A scenic linking section on the Stranraer to Dunbar route. Worth cycling on it's own too - mostly follows the Tweed Cycleway.
Broughton was the home of the author and statesman John Buchan. Author of many popular novels still in print like The Thirty Nine Steps, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly and Governor General of Canada, Broughton was his childhood holiday home. There is a display about him In the old Free Kirk at Broughton.
Peebles: this pretty former county town is surrounded by attractive countryside and is a popular recreational location. The main street is wide and attractive with many buildings of historical interest. Granted royal burgh status in 1367 by David II, Peebles began as a small cluster of houses which sprang up around Neidpath Castle. It suffered under the Civil War when Cromwell swept through Scotland's border towns. During the attack on Neidpath Castle Cromwell stationed his troops at Peebles. The Castle, once the stronghold of the Frasers, is situated by a public park on the west side of the town.
Just before it enters Galashiels the cycle route passes close by Abbotsford the house built by Sir Walter Scott (on the other side of the river). Sir Walter Scott bought it in 1812. In 1822 the old house was entirely demolished, to be replaced by the main block of Abbotsford as it is today. The house is open to visitors.
Melrose was occupied by the Roman Empire for about 100 years from 80AD until they eventually established their line of occupation at Hadrians Wall to the south. Prior to this Melrose was an important fort, it housed 1500 Roman infantry and cavalry.
Melrose Abbey: This was occupied for four hundred years, from 1136 to it's destruction about 1544 by the Earl of Hertford. The present town of Melrose grew up around it.
St Cuthbert, the greatest holy man of Northumbria, was a shepherd-boy near Melrose. He eventually became prior of Melrose Abbey. Recently, a long distance public walk was named St Cuthberts Way; it stretches from Melrose to Lindsisfarne on Holy Island.
Despite its name the Tweed Cycleway is not a purpose built bike route, it mostly follows quiet back roads and only a few parts are completely away from cars. The route is mostly quiet and very attractive with fine views of the River Tweed. When it climbs away from the river it is hillier. The nearby forests have excellent mountain biking, see RELATED ROUTES. Along the way you can visit the small towns of Peebles, Innerleithen and Melrose. These former mill towns still have a distinctive culture dating from the turbulent times when this land was an area of dispute between Scotland and England.
Broughton to Peebles (15 miles). This starts out on Dreva Road in Broughton, there's a shop in the village and a tea room. The John Buchan Centre, celebrating the author of The 39 Steps amongst other books is worth visiting. It's a climb to start with, then a swooping descent to the River Tweed, don't forget to give way at the junction. After this the route becomes more gentle. Watch out for the right turn off the B712 to Lyne Station and don't continue to the A72. Shortly after this junction you meet a humped back bridge; don't cross it, but turn right to go under another bridge signed height 16 feet. This becomes a track then a footpath. Cross the River Tweed on a footbridge and go downstream between a field and a river, turn right by a cottage then follow signs for Peebles via Cademuir.
Peebles is a pleasant town with B&Bs, hotels, pubs and tea rooms. To get to the centre cross the River Tweed but cross back to continue. Peebles is quite near Edinburgh and you could cycle to Edinburgh rather than continue east. The A703 is quite busy however; a better way to go would be to go to Innerleithen then use the National Cycle Network Route 1 to get to Edinburgh.
Peebles to Melrose (24 miles). Before Traquair you pass Traquair House which dates from the 12th century. Twenty-seven Kings and Queens have visited it and you should too if you have time as it's surprisingly intimate, there's a tea room. There are pubs and tea rooms also in Innerleithen (slightly off route), plus a bike shop. It's possible to bike off-road between Traquair and Ashiestiel Bridge.
Unfortunately the lovely quiet road on the south side of the River Tweed comes to an end at Ashiestiel Bridge and you join the A707 for two miles. Currently negotiations are underway to allow cyclists to use tracks to the south of the river between Ashiestiel bridge and the B7060.
In Galashiels after passing through the park by the river you turn right to a cycle-path (also the Southern Upland Way) under pylons. If you turn left at this point it will take you to Galashiels town centre (bike shop), there is no bike shop in Melrose. Melrose is attractive with an interesting town square, quite a number of good pubs and hotels, a tourist office and a beautiful ruin of an abbey; also a SYHA youth hostel and an arts centre. The former railway station has been restored and now contains a tea room and a craft shop.