Tweed Valley Blog

  • A gentle initial approach through colourful St Ronan's Wood
  • Now it gets a little tougher (he won't be smiling soon ...)
  • Onwards and upwards ...
  • Final push ...

 

Looking for incredible views up and down the Tweed Valley when next in the area? Then let us recommend a jaunt up Lee Pen – the pointy summit that looms high above the lovely town of Innerleithen. At 502m, it’s no giant, but Lee Pen is still one of the highest hills in the area. And it’s no walk in the park either, with the final push to the summit one to really get the blood pumping. Most walkers opt for a short, sharp out and back route through St Ronan’s Wood behind Innerleithen (see route description here), although it’s also possible to create a circular route, returning via the fish ladder on Leithen Road (near the golf course). Just don't forget your camera! 

  Read more

  • An example of Moy Mackay's felted painting
  • Moy in her gallery on Peebles' Northgate
  • The gallery also displays work from a host of fine and applied artists
  • A recent 'house' commission by Moy

 

Tucked away on Peebles’ Northgate, the delightful Moy Mackay Gallery first opened in March 2012, although its arrival was never really part of the plan. “I didn’t intend to open a gallery, it just somehow happened that way,” explains owner and artist Moy Mackay.

However, the gallery’s many loyal customers will be glad she did. An instant success, the gallery is now managed day-to-day by Gillian Sosa and a small team of staff, leaving Moy with time to create new works from her other base at the WASPS Studios in Selkirk.

The gallery sees work from around 30 contemporary fine and applied artists, many of whom are Borders-based. Most of the other featured artists are from elsewhere in Scotland.

Accessible to all, it’s a gallery that sees much care and attention put into aesthetics. “We want customers to be warmly welcomed and not be intimidated,” says Moy. “It’s art... Read more

  • Setting off
  • Encouragement from the boat
  • Man and river in perfect sync ...
  • The 'support' crew

 

So, it won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the Tweed Valley has got a ruddy great river flowing through it. And very beautiful it is too, particularly in the more wooded sections. The Tweed is of course one of the world’s great salmon rivers, but it’s also a fine stretch of water for paddling. We see all manner of craft completing sections of the Tweed, so last Sunday we thought it was high time to also give it a shot … 'we' being a mini-flotilla of sit-on-top kayak and inflatable packraft with three adults, a five-year-old, four-year-old and a puppy. A perfect mix for a day on the river! The main reason was to support a friend who has set himself the considerable challenge of swimming the Tweed from source to sea (a distance of 97 miles), although really it was just an excuse to enjoy a lovely stretch... Read more

  • Client with grayling, River Tweed
  • Steve with an impressive salmon, River Tweed
  • Salmon fishing on the Tweed

 

Loved and celebrated by anglers around the world, the River Tweed offers some of Scotland’s very finest fishing – although often it pays to receive some guiding or instruction to get the very best out of the experience.

And that’s where fly fishing instructor and guide Steve Culbert comes in. Peebles-based, Steve offers a friendly guiding and instruction service, helping clients fish on the Tweed for salmon, wild brown trout, sea trout and grayling, as well as on still waters in the surrounding area (he is also resident fishing instructor at the nearby Kailzie Fishery and Loganlea in the Pentlands). All equipment is provided, while lunch, refreshments and transport are also on offer, if required.

The testaments on Steve's website give an indication of the kind of service on offer. “A fantastic afternoon and a great introduction to fly fishing for four novices,” wrote Euan McBride. “Steve... Read more

  • Lindores Guest House, Peebles
  • Lindores Guest House, Peebles
  • Lindores Guest House, Peebles

 

In the first of a series of short profiles covering new members to Visit Tweed Valley, we introduce Lindores Guest House – a three-star guest house in the heart of Peebles

Situated in Peebles old town just a few minutes’ walk from the High Street, Lindores Guest House is ideally located for exploring Peebles and the wider area. Unsurprisingly given the area’s appeal for those who love the outdoors, guests often come to enjoy the fantastic walking, fishing, golf and mountain biking found nearby. Lindores has also become a popular stop-off for motorcycle tourers from around the UK and overseas.

Built in 1895, and once home to the medical practice of renowned local figure Dr Clement Gunn, the building was named after the town in Fife where Dr Gunn proposed to his wife.

Now home to Paula and Stephen Mitchell, who took over the running of the guest house in... Read more

  • The new-look adventure playground at Bowhill
  • Two slides are connected by a tricky rope walk
  • On the zip-wire
  • Making music (of sorts!)

 

We’d heard about the newly spruced-up adventure playground at Bowhill House and Country Estate, so it was high time for a visit ...

Mmm, decisions, decisions. What to play on first … one of two zip-wires, a huge wooden fort, cargo scramble net, rope bridge, some serious slides, or fantastic selection of swings? My trusty adventure playground tester (aged four and a bit) was having a hard time deciding quite where to begin.

And I could see why. Set amongst the trees, the newly-revamped playground at Bowhill is really rather special. With sections to test and challenge even the most adventurous youngster, there’s something here for all ages. But it’s not all fast and furious. The playground also offers a change of pace with a selection of beautifully-crafted forest instruments, including a huge wooden glockenspiel.

It’s in a beautiful setting too, with trees all around and... Read more

  • River running in March ... brrr!
  • Out of the river and up the hill ...
  • Getting into the spirit ...
  • Charge ... the big one begins

For once, mountain biking played second fiddle on Saturday as around 3,000 runners descended on Innerleithen for the 10th Mighty Deerstalker adventure race – a fun, raucous and really rather challenging romp through the hills and rivers of this part of the Tweed Valley. Starting and finishing at Traquair House, around 500 or so opted for the shorter 5k (and a bit) race that was run in daylight, but still a challenge for many. The remainder donned their head torches for the epic 10k (and a lot more) race, run almost exclusively in the dark. With steep ascents and descents, multiple river crossings, fiendish obstacles, and more mud than it’s possible to imagine, participants more than earned their post-run beer at the end!

We hope you enjoy our mini-gallery of images from this year’s event! Read more

  • Jason Baxter
  • Jason Baxter landscapes
  • Jason Baxter landscapes

Attracted by the light and the landscape, local photographer and film-maker Jason Baxter continues to gain inspiration from the Tweed Valley – so much so that he’s dedicated a film to the area

 

When did you first come to the Tweed Valley?

I came here from Edinburgh about seven years ago.

What is it about the Tweed Valley that does it for you?

I first experienced the Tweed Valley whilst on a shoot for the Scottish Consumer Council. The area struck me as being really quite scenic, more than I had imagined. A year later the opportunity arose to move, so I chose the Tweed Valley. For me, it’s the beauty, the quality of light and the ability to really feel outdoors in the wild without having to drive for hours up to the Highlands. Within 10 minutes of my house, I can be walking in the... Read more

  • Looking over Innerleithen to Walkerburn
  • St Ronan's Wood, Innerleithen
  • Snow not a problem for this trail runner
  • Drifting snow

 

I love how snow transforms a landscape. It provides an instant hush – a muffled blanket across the land. Gentle hills suddenly look more like mountains, while even the most familiar walk becomes a step into the unknown. Hope you enjoy a few snaps from a stroll through St Ronan’s Wood above Innerleithen earlier today. With strong winds blasting exposed ground higher up, the snow was pretty deep in places.  Read more

  • Grant racing in GB colours
  • Grant in race mode
  • Grant Ferguson
  • On the trail ... going fast

We were delighted to catch up with young Tweed Valley cycling star Grant Ferguson at the recent International Mountain Biking Conference at Peebles Hydro. He was kind enough to answer some questions about life on two wheels …

 

Why cycling – when did you realise it was what you wanted to do for a living?

I enjoyed riding the local trails and a lot of my friends would ride bikes. And then there were the weekend trips to ride races, plus the different trail centres really got me into the sport.

Where did you tend to do most of your riding when growing up?

I did most of my riding up at Glentress then, as I got older, I spent more time riding the trails at Innerleithen. 

Do you have a favourite Tweed Valley trail?

I have two: Spooky Wood at Glentress, because I grew up riding that trail, and... Read more

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