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Tweed Valley Forests
Mountain biking in Traquair Forest is not boring!
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Distance: 12 miles
Difficulty: Off-road cycling difficult
Average Time: Five hours (including return to start)
How to get there: No public transport that takes bikes. A703 from Edinburgh to Peebles then the A72.
Riding conditions: Tricky at times particularly on the high sections which are mostly rough paths.
Directions: (O.S. Landranger Map 73).

The route starts in the village of Traquair. At the cross roads in the village (grid ref 347 331) take the cul-de-sac heading south-east following a Southern Upland Way sign. After 150m the road becomes a gravel track and climbs steeply. Shortly after it becomes a simple track.

Climb to the first gate, cross a field, and enter the forest. Continue up, cross a forest road, then climb steeply up through thick trees. After a small burn cross another forest road, the climb becomes less steep and then leaves the forest near the top of the hill.

After this you pass the Cheese Well, so called because drovers used to drop crumbs of cheese into it in the hope of favours from the fairies who were said to haunt it. Soon after this you pass the top of Minch Moor on your right. About here the path becomes smoother, flattening out. It then starts a long descent before climbing again to Hare Law. Watch for ruts which can catch your wheel. At the bottom there is another forest road which you cross to continue along the ridgeway.

Continue east along this old drove road, crossing Hare Law. There is a right fork (Minchmoor Road) which you should ignore, bear left here to keep on high ground. After this the route crosses Brown Knowe, its highest point. The Eildon Hills near Melrose come into view. After the Brown Knowe summit there is a descent of about a mile.

At the bottom there is a sign telling you that this is not the turn off for Broad-meadows Youth Hostel, which is a mile and a half further on. In any case we keep straight on, climbing again with trees on our right, going round the north side of Broomy Law on a wide path. The village of Clovenfords can be seen on the left.

Soon you will encounter the sign telling you to turn right (south) for Broadmeadows Youth Hostel. Just ahead is Yair Hill Forest. Keep along the high track towards the Three Brethren cairns.

Turn left into the forest about 200m before you get to the Three Brethren Cairns. Go along to the cairns though because there?s a great view from the top of the hill.

To return to the public road, turn north into Yair Hill Forest 200m west of the Three Brethren Cairns. This track drops steeply to another forest road where you turn right. Descend again to another T Junction and turn left (turning right at this junction will eventually lead you to the A707 just north of Selkirk).

After this keep on the main track and ignore all turn-offs. There is an initial descent, a slight rise, then a final descent to the edge of the forest near the River Tweed. When you get to the bottom of the second hill turn left at a T junction to leave the forest. You meet the minor road on the south bank of the river near Ashiestiel Bridge. Return to Traquair is a left turn along the minor road, parts could be cycled on forest roads (see map).

If you are starting the route from Yair Hill Forest note that the entry to the forest is via a dirt track immediately after the stone Ashiesteil Bridge and not through the Yair Camp Site.
Where to stay: B&Bs and Hotels in Innerleithen, phone tourist info: 01721-720138.

Broadmeadows Youth Hostel is just south of the route (see route directions): 01750-76262.
Where to eat & drink: The Traquair Arms Hotel, Innerleithen Tel: 01896-830229 (Good bar food and an excellent atmosphere).
Bike Shops: Bike Sport, Innerleithen (01896-830880), and a mountain bike hire operator in Glentress near Peebles (01721-720336)
Further Information: No Further Information Available
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