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Darnick and Lowood

Melrose to

Walk No: 36

Start: Melrose car park, opposite the Greenyards Rugby Ground

Finish: Melrose car park, opposite the Greenyards Rugby Ground

Nearest Town: Melrose

• Distance: 5 miles

• Height Gain:

• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Moderate

• Terrain: Good paths, tracks and road. No special footwear needed
• Toilets: In Abbey Street

• Refreshments: Wide choice in Melrose

Route Description
Turn left along the road. In about 500 metres, at a fork, keep left, signposted for Darnick. Follow the road as it winds, through the attractive village of Darnick. To your left is the bypass and beyond it, the Borders General Hospital. In about 800 metres, the road swings right and passes Darnick Tower, which can be seen rising above the houses. It dates back to 1595 and was restored in the 1860s by Andrew Heiton.

At the road junction, turn left. Opposite and to the right is the Waverley Castle Hotel, one of the first large buildings in Scotland (1870) to be constructed in mass concrete. Cross the road and turn right, signposted for Gattonside. In about 200 metres, leave the road on the left to follow the Southern Upland Way signs and pick up the line of the former Waverley railway.

The trackbed is followed for over a kilometre, at times pleasantly shaded by trees, until the viaduct crossing the Tweed is reached. Do not cross the river but go down steps on the left and then walk back underneath the bridge.

Continue along the riverside path, a lovely walk with fine trees on the opposite bank and usually a good variety of bird life to enjoy. Keep along the riverside past Lowood House. The river swings right and you see Lowood Bridge ahead. About 100 metres before the bridge go right as signed through the trees to access the driveway leading out to the bridge.

Turn right along the road and at the top of the short hill leave the road on the left at a Southern Upland Way sign to cross a stile.

Go down the edge of a short field and then over another stile and down steps to regain the riverbank. Walk along the bank. There may be cattle in this area but they are unlikely to trouble you. The path leaves the riverside and climbs a little, giving a good view of the suspension footbridge downstream.

Go down steps to the mill weir, past an information shelter and then bear right. Pass left of the graceful parish church on Weir Hill (dedicated to St Cuthbert and largely reconstructed after a fire in 1911) and walk down to the road. Turn left for a short distance to return to the car park. On the left is the Greenyards, the home of Melrose Rugby Club, and famous as the place where seven-a-side rugby's longest established tournament is staged each spring.