The John Buchan Way


On Sunday 30th November 2015 a large group of 13 BEG Members and friends and two dogs assembled at the large carpark on the side of the River Tweed in Peebles to be transported to the beginning of our hike along the John Buchan Way, which runs for about 13 miles from the little village of Broughton back to Peebles. Instead of the very inclement weather of the last time BEG did the walk the weather was that of glorious sunshine. The weather could not have been better and that made the views excellent and the walk very enjoyable. The underfoot conditions were also not too bad except for the areas around gates where the stock have poached the soil there. Leaving the village a steady gradient took the group up the valley of the Hollows Burn with Clover Law to the west and Trahenna Hill and Grey Yade to the east. They look very inviting hills to climb sometime in the future. We reached the col at Cowiemuir Hass and descended to Stobo Hopehead where we picked up a good track leading down the valley along the Hopehead Burn. Too good a track! We passed the lovely cottage and carried on down the valley until we reached a large very well built sheep stell. This stell was unusual in that in the middle of it was a circular wall which has a light coloured leylandi conifer growing in it. We decided that this was a good location for a short coffee break. Les soon had his map out to see where we were and had to break the bad news that we were off the route of the JBW. Thankfully we were only a hundred metres or so from the proper route ans so once our break was finished we crossed the burn and back onto the path. Now it was downhill all the way along the Easton Burn past Harrowhope a now ruined cottage to Stobo where the burn joins the Tweed.


At this point the JBW crosses the river and heads up the hill towards the Glack, but before the climb we decided it was lunchtime. This was enjoyed in the sunshine while Ron set off in search of some salmon in the river which was fruitless. After lunch we set off on a meandering course through the fields uphill to the high point where we picked up the Glack Burn along which we experienced our worst underfoot conditions, very muddy. At the foot of the hill we entered the Manor Water valley where Cademuir hill presented itself to be circumnavigated. The JBW tracks up the Manor first the turns eastwards following a minor road with Cademuir to the north. A couple of kilometres along Eleanor ( a Malawi venturer) left the group to return home as she stays along the little road. She provided Geraldine with her mobile number so that she could say when she reached home. After Les had investigated a strange plant growing among the scree of Cademuir we set off up and over it, our last ascent. All of us were struck by the great views over Peebles when we reached the top of the hill, as the sun was almost set to the west, highlighting the red and white of the Hydro on the opposite side of the valley. The last leg wandered down through the upmarket housing area of Frankscroft and the High School grounds. Soon we were back at the carpark a little bit dirtier and wearier than at the beginning but having experienced an excellent day out in glorious Borders countryside. Ron then took Les and Ross back to Broughton for the cars while the st of the group set off home or went for a well-earned coffee in the town.