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Historic Scottish Borders and Abbeys

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Homepage > Scotland > Historic Scottish Borders and Abbeys
  • Duration: 6 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily April to September
  • Location: Berwick upon Tweed

Scottish Borders and Abbeys

Tour Details

A wonderful self-guided cycling holiday of the Scottish Borders provided by Hooked on Cycling Holidays. This self-guided biking vacation in Scotland takes you from the border town of Berwick upon Tweed upstream along the Tweed River staying in Kelso and Melrose. What makes the Scottish Borders so special for a cycle tour is it’s many little country roads and lanes and the regions low population.

The region of the Scottish Borders is a relatively flat region but full of historic buildings, four famous ancient abbeys, Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Melrose are to be visited.  Many historic houses, Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House, Paxton House, Manderston House are a few to be visited. Grand castles such as Bamburgh (with optional ride) and Floors. Take a cycle ride to Lindisfarne on Holy Island (tides permitting) along the ancient causeway which is covered at high tide. The island was the final stage of the route taken by St Cuthbert in the 6th century which then started the Celtic Christianity on the Island. 

Starting Location

Berwick upon Tweed

Price Includes

  • 6 nights Bed and Breakfast
  • 3 star Hotels, and Guest Houses
  • Information Pack
  • Navigation by Smart Phone App.
  • Route Turn by Turn Cue sheet
  • Luggage transfers
  • GPS Files on request

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Hybrid Rental Bike
  • Road Bike Rental Bike
  • E-Bike Rental Bike
  • Extra Nights
  • Travel Insurance
Trip Info

Bike Rental

We believe we have the best rental bikes available in this region. They are 24/27 speed Scott hybrids, Scott E-bikes, Scott racing bikes and Dawes tandems.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Day 1Arrival to Berwick upon Tweed

Today you arrive to Berwick upon Tweed the border town between Scotland and England on the coast and on the River Tweed. You reach Berwick easily by train from the north from Edinburgh or from the south from Newcastle. Berwick dates back to Anglo-Saxon times when a settlement was built there in the 10th century when the Kingdom of Northumbria annexed from England. For over 400 years the town swapped back and forth between English and Scottish ownership.

Day 2Loop ride to Holy Island 31 miles 49km (optional ride to Bamburgh +26 miles 42km)

Today’s ride takes you down the coast southwards to Holy Island. Tide permitting you can cycle across the causeway to Lindisfarne a route taken by St Cuthbert in the 6th century and visit the Island. After your visit, you can cycle the optional ride to Bamburgh further south. Bamburgh has an impressive red brick castle. Bamburgh Castle was the royal seat of the Kings of Northumbria and has actually been owned by the same family since 1894!   Now you cycle inland and northwards back to Berwick along beautiful country lanes and rolling countryside.  When back explores the ancient town of Berwick.

Day 3Berwick upon Tweed to Kelso 36miles, 58km

Today you shall follow the Tweed upstream towards Kelso. Your route today allows you to visit potentially two stately homes, Paxton House and Manderston House. Both visits are very interesting. Paxton House is an 18th-century Palladian stately home with original interiors and lovely Chippendale furniture. There is a wonderful guided tour there. Manderston House just outside Duns is the home of Adrian Bailie Nottage Palmer who is the 4th Baron Palmer. The house was completely rebuilt between 1901 and 1903, it has a silver-plated staircase and a sumptuous interior.

In Duns is also the Jim Clarke Museum, Jim was formula 1 world champion in 1963 and 1965 and these trophies can be seen at the museum along with other memorabilia. Now you follow the country lanes westwards to Kelso.  You can visit Kelso Abbey or take a short ride outside Kelso and visit Floors castle. The large Floors castle dates from 1721 has bold roof turrets and lavishly furnished, art and tapestry-hung interiors. It has lovely gardens and grounds to explore.

Day 4Loop ride via Jedburgh 32 miles, 51km

Today you follow the route to Jedburgh to visit its ancient Abbey and Museums.  Jedburgh Abbey dates from the 12th century and is thought to have taken some 70 years to build. The town itself is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture.  Before you reach Jedburgh though you will have a few small climbs to negotiate as you are on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. After you visit Jedburgh and maybe a spot of lunch in a nice cafe or pub you head east again back to Kelso.  If you did not have time yesterday you can visit Floors Castle.

Day 5Kelso to Melrose/Galashiels 15-19 miles, 24-31km

Today’s ride is a little shorter, you can today visit Floors Castle if you missed the visit the last two days. After your visit, you head upstream of the River Tweed to Melrose passing the Dryburgh Abbey. Dryburgh Abbey was built again in the 12th century but was burned down by the English armies in 1322. It was the re-built and restored only to be burned down again in 1385.  On arrival to Melrose visit the ancient abbey and look around the quaint streets of the town. Sometimes we stay overnight in Galashiels and a short distance from Melrose.

Day 6 Melrose Loop ride 29 miles, 47km

Today is a beautiful circular ride taking on Clovenfords and Stow. You will have a few climbs to negotiate but none are that strenuous. You shall notice now that the countryside is more rolling. Just outside Melrose, you can visit Abbotsford House, this is the home of Sir Walter Scott the famous Scottish writer.

Day 7Departure

On departure, you can either catch the local bus back to Berwick to pick up your car or by train south to Newcastle. If you wish to return or visit Edinburgh there is a train (line opened in 2015 by the Queen) direct from Melrose to Edinburgh, it is a very picturesque journey as well.


How to get there

By plane to Newcastle or Edinburgh airports and then by train to Berwick upon Tweed.

Book Now

2024 Prices – For a complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.

 Tour Code Prices From (per person) Book Now
SB02 (6 Nights)  from £849 Book Now
Tour Images
Cyclists in the Scottish Borders