Hawick and the Scottish Borders
Monday 3rd to Saturday 8th September
£570 for single occupancy, discounted to £510 for a shared room.
Steeped in the history and traditions of the ancient kingdoms of Scotland and England, the Borders have witnessed the tumult of centuries. An idyllic landscape of heathery moors and rolling hills; though battles and feuds there have been, it is this peaceful, deeply pastoral image that lingers in the memory.
Sir Walter Scott the novelist, most famously lived here. The landscape inspired him and his favourite 'view', now named after him; of the Eildon peaks is perhaps the loveliest view on the Borders. Others ventured here too, Christian adventurers whose Abbeys and Churches stand stark on the skyline or at the bend of a river. And what rivers! The Tweed, the Teviot... magnificent in both setting and wealth of wildlife.
A patchwork of hamlets, villages and small towns, most notably Hawick - appreciated almost as much for its floral displays as its knitwear - complete the Borders tapestry that some describe as 'Scotland in miniature.' The challenge for us will be to fit everything into our five days, not simply activity-and-visit but also a silence, a standing-and-staring and a wondering.
Walks and Excursions
During our time in the Borders we'll walk the Eildon Hills, visit Melrose Abbey dating from the 12th Century and where St Cuthbert was Prior of an earlier 7th Century community and explore historic Hawick. On occasion we'll use local public transport to reach a particular place we want to walk.
(Walks are graded medium in length with moderate terrain. A longer walk is planned for the last day)
We stay at Whitchester Christian Guest House, a superb 19th Century country house. We have a choice of single, double and twin-bedded rooms. All meals will be provided, using produce from the grounds where possible. Most days we will take a packed lunch. There is a chapel which can be used for private prayer as well as our gathered times of worship.
For those who are driving there is plenty of space at Whitchester house to park your car. Alternatively an hourly bus service runs between Carlisle and Edinburgh. Simply get off the bus at Martin's Bridge and enjoy a short quarter mile walk to the house, or if you prefer, continue into Hawick and we'll arrange to meet you in the car. If you plan to arrive by train, we'll meet you at Galashiels Railway station.
Rosemary Clarke (+44 (0)1624 843 262) and Paddy Allen