A walk of about 3 miles up river from Peebles town, then back down the other side. The first part of the walk is wheelchair and disabled friendly. The upper part is not.
A walk along the river bank, initially through the town park, then through rougher paths with a bit of climbing involved. Peebles town has an excellent range of shops, cafes and pubs.
Peebles is about 15 miles south of Edinburgh, signposted from the bypass on the A703, or west of Galasheils, on the A72.
For SatNav, A postcode on Peebles high street is EH45 8AJ. There is a large car park at end of the high street by the swimming baths, and more parking down by the river.
You can see a map of the route here.
From the car park, head up river, along the north bank, or the side nearest the town centre. This part of the walk has a good path and goes through the town park. Cross a small foot bridge over a stream (the Eddleston Water) and keep going. At the end of the park the path narrows and climbs up a bit where the bank is rocky, then back down again and through a meadow by the river, along to Neidpath Castle. Follow the river round past the castle until you see an old railway bridge.
Take the steps up to the bridge and cross the river Tweed here. Just past the bridge the railway line disappears into a disused tunnel. You can keep to the left and follow the river bank down river, or take the steep path up the hill and through the trees to cut off the river loop. Now follow the river back to Peebles town. You have two options to cross back to your car, a white footbridge will take you back to the park, or if you keep on going, then there is another footbridge further down.
The name Peebles probably comes from an old British name meaning 'the place where tents are camped'. Peebles was created a Royal Burgh by king William I of Scotland, and featured in the wars of independence and like many border towns, suffered during Henry VIII's rough wooing.
Neidpath Castle was built in the 14th century by Sir William de Haya, Sheriff of Peebles. The Hays were royalists in the English Civil war, and so the castle was beseiged by the Parliamentarians. Neidpath has the distiction of withstanding Cromwell's forces longer than any other castle south of the Forth. However, it eventiually capitulated, after Cromwell's cannons had caused much damage to the castle.
Neidpath is said to be haunted by the ghost of Jean Douglas, the Maid of Neidpath, who died of a broken heart having been told by her father that she could not marry the son of castle's laird. She was the youngest daughter of William Douglas, Earl of March and while she was madly in love with the son, he was considered below her station. Apparently, she appears wearing a full-length brown dress with a large white collar. Neidpath would certainly make an excellent setting for an episode of 'Most Haunted'.
Today, it is privately owned by the Earl of Wemyss but is sometimes open to the public, and it can be hired for weddings.
The old railway line ran from Peebles to Symington through Biggar. The old trackway continues westward beyond the bridge and suggests there could be a decent walk there. One for the future. It does seem a bit strange that the builders went to the expense of boring a tunnel through to Peebles when they could have just ran the line by the river. It turns out that the then owner of Neidpath, Lord Elgin, was not happy about a railway running past his castle and insisted that the railway was built through a tunnel on his property.
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