Walks Around Mainstreet
Blog · Posted August 11, 2023
Bill shares some of his favourite local walks for you and your dog to explore.
Our dog Luna (aka the Mainstreet Shop Dog) has recently had a lovely litter of Labrador puppies. All bar one of the puppies are now with their new owners. We have kept one of the girls (named Raven – partly inspired by a character in Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver) and I’m looking forward to taking her and Luna on the walks around Mainstreet.
If you are after a short walk and explore to stretch your legs (and your dogs’), stroll down to St Boswells village green (10-30mins). The green is a big open space of common land where the Village holds many of its annual Village Week celebrations in June and where the Travelling Community meet and camp for a week in July on their way up north from the Appleby Fair.
A favourite walk for the locals is to Benrig cemetery and back. This includes a small part of St Cuthbert’s way and takes you along old lanes to the river and back, passing the Crystal Well.
For a longer walk there are two good options that include the main attraction for walkers in this area – the River Tweed. The longer walk is about 6 miles and is marked by a suspension bridge at each end, while the shorter route takes in about half the distance returning via Mertoun Bridge. They are both circular routes and there’s a lot to see.
For the longer version, I’d suggest heading up the Main Street (east) and then down towards the golf course, following the path downstream of the river, carry on up and over the road at Mertoun Bridge keeping to the right bank and then on down past Maxton Church before crossing the river on the suspension bridge on the Mertoun Estate. Then come back up stream following the wide bends of the Tweed as far as Dryburgh where you cross the river on the other suspension bridge and finally follow the woody path back to St Boswells.
For the shorter version cross the river at Mertoun Bridge and follow the signs left towards Dryburgh.
If you are unable to walk greater distances but would still like to admire the beauty of the Scottish Borders, Scott’s View is a must. You can drive directly up to the view, with lots of sign posts to direct you on the road from St Boswells. Known to be Sir Walter Scott’s favourite view in the Borders, it takes in the beautiful Eildon hills and winding Tweed. Not far from here is the Wallace Statue. From the parking area, it is less than a 5 minute walk to see the monument that commemorates the life of Scottish hero, William Wallace.
I take Luna to swim in the river every day. There are a lot of nice spots for your dogs to access the water and you can even have a paddle yourself. The river banks are teaming with wildlife. Look out for kingfishers at Benrig, a white egret at the Golf course, sometimes otters are spotted under Mertoun Bridge, trout rising along the length of the river, and of course the mighty salmon which can be seen leaping the main channel of the Mertoun Cauld (weir) in the autumn. Some highlights to look out for are the Spring Well at Benrig, the wobbly suspension bridge at Mertoun, the abbey and the statue of The Three Graces at Dryburgh.
All of these are easy enough walks with paths most of the way, so can be done in good shoes but wellies are always a good option. These are just small descriptions to get you started but we do have several good walking and guide books in the bookshop to help you along on your visit. Our recommendations would be:
The Tweed: 25 walks from Source to Sea by K. R Fergus (BUY HERE)
The Scottish Borders: 40 Favourite Walks by Robbie Porteous (BUY HERE)
OS Explorer Map: Galshiels, Selkirk & Melrose (338) (BUY HERE)
Enjoy exploring in the countryside and come back for a well-earned cup of tea and slice of cake at Mainstreet. We welcome dogs in our café so do bring them in with you. Most of all I would suggest you stop and listen to the noise of the river; something I never tire of hearing.