When the Scottish Borders Tourist Board recently asked List readers about their favourite outdoor activities on a weekend break, getting on your bike was a firm favourite.
Whether it‘s a gentle cycle on one of the region's quiet roads or marked paths, a longer ride on one of a number of special routes. or a hair raising ride on some of the UK‘s best mountain biking terrain, the Scottish Borders is a biker's paradise.
And the most spectacular Autumn scenery for over a decade makes this the perfect time to pack your bags and head for Scotland‘s leading short break destination.
MOUNTAIN BIKING MAGIC
The Scottish Borders is fast gaining a reputation as one of the UK‘s top mountain biking regions. The forests of the newly created Tweed Valley Forest Park are ideal terrain for this increasingly popular activity and there are tracks and trails to suit anything from beginner level to high octane downhilling. The Red Bull Helter Skelter ride near lnnerleithen is one of the most exhilarating routes, while Glentress Forest is home to one of the Top Ten trails in the UK, as well as some much easier rides.
For more information, see www.visitscottishborderscom, www.forestry.gov.uk, www.redbullprojectdownhill.co.uk
GENTLY DOES IT
If a gentle bike ride in the countryside is more your style, then check out the Scottish Borders Tourist Board‘s free guide to cycling in the region. It contains a number of short to medium length rides that take in some of the most beautiful areas in the region - ideal if you haven‘t been on a bike for a while. Call 0870 608 0404 to order a copy or order online at: www.visitscottishborderscom
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
If you‘re looking for a longer, more challenging cycle, then the Borders has three long-distance waymarked routes:
- The Borderloop — a magnificent 250 mile route that links Peebles in the west with the North Sea coast at Eyemouth and takes in the region’s literary and artistic heritage.
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0 The Need Cycleway — An 89 mile route running through the heart of the Borders with the River Tweed as its linking theme.
0 The 4 Abbey Cycle Route — A 55 mile circular route linking the four main abbeys in the Scottish Borders — Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh.
More details available at wwwvisitscottishborders.com. The website also has details on bike hire and baggage transfer facilities.
WHERE TO STAY
From cosy self catering properties and B&B‘s to charming hotels, the Scottish Borders also has a range of accommodation options to suit every taste and pocket. Details of short break offers and last minute accommodation deals are available on-Iine at www.visitscottishborders.com or by calling 0870 608 0404.
Top short break offers this month include a two night stay for two people at The Tontine Hotel, in Peebles on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis for just 2180. Set in the centre of the town, the 200 year old coaching inn which over looks the River Tweed is an ideal base for exploring the region by bike — and is the perfect place to relax in front of an open fire after a day‘s cycling.
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