Walking festival to be a cross-border affair

Coldstream is gearing itself up to be the focal point for walkers from Sunday, as it hosts the 22nd Scottish Borders Walking Festival.

Friday, 2nd September 2016, 10:13 am
Coldstream is hosting this year's Scottish Borders Walking Festival

Although marketed as a week-long celebration of walking and the Borders countryside, it will stray into Northumberland for the first time – as many a Border reiver did in the past!

The anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, fought on September 9, 1513, falls within the festival and is very much the focus for the Friday’s walks – one going from Coldstream to Flodden via Moneylaws, another going from Flodden to Coldstream via Pallinsburn and a third guided walk around the battlefield itself.

Gerald Tait, from Coldstream Community Trust, said: “We currently have 560 individual bookings, across 31 walks, involving around 160 walkers with the majority booking more than three walks each.

“This exceeds previous years by some margin and we are fairly sure that it’s because walkers haven’t been to a walking festival organised by Coldstream before and the nature of it being the first cross­-border event. 3,000 glossy brochures delivered to crucial UK places where walkers would visit, as well as the festival website and council facebook appear to have been this year’s attractions.

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“Some walks are coastal while others are heathland, moorland, woodland or riverside.

The opening ceremony of the walking festival, takes place in Coldstream Community Centre on Saturday, at 7.30pm.

For those with enough energy left after their day’s walk, a full programme of evening entertainment in Coldstream Community Centre has also been organised including a quiz, concert, ceilidh and a talk on the history of the area.

Cllr Ron Smith, of Scottish Borders Council, said: “Now in its 22nd year, the Scottish Borders Walking Festival retains its popularity with walkers from across the UK enjoying the Borders’ landscape. Its reputation is highlighted by the increase in bookings this year.

“This year’s festival has been able to offer the opportunity to tackle St Cuthbert’s Way over six days, which was sold out almost four months before the event. Despite the high numbers, some other routes are not yet fully booked.

To sign up for one of the walks, visit www.borderswalking.com