Selkirk - The seventh step - London to Edinburgh via Land's End and John o'Groats - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2019


We had expected today's route to be pretty tough as both Google and OpenRouteService showed a lot of climbing to be done.  In the end  there was but all the climbs were of an easy gradient and the roads were marvelously traffic free and the scenery was stunning.

As we left town we saw signs indicating that the A708 to Selkirk was closed for road works.  Since we had the option fo going to either Selkirk or Innerleithan we hoped that the road to Innerleithan would still be open.  The A708 is an A road in name only.  In fact, it is marked as "Not suitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles" .  There was a stiff pull out of Moffat followed by a downhill where the road was most definitely closed.  A quick chat to the staff at the closure assured us that we would be allowed through on our bicycles.  "Don't ride too fast" was the instruction.  In our dreams !

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We rode upwards through a beautiful valley and the road was all our own.  Not a car in sight.

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We arrived at The Old Mare's Tail, a beautiful waterfall where the road was once again open to traffic but still we enjoyed very quiet roads and only had sure-footed sheep on the hillsides to keep us company.  At the twenty kilometer mark we reached the neck of the pass, crossed into the Scottish Borders and started to descend gradually to St Mary's Loch.

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After Yarrow the traffic picked up a bit but today's was still one of the most enjoyable rides we have had on this trip.

We got to Selkirk and headed to the campsite indicated by Google.  It was rather disappointing, situated on the side of the town's fitness center and was in rather poor shape.  It was even more disappointing to be told that the campsite wasn't currently operational because they were "updating their terms and conditions".  However, they would allow us to spend the night given that we had arrived by bicycle. 

I left Leigh at the "campsite" and headed up the hill into Selkirk to buy groceries, and quite a hill it was.  When I got to the till to pay I discovered I had left my wallet behind with Leigh.  So it was back down the hill and back up it again for no other reason than my own stupidity.

We really didn't feel like eating supper in the dreary environment next to the fitness center so we cycled a bit down the river and found a nice place to enjoy our evening drink and eat our supper.  We even considered camping there for the night but it was pretty busy with towns folk out on their evening walks.  So we ended up back at the fitness center and will head northwards to Lauder tomorrow morning.

Today's ride: 64 km (40 miles)
Total: 1,785 km (1,108 miles)

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