Adventure to where only your footsteps can take you in the Scottish Borders
We are fortunate to have an abundance of hiking routes close to Milne Graden. There is something for everyone, with various hike lengths and difficulties available. The surrounding area offers a diverse range of terrain, including coastal and mountainous paths to follow. Of course, these are also perfect for our guests who have four-legged friends. Here are some of our favourites:
St Abb’s Head
Take in the fresh sea air and the beautiful, rugged Berwickshire coastline with a brisk walk at St Abbs Head, located only 17 miles from Milne Graden. This national nature reserve offers a clifftop walk with outstanding views over the North Sea and incredible bird and seal colonies. There are three different routes on the reserve – the Discovery Trail, Mire Loch Loop and the Extended Lighthouse Loop – with a choice of venturing around the cliffs or staying inland near the Mire Loch.
The Extended Lighthouse Loop takes in the spectacular 1862 lighthouse, which sits high on the cliffs above the North Sea. Although it is now silent, it was the first lighthouse in Scotland to have a foghorn.
This gorgeous stretch of coastline is the perfect photography spot and has been the backdrop to several famous productions, including Harry Style’s music videos and Marvel Avenger films.
Following a hike along the cliff tops then refuel with a well-deserved coffee and cake at The Old Smiddy Café, situated just below the National Trust car park.
Cockburn Law and Edin’s Hall Broch
Starting in the hamlet of Abbey St. Bathans, situated on the edge of the Lammermuir Hills, 18 miles from Milne Graden, the 5.5-mile circular hike takes in extensive views of the Scottish Borders. From the car park at the Riverside Bakehouse, cross the river and follow the path south-east as it climbs above the Whiteadder River.
At the turning point of the walking loop, cross the small suspension footbridge, suspended high above the Whiteadder that flows through the gorge beneath. The exhilarating walk then takes you over grass farmland and onto rough ground where you will discover Edin’s Hall Broch, a rare lowland iron-age broch built over 2,500 years ago. If you wish to extend your walk, take the short hike up to the top of Cockburn Law to enjoy panoramic views of the area.
On your return to Abbey St Bathans, stop by the quaint Riverside Bakehouse and enjoy a treat from their selection of inticing pastries, sweet treats, and artisan bread.
The Hirsel Estate
Suppose you don’t fancy a strenuous hike, head to The Hirsel Estate on the outskirts of Coldstream, only 7 miles from Milne Graden, for a laid-back stroll. The Hirsel has several marked walking routes that take in every corner of the Estate – Riverside Walk, Dunglass Walk, Crooks Walk and Lake Walk.
As the seasons change, so does the landscape, with spring bringing an abundance of Snowdrops and acres of Daffodils. By May, Dundock Wood is transformed by the bright and bold colours of the Rhododendrons and Azaleas.
Discover the Estate’s wide variety of wildlife, as well as its very own historic pedigree fold of Highland Cattle. Take a break from exploring to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a light bite to eat at the Homestead Café & Farm Shop.
Following a day of exploring and filling your lungs with fresh air, retire to your cosy cottage to enjoy an evening by the fire. Each cottage has a welcome hall, boot room or outdoor store, perfect for your outdoor gear and to dry down your dogs. So whether you are looking for an ambitious hike or a short walk to stretch your legs, there is something for everyone on Milne Graden’s doorstep.
For more hiking routes around the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, take a look at Visit Northumberland (https://www.visitnorthumberland.com/explore/things-to-do/activities/walking-hiking) and Scotland Starts Here (https://scotlandstartshere.com/nature-and-outdoor-activities/walking/)