This is a varied route, with a steady climb from Jedburgh town centre and later a steep section up the side of Merlin Wood onto the side of Black Law. There follows a gradual descent through mainly agricultural land to the village of Denholm.
This may be done in two shorter sections between Jedburgh and Denholm, and Denholm and Hawick. Use the bus to your start point or at the end.
Coming into the town from the south on the A68, the visitor is greeted with the majestic ruin of Jedburgh Abbey. Founded in 1138 by David I, it occupies a commanding position overlooking the Jed Water. The 12th century abbey church is one of Scotland`s most outstanding medieval buildings. This house of Augustinian canons from Beauvais in France was deliberately located close to the site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon monastery and stones from a nearby Roman fort can be seen in its fabric. King Alexander III was married to Yolande de Dreux here in 1285 and King Edward I of England stayed here during the wars of independence (his soldiers took the roofing lead for siege engines). The abbey (and the town) bore the brunt of attacks by the English and their allies seven times between 1409 and 1545 and was fortified in 1548 by French allies of the Scots. The story of the abbey is told in an interpretation centre and the cloister and domestic ranges have been excavated and laid out to view. Now cared for by Historic Scotland, it is open to visitors all year round. Admission charge.
On the route you pass the settlement of Bedrule. There has been a place of worship at Bedrule Kirk, in its peaceful setting, for many centuries. The present building dates from 1804, and has superb modern stained glass windows. A mound nearby marks the site of Bedrule Castle, the 16th century seat of the Turnbulls. The route crosses the 18th century Bedrule Bridge over the Rule Water - a name said to mean ‘roaring’, which is appropriate when the water is in spate.