Borders Abbeys Way

Borders Abbeys Way

A circular walking holiday through the heart of Scotland's border towns, visiting the ruins of four great abbeys.

3 to 8 nights
31-68 miles
Moderate to Demanding

From £390 per person

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About the trail

The Borders Abbeys Way self-guided walking holiday tours between four great ruined monasteries. Each has its own distinct character waiting to be discovered: the vast abbey church at Jedburgh, the outstanding detail of every carving at Melrose, the domestic architecture of Dryburgh and the Romanesque style of the remaining tower of the formidable Kelso Abbey.

As well as the four iconic abbeys, the Borders Abbeys Way has much to offer. The trail winds through the rounded green hills, wooded riverbanks, pine forests and rich farmland of the Scottish Borders, exploring a wide range of castles and outstanding viewpoints over the surrounding spaces and the glittering Tweed.

This is the perfect circular walking holiday through a beautiful area studded with historic gems.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Borders Abbeys Way
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Borders Abbeys Way Highlights

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

About this route

3 to 4 nights
31 miles
Moderate / Demanding to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £390 per person

Borders Abbeys Way Highlights

Ideal for those without the time to complete the full Borders Abbeys Way trail, the Highlights option visits all four of the route’s great abbeys and cuts off the mix of river walking and open terrain from Jedburgh to Melrose through Selkirk.

There are still plenty of riverside paths to enjoy during this short break, alongside rambles through woodland and along the Roman road of Dere Street as it climbs to the break’s conclusion in Jedburgh. The abbey’s cloisters and herb gardens here form a very pretty and unusually fragrant end to this engaging walking holiday.


Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
BAWH1 From Melrose to Jedburgh 3 nights, 2 days walking Demanding £390
BAWH2 From Melrose to Jedburgh 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £520

Borders Abbeys Way Highlights 3 nights, 2 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Travel to Melrose where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Melrose to Kelso. 17.5 miles (28km)

Day 2

Kelso to Jedburgh. 13.5 miles (21.5km)


Depart from Jedburgh after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Melrose)
£80.00 per person / per night
© Contours Walking Holidays Borders Abbeys Way Highlights map
Melrose to Jedburgh
31 miles (50 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Visiting the four great Borders Abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh.

Walking through the tranquil countryside, woodland and riverside scenery of the Scottish Borders.

Relaxing in the romantic setting of Dryburgh Abbey, the perfect place for a picnic on the bank of the River Tweed.

What's included?

  • 3 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Melrose is the loveliest of all the Borders towns. It is a charming mix of delightful little shops, narrow streets, Georgian and Victorian facades and a wonderful place for an extra night.

Kelso is a picturesque little town with cobbled streets leading into a wide market square bounded by elegant three-storey townhouses and shops. Floors Castle, the vast ancestral home of the Duke of Roxburghe is about a twenty-minute walk from the town.

If you would like to spend an extra day exploring the sites of historic interest, Jedburgh is an attractive town with sites ranging from its magnificent abbey to Jedburgh Castle Jail and Mary Queen of Scots' House.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Melrose)
£80.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 31 miles (49.5 km)
Duration: 3 nights, 2 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13.5 miles (21.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 17.5 miles (28 km)
Code: BAWH1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Melrose
End of holiday: Jedburgh

Route Profile

Borders Abbeys Way Highlights Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow Prestwick.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Melrose) is at Tweedbank (about 2.5 miles away). The nearest rail station to the end of the trail (Jedburgh) is Tweedbank (about 15 miles away).

By Bus - Buses run from Tweedbank to Melrose, and to Tweedbank from Jedburgh.

From London - Trains run from London Kings Cross, London Euston & London St Pancras International stations to Tweedbank. From there a bus/taxi will be required to Melrose.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take the bus from Jedburgh to Melrose.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Customer reviews from the Borders Abbeys Way Highlights

“Had a great walk, level of challenge met our expectations. Package details were waiting for us on arrival. Luggage transfers went without hassle. Every thing went well.”
Mr McBride, Canada
“All the accommodation was excellent - the standard seems to improve year by year - and we had an excellent walk.”
Mr Howell, UK
“Everything was great. We had an awesome time in sunny Scotland.”
Mr Hayes, USA
“It was well described and well organised. Very impressed. All the arrangements were well made (especially as we were travelling with our dogs) and the instructions were clear. The distances for each day were accurate and the accommodation was well chosen. Would absolutely recommend this holiday to others. If we had tried to arrange this ourselves we would not have managed the same experience. It was a great way to undertake a walking holiday.”
Ms Cruickshank, UK
“We thoroughly enjoyed the Borders Abbey Way walk - working with Contours was easy, good communication throughout. Accommodation was great for the entire trip. Appreciated the maps. Really enjoyed it all.”
Mr Allison, USA
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