Trip 8: The Borders

Sunday 11 August 2013


View Trip 8: The Borders in a larger map

I was back over to the east coast for this trip, visiting The Borders. A quick whiz over the M8 to Edinburgh, then the City Bypass round to East Linton. This is a really pretty little town with old sand-stone houses and a river running through it. Thinking this was going to set the standard for the day, I raced on to Dunbar, where, as a bigger town, I expected more of the same. Unfortunately, Dunbar missed the fairy dust when the town planners were dishing out quaintness. This was more a mismash of new and old and didn’t quite work. Round from the town centre was the coast and harbour, far more picturesque.

Dunbar Cliffs

Dunbar Cliffs

Dunbar Harbour

Dunbar Harbour

From here I rejoined the bypass (which was, by now, the A1) for a few miles then took the A6112 south into miles of rural farmland. Acres of golden wheat fields speckled with regal farmhouses, quadrangled stables and rows of farmworkers’ cottages lay ahead.

Farmlands

Farmlands

Farm buildings

Farm buildings

Round a bend, I suddenly saw a castle poking its turrets into the sky and guarding its kingdom below. Castle Hume it would appear.

Hume Castle

Hume Castle

At Kelso I picked up the road to Selkirk and spotted another castle over more pastures. This was Floors Castle (click photo to enlarge).

Floors Castle, Kelso

Floors Castle, Kelso

As I bumped the bike onto the kerb to get a photo, I ran out of momentum and the back wheel caught against the kerb, flipping it sideways. “Oh no, not again” I thought as I wrestled to keep it upright. Wrenching it back to the vertical, I stopped, ate a Mars Bar and collected myself. I was getting tired again and needed a rest. In Selkirk, I bought a sandwich and some Powerade and waited while my sugar levels came back up.

I was going to take the A72 via Peebles then the A721 back to Glasgow, but had a last minute change of mind and diverted onto the A7 instead as I hadn’t been that way before. The road went through Galasheils which seemed to be more of a series of shopping centres than a town.  Trying to navigate my way through its many roundabouts, I was so busy looking ahead, I almost went straight through a set of red lights.  Slamming on my brakes just in time, the lady in the Mini behind me almost ploughed straight into me.  As if that wasn’t enough, I then mis-read the next signpost, started to go straight ahead at a roundabout, then realised this would take me into a supermarket car park, so jerked the bike left and cut her up again!

As I came into Edinburgh, it was drizzling. By the time I got to the services at Harthill, it was pouring down, so another stop and a cup of tea before the final sprint home.

For full photo gallery
Trip 8 – The Borders

The position so far:

  Miles Km £
Overall Target 3,107 5,000 £5,000.00
Total this Trip 247 397.5  
Total to Date 2305 3709.6 164.85
Left to Go 802 1,290.4 £4,835.15

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