Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Eight members of the Biggar Ramblers travelled out to the beautiful Bowhill
Estate near Selkirk to undertake the 'Duchess's Drive' walk following tracks
through woodland and over moorland to the north west of Bowhill House.
Climbing through the maturing woodland they began to get glimpses of the
Ettrick Valley and the restored Aikwood Tower through the trees. The group swept
around Fastheugh Hill and passed a line of traditional stone grouse butts.
Rising to the crown of the hill they enjoyed panoramic views of the Moffat
Hills, the Eildon Hills towards Melrose and across the Yarrow valley. Lunch
was taken on the peak of Newark Hill, sheltering from the blustery winds
behind its substantial cairn. A quick descent took the walkers along a track through
Black Andrew wood, much of which had been devastated by last autumn's
storms. Emerging onto a tarmac road they headed back to the start point but
not without passing the significant structure of the Newark Tower, built
originally as a hunting lodge nearly 600 years ago. The courtyard at Bowhill
House boasts an excellent tea room, where the ramblers took welcome
refreshment after their 7 mile