Selkirk -Melrose – 20/02/2010
The last day, and at 8 miles it was always going to be a short one. For once the fine clear day failed to materialise and we started in some fine mist. It eventually started to lift, certainly making the early part of the walk extremely atmospheric. Considering the amount of frost there had been it was quite muddy underfoot, but also on some of the road sections it was potentially treacherous, thick ice covering the road surface.
Wrapped up warm, we covered the distance quickly, but there was still a lot of charm about this last days walk.
The Abbeys Way eventually ends up right back where it started at Melrose Abbey, but first meanders along with the Tweed before crossing under, then joining with, the Southern Upland Way for a short distance. The last section into Melrose, which it shares with the SUW, is delightful and a fitting finale to a walk that was over far too quickly.
It strikes me that, although the Abbeys Way touches the St Cuthberts Way in a couple of places, it is perfectly feasible to start in Kelso, walk to Melrose (clockwise) and without missing a beat, continue onto the St Cuthberts Way. As a Long Distance Walk it would come in at around the 120 miles mark. Not too bad for two trails combined!
Day Rating – 8/10
A very pleasant, if short day. The finish into Melrose is a gentle end to a fairly easy walk.
Overall Rating – 37/50 (74%)
There was never any great physical challenge in the Abbey Way, but for a relatively short trail it has some wonderful sections. There are a couple of places where tedium can set in, but aren’t all LDP’s the same? I would quite happily rank this firmly in the top 10 walks I’ve done over the past 7 or 8 years.