river and onto a cycle path that runs alongside the river and stays mainly off the road for most of the way. Return by the same route.



For much of the way the route follows the course of the Ettrick Water and then the Tweed.



Once over the Old Tweed Bridge and beyond the confluence of the two rivers the path heads into woodland, which offers pleasant shade on a sunny day.

Apart from the initial drop down to the river and the steep climb at the very end of the return leg, the route remains fairly level, with only a few variations.



There’s plenty to do and see in Melrose, including the old Roman fort of Trimontium (and the quirky associated museum in the town) and the ruined abbey, worth a visit if only to see the carving of a bagpipe-playing pig. Robert the Bruce's heart is also buried in the grounds.



More adventurous cyclists can tackle the three Eildon hills. Beware of mythical creatures: local folklore says this is the gateway to the land of the elves.


There’s a good selection of pubs and cafes to enjoy before returning the same way to Selkirk.



And there really is a bagpipe-playing pig at Melrose Abbey...


Picture copyright of Historic Scotland

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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