Borders Abbeys Way

Our 2024 Pilgrimage will follow the route of the Borders Abbeys Way. This beautiful path meanders for 109km through spectacular scenery, taking in the remains of the historic abbeys at Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh as well as churches and towns with connections to the saints that brought Christianity to Scotland.

For ease, we have divided the walk into six sections. The first five will be undertaken on Mondays (other than during General Assembly week, when it will be a Friday), beginning on 13th May. These first five sections are certainly hard work! The paths are often very rural, can be steep and may not be for everyone. We anticipate either parking a car at the end of each section or using a local service bus to get to the start – the details of which are shown on the relevant section’s page.

The final section will be on Saturday 15th June and we will be running a coach from Edinburgh to the starting point at St. Boswells. From there, we will walk together to Dryburgh Abbey, where we can look around and eat our packed lunches. Afterwards, we will divide into two groups – those who wish to take the path that passes over the Eildon Hills and those who do not! We will then diverge and finish together at Melrose Abbey, where there will be a short communion service, before eating in a local restaurant and returning to Edinburgh by coach.

A final option is available for those who might prefer a short self-guided walk instead - our coach will drop you at Leaderfoot. This guide includes short walks 6c (via the River Path) and 6d (via the Abbeys Way or Annay Road), which both lead to Melrose. Melrose has lots of lovely shops and cafes as well as a walled garden and the Abbey, which can be visited. The Borders Book Festival will also have events in Melrose on the day we are there.

Sandy and I plan to walk the entire route together and will be blogging as we go. If you don’t feel up to the first 100km or so, I hope you will follow our adventures!

Finally, if you’re planning to join us on any of the sections, please remember to have the appropriate equipment. For the first sections, you will need a packed lunch, walking boots, waterproofs, suncream, a hat, around 2 litres of water and a snack for later on would be recommended. The same again applies to the last section if you’re planning to cross the Eildon Hills. If you’re planning to take the lower path, please dress appropriately for the weather on the day and, if you don’t have walking boots, please ensure you have comfortable and appropriate footwear for the conditions.

Please email or call me if you plan to join us on any of the sections - we hope to see you there.

Simon Hessett,

Probationary Minister.

Tel: 07362 323937