The Route of the Abbeys, between Scotland and England

A cycling journey in the Scottish Borders region

Highlights

The lush green landscapes of the Tweed Valley
The four abbeys: Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Melrose
Holy Island and its monastery
Abbotsford Manor, former home of writer Walter Scott

A cycling trip in southern Scotland, between nature and culture

Located in the south of Scotland, on the border with England, you cycle through beautiful green hills, rich in a dense historical heritage that makes up the unique charm of the Scottish Borders.

The Scottish Borders may not be as famous as the Highlands, but it’s still a great destination for a cycling trip. This is rural Scotland, authentic and rich in history.

The region is famous for its abbeys, the four most emblematic of which – Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Melrose – line this route. These imposing and mysterious relics of the past add a dramatic dimension to the unique landscapes of the Borders. The castles and manor houses that dot the countryside complete the picture. Discover a remarkable historical and cultural heritage by bike.

From Berwick-upon-Tweed, a small coastal town in the north of England, you first make a detour to the south to admire Holy Island and its monastery, before heading into the Scottish countryside, following the River Tweed from east to west as far as Melrose. The Tweed Valley, with its rolling green countryside, picturesque villages and country lanes, is a cycling vacation paradise.

In this region, every pedal stroke is an encounter with history, every bend an immersion in the beauty of this unparalleled destination. This trip is a cycling holiday in the heart of an enchanting, authentic Scotland that you won’t soon forget!

Carte séjour Sur la route des abbayes, entre Ecosse et Angleterre
Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1

BERWICK-UPON-TWEED

Arrive on your own to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

This coastal town is the most northerly in England, situated 4km south of the Scottish border.

Saddling up

Bikes handed over and saddled up in the late afternoon with our local partner.

Day 2

BERWICK-UPON-TWEED, HOLY ISLAND LOOP 49km 420m Niveau Loisir

This loop takes you south along the English coast to the island of Lindisfarne, also known by the evocative name of “Holy Island”. When the tides are serene, take the road that leads you to this jewel of history. There, between sea and sky, you’ll discover a centuries-old monastery and Lindisfarne Castle, one of the most emblematic in the UK. But be sure to keep an eye on the tide times, or risk an island night!

  • For a few more km 91km Niveau Expert

    Head south to Bamburgh, to admire its impressive castle, which has stood guard over the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1400 years. It is one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK.

Day 3

From BERWICK-UPON-TWEED to KELSO 58km 500m Niveau Forme

Cruise along the River Tweed, leaving the gentle English countryside behind to welcome the Scottish lands! Today, your itinerary offers you the chance to explore two sumptuous stately homes, Paxton House and Manderston House, nestled in the green fabric of the countryside. You then follow the country lanes that stretch westwards, where each bend reveals a new chapter in this enchanting route to Kelso, where you set down your bikes for the night. Here you can discover Kelso Abbey, built in the 12th century by a community of monks from the Order of Tiron.

Day 4

KELSO, JEDBURGH LOOP 51km 520m Niveau Loisir

Today you follow the route to Jedburgh to visit its ancient abbey and museums. You have to climb a few hills, as you are on the edge of the Cheviot Mountains. But it’s well worth the effort, as Jedburgh Abbey, built in the 12th century, is without doubt the most beautiful abbey in Scotland! After visiting it and perhaps having lunch in a local pub, you head back east to Kelso.

Day 5

From KELSO to MELROSE 24km Niveau Facile

This is a day for contemplation, as the distance is short. You start your tour at Floors Castle, the country’s largest surviving castle and a true jewel of the Scottish Borders. Built in 1721 for the Duke of Roxburghe, this architectural masterpiece is surrounded by enchanting gardens and houses an impressive collection of furniture and tapestries. Then follow the winding course of the River Tweed, gliding gently back in time towards Melrose, passing Dryburgh Abbey.

Day 6

MELROSE, STOW LOOP 47km Niveau Loisir

We invite you to follow this elegant loop through the charming villages of Clovenfords and Stow, where the rolling countryside offers hills to climb and scenic treasures at every turn. Just outside Melrose, the magnificent manor house of Abbotsford House is an invitation to explore. This splendid manor house, once home to the famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, stands as a literary landmark in the heart of nature.

Day 7

MELROSE

End of your trip after breakfast.

Comfort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.


Starting from 1125€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.


Quote on request | Contact us

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.


Quote on request | Contact us

Price includes

  • Accommodation: 6 nights in a Double room
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer
  • Phone assistance 24/7
  • Application fee
  • Navigation application including GPS tracks
  • Additional services included:
    • Day 1 : Handing over the bikes and saddling up
  • Price does not include

    • bike rental (see option)
    • Breakfast on day 1
    • Lunches
    • Dinners not included in "Price includes"
    • The journey to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the first day
    • The journey from Melrose on the last day
    • Bicycle helmet not provided
    • Drinks, visits and other personal expenses

    A “homemade” tour by a local partner, specialist in Scotland:
    • Routes picked with the Abicyclette Voyages team for their tourist & cycling interests, completely identified, removed from trafic
    • Accommodation chosen for the quality of their welcome, atmosphere, services and gastronomy
    • A great flexibility of organization which adapts to your needs and desires: you leave on the date of your choice! We check the availability of accommodation to ensure your departure.

    Assistance close at hand :
    • Telephone assistance 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the ABICYCLETTE VOYAGES team
    • Local telephone assistance 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and public holidays
    • Luggage transfer service

    Simple route tracking:
    • An app to follow the route without ever having to look for your way (bike support provided), also including a roadbook to find all the useful addresses, recommended restaurants and tourist information.

     


    And also:
    • Confortable bike rental, ideal for this route on the banks of the Danube.
    • The option to subscribe to a cancellation & multi-risk insurance covering you in case of problems or the unexpected

    We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.


    Touring Bike

    • Scott, Sub Cross 40 or Sub Sport 30/20
    • Sub Cross aluminum frame
    • Front suspension: 63mm Suntour fork
    • Shimano 27-speed transmission
    • Shimano disc brakes

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 Thule 25 L waterproof bag,
    • 1 phone holder (1 for 2 bikes),
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 lock
    • 1 tool kit
    • 1 bottle cage
    • 1 pump

    *helmet not included

    Ebike

    • Scott E-Sub Tour 30/20 (or Bergamont)
    • Sub eRIDE aluminum frame
    • Bosch Performance motor, 500 Wh battery
    • Bluetooth connectivity, Over-the-Air updates
    • Front Suspension: Suntour 63mm fork
    • Shimano 9-speed transmission
    • Shimano disc brakes

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 Thule 25 L waterproof bag,
    • 1 phone holder (1 for 2 bikes),
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 lock
    • 1 tool kit
    • 1 bottle cage
    • 1 pump

    *helmet not included

    Getting here

    Departure city : BERWICK-UPON-TWEED

    Coming by car

    • at 12h from PARIS
    • at more than 16h from BORDEAUX
    • at 15h from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station - 7h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Edinburgh Airport
    • Newcastle International Airport

    Arrival city : MELROSE

    Coming by car

    • at 12h from PARIS
    • at more than 16h from BORDEAUX
    • at 16h from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Tweedbank station - 9h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Edinburgh Airport
    • Newcastle International Airport

    *Parking: Since many of our clients travel by train or plane, we do not include parking in our packages. In addition, many accommodations don’t have the capacity to park a vehicle for the duration of your cycling vacation. So if you’re planning to arrive by car, we suggest you check parking options when you make your reservation. If you reserve a parking space at the first or last accommodation of your stay, you must pay the accommodation provider on site.

    * Abicyclette Voyages accompanies you on demand, including transportation solutions.

    How to get back to the starting point

    • Return by car in 1h00 to your starting point
    • Private shuttle: see detailed fares or contact us

    Recommended equipment

    Bike

    • Hybrid Bike or Touring Bike or Gravel Bike
    • 18 to 30-speed transmission
    • 26- to 29-inch wheels
    • Tires: 35 to 42 section, reinforced against punctures
    • Disc brakes recommended
    • 2 bottle cages
    • Bell
    • Front and rear lighting

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (supplied with bike rental unless otherwise specified locally)
    • 1 bike mount for smartphone to use the mobile route planner application
    • Suitable cycling clothing:
      • bib, shorts or tights: elastic and breathable, to facilitate movement and wick away perspiration
      • Breathable T-shirts, synthetic or merino wool
      • Breathable windbreaker
    • Thermal or fleece jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 backpack or 1 or 2 carrier bags
    • 1 or 2 water bottles (supplied with bike rental in France)
    • 1 lock (supplied with bike rental)
    • Technical details, recommended by the team for optimum comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves or mittens, depending on season and destination
      • Padded bib (chamois)
      • High-visibility vest or fluorescent belt
      • Neck warmer and cap

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 inner tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Maintenance kit: rag, oil, brake pads

    Other

    • A suitcase for your belongings carried in the vehicle (limited to one per person)
    • Street clothes
    • 1 pair of evening shoes
    • Fleece jacket for the evening
    • Toiletry bag
    • Telephone and charger

    You migh also be interested in