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

Find your holiday

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

5 to 8 nights
68 miles
Moderate to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £650 per person

Borders Abbeys Way

The full Borders Abbeys Way trail traverses 68 miles. It's a circular route, starting and ending in the market town of Melrose. As well as the four magnificent abbeys at Jedburgh, Melrose, Dryburgh and Kelso, the walk also takes in plenty of other historic sites, as well as a variety of charming towns and villages, each with its own unique character to uncover and history to share.

The scenery of the Scottish Borders complements this walk perfectly, boasting views of green hills, quiet forests and sparkling waters, providing a stunning backdrop to a truly fantastic holiday option.




Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
BAW1 A circular trail beginning at Melrose 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding £650
BAW2 A circular trail beginning at Melrose 6 nights, 5 days walking Demanding £775
BAW3 A circular trail beginning at Melrose 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate / Demanding £905
BAW4 A circular trail beginning at Melrose 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate £1030

Borders Abbeys Way 5 nights, 4 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)

Day 3

Jedburgh to Hawick. 14 miles (22.5km)

Day 4

Hawick to Melrose. 23 miles (37km)


Depart from Melrose 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 map
Circular trail beginning at Melrose
68 miles (109 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Admiring the Gothic gargoyles of Melrose Abbey, including a pig playing the bagpipes.

Visiting the bustling market towns of Melrose, Jedburgh and Kelso, all alive with independent shops and brilliant eateries.

Looking out at the fairytale turrets and pinnacles of Floors Castle.

What's included?

  • 5 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

Jedburgh is an attractive town with many interesting sites of historic interest ranging from its magnificent abbey to Jedburgh Castle Jail and Mary Queen of Scots House.

Hawick is a good choice for a rest day if you wish to shop for luxury knitwear at its many factory outlets while Selkirk is another pleasant Borders town with two fascinating museums (Halliwell's House Museum and Walter Scott's Courtroom).

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 the best of the Border abbeys.

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.

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: 68 miles (109 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13.5 miles (21.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 23 miles (37 km)
Code: BAW1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Melrose
End of holiday: Melrose

Route Profile

Borders Abbeys Way 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 and Newcastle.

By Rail

The nearest rail station to Melrose is Tweedbank (about 2.5 miles away).

By Bus

There is a bus service between Tweedbank and Melrose.

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 Start

The Border Abbeys Way is a circular tour beginning and ending in 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.
"Last leg from Kelso to Jedburgh" by Kim Dudley (2022) "Last leg from Kelso to Jedburgh" by Kim Dudley (2022)
"On the way to Selkirk" by Kim Dudley (2022) "On the way to Selkirk" by Kim Dudley (2022)
"Leaving Black Law" by Kim Dudley (2022) "Leaving Black Law" by Kim Dudley (2022)
"Castle Jail Jedburgh" by Kim Dudley (2022) "Castle Jail Jedburgh" by Kim Dudley (2022)
"River Teviot at Kelso" by Maria Brancho (2019) "River Teviot at Kelso" by Maria Brancho (2019)
"Along the Teviot" by Colin Patey (2017) "Along the Teviot" by Colin Patey (2017)
"Jedburgh Abbey" by Colin Patey (2017) "Jedburgh Abbey" by Colin Patey (2017)

Customer reviews from the Borders Abbeys Way

“Good quality accommodation. Good distances to walk each day.”
Mr Northover, UK
“The Contours planning and the comprehensive information supplied are really helpful. A couple of wrinkles but otherwise very good.”
Mr South, UK
“An extremely well organised trip RE”
Mr Mcghie, UK
“Impressively well organised!”
Ms Hackett, UK
“Everything worked perfectly and we had a fantastic time.”
Mr Robinson, UK
“Once again, a very well organised trip and excellent, friendly service.”
Mr Simmons, UK
“I have already booked approximately 15 holidays over the years and have another booked for later this year to the Isle of Wight.”
Mr Twigg, UK
“We had a wonderful time... thoroughly enjoyed the three days walking.”
Mrs Kasper, Switzerland
“It lived up to all of my expectations. It's a great way to do walking holidays as you do all the accommodation and transport bookings and arrangements for your clients! You have a great selection of interesting walks to choose from.”
Mr Negyal, UK
Find your holiday