The Four Abbeys cycle route.

The Four Abbeys cycle route is a 55 mile circular route in the Borders, with the Borders railway now in operation it is very accessible  as a day trip.

I left Fife shortly after 8am and was at Tweedbank ready to pedal just over 2 hours later.  Being a circular route the start point and direction of travel are both up to you.  As I travelled by train to Tweedbank I started the route with Melrose Abbey about 2 miles from the station and elected to travel clockwise.

Melrose Abbey was founded in 1136 for Cistercian Monks.   It has a graveyard in the grounds and the heart of Robert the Bruce is buried here.

Next on the list is Dryburgh Abbey near Newton St Boswells two down two to go and you have only travelled 6 miles.   Dryburgh abbey was built by Praemonstratensian monks in 1150.

The town and Abbey of Kelso are next on our trip on the way there you pass Smailholm Tower and Floors castle.  Just two of the many attractions on this route.  

Kelso Abbey was founded in 1128 by the Tironensian order and survived till 1545 when it was destroyed by the English.

Last on the list is Jedburgh. This Abbey is one of the finest remaining Medieval. Buildings in Scotland and was founded in 1138 for Augustinian canons from France.

Being in the Borders climbs are never far off the agenda but none of the Borders Classic climbs feature in this route there are a couple which mean you have to work a bit but nothing too challenging and then of course there are the descents. The first descent heading towards Dryburgh needs a bit of care as you come to a junction with the busy A68!   Although this is called the Four Abbeys cycle route and you will ocassionally see a 4 next to a cycle sign the route is a bit of a mish mash with NCN 1 and the Tweed cycle route so you have to be alert for the signs.  There is so much to see that I would recommend that this role is done over two days and savoured.



Author: Jim Taylor

I am a 60 year old Scottish cyclist. I run, bike, walk and do the odd race. I have taken outdoor qualifications and coach others. I am the owner of and guide for Scottish bike touring.

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