Kelso to Duns

Cycle Routes

    Long Distance Route - remain in Scotland and head for Dunbar (via Duns).

    Near Kelso is Floors Castle, an Adam mansion. It has an excellent restaurant (no admission charge for restaurant). It was the site of the ancestral home of Tarzan in the Film Greystoke, appropriately it claims to be the largest inhabited house in Scotland. Kelso has a particularly elegant town square and the bridge over the River Tweed was the prototype of London's Waterloo Bridge, being designed by the same engineer, John Rennie. Kelso abbey was built around 1128, it was one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture. It was finally finished and dedicated in 1243. It was one of the largest and richest in Scotland, having a important library in medieval times.

    Duns: a considerable town and parish in the county of Berwick. The town is delightfully situated in the centre of the county, encompassed on the W. N. and E. by the Lammermuir hills, a fine plain 25 miles in extent lying towards the S. The ancient site of the town was on the top of the beautiful hill called Dunse Law, which is elevated from a base of about 2 1/2 miles in circumference to the height of 630 feet above the level of the sea. The town was afterwards rebuilt at the foot of the hill. Population in 1801, 3163, from Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.

    Duns is also famous for its Jim Clark Memorial Trophy Room. He was World Motor Racing Champion in 1963 and 1965, and was granted the Freedom of the Burgh of Duns in 1965. The Trophy Room is visited every year by large numbers of people including motor racing enthusiasts from all over the world.

    Route Description

    From Kelso the route follows the National cycle network as far as Eccles, then it turns north to a minor road beside a haulage depot. (The route to Berwick turns south.) The countryside here is gently rolling with the emphasis on arable farming.

    The route between Eccles and Duns is straightforward but some of the minor road junctions have no signs so it's necessary to count the turnings. Shortly after Eccles the A697 crossing is not straight over but right and left, take care crossing. Look out for the stork on a building at Sinclair's Hill. After this you pass Mungo's Walls and impressive Wedderburn Castle before rolling into Duns.

    Going north from Duns it's possible to miss out the A6112 by going through the grounds of Duns Castle which is a nature reserve. If you remain in the public areas of the castle grounds, and turn right after the lake you will have no problem. Going south entry from the B6365 is signed: car park for reserve. It's beside the broken base of a stone pillar, after a kilometer turn left to go south of the lake.

    Duns is a suitable point to find accommodation. It's a pleasant town with winding stone-built streets and has a choice of B&Bs, tea rooms and hotels. It's noteable for two famous people, though 700 years of time separate them. The first was John Duns Scotus, 1266-1308, one of the greatest medieval philosophers. Unfortunately his work became deeply unfashionable after his death, and this is said to have resulted in the word 'dunce'. There's a statue in the public park.

    The other famous son of Duns is Jim Clark, twice world motor racing champion. The Jim Clark Memorial Trophy Room displays a large number of his trophies and many photographs. Manderston House is near the route and features the only silver staircase in the world, together with large beautifully kept gardens full of rhododendrons, the house is pretty impressive too. It has a tea room of course. North of Duns it becomes obvious you are heading into the hills again, the Lammermuirs this time.

    Opening Times
    Open All Year
    2015 Opening Times
    1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2015


    • Easy


    • Rural

    Type of Ride

    • Road Cycling


    • Miles 17


    • Tarmac

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