Discover a beautiful, peaceful and undiscovered part of Scotland
A good website to find out what events, attractions and activities are on for both children and adults is the Ettrick & Yarrow Valley site. It has listings of local activities including water sports, walking, cycling and fishing.
This website also gives details and maps of walks that start from your doorstep, ranging from gentle strolls to more substantial marked routes on a network of footpaths and bridleways around the area.
The Grey Mare’s Tail sits at the head of the Yarrow Valley. This spectacular 200ft waterfall is well worth a visit and you’ll drive along St Mary’s Loch to get there. Good footwear is needed if you intend to walk to the top of the waterfall. There are the most spectacular views and a lovely surprise at the top.
Glentress in the Tweed Valley (30 minutes stunning drive) offers numerous wildlife spotting opportunities on its many family friendly routes, including the Glen Trail with 100 year-old Douglas fir trees. Roe deer, squirrels and even buzzards can all be sighted here.
Alternatively explore the woodland trails and footpaths of Craik Forest situated in the heart of the Southern Uplands near to Hawick.
The beautiful valleys of Ettrick and Yarrow afford plenty of choice in all directions including the easy/moderate ‘Ettrickbridge Circular’ (4 miles) to the more challenging ‘Yarrowford Circular’ (10 miles) taking in the Three Brethren cairns where superb panoramic views can be enjoyed from the summit.
Other nearby trails include ‘The Loch’s Walk’ on Bowhill Estate (2 miles), the moderate ‘Duchess’s Drive’ (7 miles) or the strenuous ‘Ettrickhead Horseshoe’ (10 miles), which is a splendid high level walking experience.
Cycling & Mountain Biking
The Ettrickbridge and Yarrow Cycle Trail sits nearby – a scenic but hilly 19.5 mile loop using mostly quiet roads and forest paths – this offers spectacular views in reward for one or two leg-burning climbs!
Less demanding routes are within easy reach including the 7 mile Bowhill route, and 8.5 mile Ettrickfoot & Yair trail which offer relatively flat rides taking in forest paths and river courses.
For routes the whole family can enjoy, head to Bowhill Country Park just down the road. This has miles of tracks in a stunning woodland setting.
Also just 30 minutes from The Mill is the 2,500 acre mountain biking heaven at Glentress. This is the UK’s leading mountain biking centre. If you are of the active type this place is worth going to. You can hire bikes and venture off on loads of trails and challenging downhill runs. Also at Glentress is Go Ape the treetop forest adventure a fun day for the family. Check heights of families as there are restrictions.
Good value fishing is available on the Yarrow or Ettrick Water and the Tweed, described by Shooting Times & Country Magazine as, ‘one of the best-kept secrets in the fishing world,’ and there are a number of lochs and reservoirs for still water fishing. If you are looking for professional guidance / instruction for fly fishing, contact Tweed Guide.
The Woll in Ashkirk is a popular 18 hole course in super parkland just a ten minute drive away from The Mill, while the wider area offers a variety of other courses to suit all levels.
Bowhill Estate offers a wonderful range of family-friendly activities including an amazing outdoor playground and a new ranger-led holiday programme offering budding young adventurers hours of woodland fun. There’s also an opportunity to explore all that the wider estate has to offer including stunning gardens, the outstanding painting collection of Bowhill House, or simply some time outdoors enjoying the forest trails and wonderful wildlife of the area. A riding centre is also located nearby for forest and moorland treks on well-schooled horses.
St. Mary’s Loch is a stunning place to go and walk around or simply enjoy this relaxed spot to while away an afternoon and have a paddle. The views are stunning and the cafe that is open through the summer months sells food and ice creams. Stop off also at the Gordon Arms pub at the cross road 7 miles from the house. Lovely ales and good pub food.