HOLIDAY IN THE SCOTTISH BORDERS

KENCAIRN, PEEBLES

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Hike the John Buchan Way to Peebles

John Buchan Way
Click on the image to view the John Buchan Way Gallery

A 22 km walk through Tweeddale in The Scottish Borders

Distance – 22 km/13 miles.
Time – 5 – 7 hours.
Terrain – Road, farm tracks, paths and open hill

The route is well sign-posted in both directions and follows well established hill tracks through stunning borders countryside. There are three main ascents giving a total climb of 800 metres but none of them are too challenging.

Due to its length it is advisable to take an ordnance survey map (OS sheets 72 & 73 (Landranger series), or 336 & 337 (Explorer series)).

For navigation, download a GPX file from Strava or Viewranger in the the “App & info” section.

Broughton to Peebles
Setting out on the John Buchan way

We made our start at the “walkers’ car park” (around 1km from the A701) just past the grand looking Broughton Place, next to a shepherd’s cottage. If you are looking for an easier start this is a good place to park. Keep straight on along an old drove road which follows Hollows Burn and climbs between Broomyside and Hammer Head.

John Buchan Way

On passing through the gate in the March fence keep heading east along the drove road, rising slightly to cross the east shoulder of Hammer Head at about 400m, The track is now rather faint and then drop down to cross the farm road. Leave the farm road and cross a bridge at the Hopehead Burn.

The drove road then climbs south east to a col south of Midhill and then descends to Harrowhope which is distinguished by a ruin. Keep following the farm road on the north side of Easton Burn to exit until you reach the B712 near Stobo Kirk.

John Buchan Way Broughton
John Buchan Way near Broughton

Turn right along the B712 for around 400m and then take a left turn to cross the Tweed by a bridge. Head north east to Easter Dawyck before going east up to the col (400m) and down to The Glack, on the public road up the Manor Valley. From The Glack take the public road downhill to cross the Manor Water (stop for a snack break at the picnic benches near Milton Farm by Manor Water) and then turn south and 1km beyond Cademuir, leave the road to go north east over Cademuir Hill to arrive in Peebles.

View of Peebles
View of Peebles in July

Once in Peebles enjoy a great cup of coffee and a tasty bite to eat at Della’s our favourite deli/cafe in Peebles or enjoy a refreshing beer in the beer garden of the Cross Keys Hotel.

Apps & info

Who was John Buchan?

Most people today would remember John Buchan as a novelist probably best-known for his book, The Thirty-Nine Steps, but he was so much more than just a novelist.

Born in Perth, brought up in Kirkcaldy, his grandparents lived in Broughton which is where he spent many summer holidays and developed a love for walking and an appreciation for the Borders scenery and wildlife.

After graduating from Oxford, he edited The Spectator, served as a Member of Parliament and twice served as High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

During the First World War, Buchan served in the government as Director of Information and wrote many morale boosting articles about the war. He wrote over a hundred books, a mix of fiction, biographies and historical studies.

At the age of 60, Buchan was appointed Governor-General of Canada, He died 5 years later shortly after signing Canada’s formal entry into World War Two.

The Buchan family have a long association with the area which remains to this day. His brother was Town Clerk of Peebles, a noted local historian, and with John formed the family firm of solicitors which is still active today. His sister Anna, also an author, writing under the pseudonym O’Douglas using her knowledge of Peebles as the inspiration for Priorsford in her book.

The John Buchan Society, which has members all over the world, maintains close contact with the Buchan family and with the John Buchan Centre, and has donated a number of exhibits to the latter.

Borders Buses 93

Take the number 93 bus from Peebles to Broughton, get off at Broughton Place. This will leave an additional hike up the hill to our Google Maps start point.

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