25th August – Galashiels/Melrose to Innerleithen

20180825 Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey

Today was a good day in many ways.  The weather was fine, albeit with strong winds on the summits, the route was interesting, and the Southern Uplands Way, which I was following for most of the day, was very well signed.

20180825 Looking down on Galashiels
Looking down on Galashiels

I caught the bus from Galashiels at 6.30 and started walking just after 7.00.

20180825 Suspension bridge over the river Tweed
Suspension bridge over the river Tweed

The trail started by following the Tweed before joining an old railway track and then crossing the A7.  It was then time for the first real climb of the day around Gala Hill.  When I was at the bottom of the hill a man on a horse came round the corner. The horse spooked and the rider went out the side door. He was unhurt but the horse ran off. I last saw it a good quarter of a mile away still running hard. He was unimpressed.

The trail continued down and then rose over Hog Hill…

20180825 Descent from Hog Hill
The descent from Hog Hill. Brown Knowe is on skyline on right.

…before recrossing the Tweed at Yair Bridge.

20180825 The Tweed at Yair Bridge
River Tweed at Yair Bridge

It was here that the serious work of the day began.

20180825 Taking a break near Yair Bridge
Taking a break near Yair Bridge

The climb to the Three Brethren (464m) through a forest took 1.5 hours.

20180825 The Three Brethren
The Three Brethren (cairns)

Once on the ridge things improved, still ascending but more gently, with magnificent views.

20180825 View north from the Three Brethren
View north from the Three Brethren

When I stopped for a late lunch at the highest point, Brown Knowe (523m), a group of about 20 walkers passed me going in the opposite direction. This was more people than I had seen in the previous week.

20180825 Last of the walkers leaving Brown Knowe
The walkers leaving Brown Knowe

Then it was down again before climbing up towards Minch Moor through another forest. Just below the high point I passed the Cheese Well, a natural spring.

Anyone planning to spend the night at Minch Moor Bothy will be disappointed as it no longer exists. Apparently it was demolished after being vandalised on several occasions, a problem faced by the Bothy Association whenever a bothy is near habitation.

20180825 Descent to Innerleithen
Descent to Innerleithen

All that was left was the long descent to Tarquair and some road walking to get to Innerleithen and the campsite, which I reached at 4.35.

After pitching the tent and a shower I had dinner at the pub on the site.  This was very noisy so I returned to the tent to rest and read.  Children finally shut up and went to bed around 10pm.

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