Starting at Peebles from the large car park on Kingsmeadow Road (with toilets) we followed a quiet road opposite, to where it joins the Drove road on the south east side of the town. The road quickly starts climbing uphill between the two drove walls and onto Craig Head on towards Kailze Hill. The drove road is clear and distinct even after 100s of years.
This was the main route for many drovers from the Highlands taking their cattle to Norfolk for fattening then onto London markets. The road would have been used in reverse for the border reivers to sell ‘their’ cattle at the big tryst in Falkirk. Some of the drovers would be on the road for 4 to 6 months droving anything from 100 – 1000 cattle just them and their dogs for months on end, sleeping with the cows and covering 10 – 15 miles a day depending on grazing.
The road veers off to the East (signed) at the end of the forest on the left, skirting the Glen estate but we carried on South to the top end of the estate coming in off Stake law to the beautiful remote, far shepherd cottage where we picked up the estate track. The track to this point is marked Tweed trails which is a lesser but still clear track, 1 mile, crossing 2 burns and once level with a stand of Douglas Fir trees you need to look for a faint track to your left which leads downhill to the cottage.
The road goes straight down the glen passing the pretty estate village, once almost back to the road you will see a finger post pointing off to the left where you pick back up the Cross border drove road again heading back up Birks Hill and rejoining the drove road at the boggy gate. The trail is marked but it’s not especially clear at the moment, once you are back onto the hill you are heading for the stand of trees on the right where you will see a clear track again. Once you have picked up the trail at the top you are returning back on yourself to Peebles
This is a great route with stunning scenery, easily done as a day ride or as part of a longer ride from Peebles, North to West Linton or South to Selkirk and beyond.