Scottish National Trail: Harestanes to Melrose

Follow an Old Roman Road, then paths along the meandering River Tweed and through St Boswells village, then between the Eildon Hills to finish near the stately Melrose Abbey.

Hiking Moderate

24 km
526 m
497 m
5-6 hrs
Low Point
57 m
High Point
314 m
Scottish National Trail: Harestanes to Melrose Map

Continuing to follow cross-shaped markers for St. Cuthbert’s Way, the SNT goes through forestry and farmland on a dirt footpath that is mostly flat. This is the route of a Roman Road, which was key for economic and political interaction for hundreds of years. Look for informational signage and historical markers along the way.


A minor road leads to the village of Maxton, with its old stone church on a low hill. A footpath resumes beyond the church and leads down through a woodland to the River Tweed, passing a historic pump house set into the grassy hill. The path continues to trace the river around a bend, through pasture and some forestry along the banks. It eventually comes to St Boswells, a larger village with shops and lodging, and follows the main street through town.

On the other side of St Boswells, a path meanders beside the water for a bit farther, then takes a brief climb away from the river. A combination of footpaths, minor roads, and town roads lead through more forestry and farmland plus a few settlements en route to Eildon Hills.

The hills bring some of the finest landscape views yet. As the footpath climbs to a saddle between summits, it goes through a dense wood with tall pines, then emerges to heather and scattered trees higher on the hill. You may fancy a side trip up one of the hills for an even better vantage, but the SNT continues over the saddle, where the view is still quite grand, and drops down toward Melrose.

Eildon Hills are a scenic place to wild camp, but they're waterless and exposed to wind. Alternatively, Melrose has pubs and various accommodations. There’s also the famously picturesque Melrose Abbey, which is certainly worth a tour if you have the time.




Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December


  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation