Find your ideal cycling holiday
23rd August 2020 - 30th August 2020 (8 days)
The Scottish Borders is an attractive, unspoilt corner of Britain, with landscapes ranging from rounded heather-clad hills to rich rolling farmland dotted with abbeys and attractive small towns. This Border Reiver country was ravaged in the past by the raids and skirmishes between the English and the Scots, and the local tradition of sturdy defence is commemorated each year by the symbolic patrolling of town boundaries in the ‘Common Ridings’ (albeit on horseback!). While not following in their tracks, this tour will be making full use of the area's excellent network of lightly used minor roads, which makes the area a paradise for cyclists. The daily rides will lead to varied destinations, from market towns like Melrose, Jedburgh and Kelso to the Tweed valley, Ettrickdale and the Cheviot foothills. Although there are frequent hills, each day's ride allows plenty of time to enjoy pristine landscapes, superb views and excellent cafes.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Tony Gore
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Centre-based
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03491
Sunday 23rd August
Arrive at the Mansfield House Hotel in Hawick from 4pm onwards. Meet in the bar between 7 and 7:30pm for introductions and evening meal. Stay 7 nights. Meals: D
Monday 24th August
Circular day rides to the Melrose area. Choice of shorter (S), medium (M) and longer (L) routes available. Meals: B D
Tuesday 25th August
Circular day rides to the Kelso area. Choice of shorter (S), medium (M) and longer (L) routes available. Meals: B D
Wednesday 26th August
Circular day rides to the Newcastleton/Langholm area. Choice of shorter (S), medium (M) and longer (L) routes available. Possible 80+ mile ride to Eskdalemuir and the Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery. Meals: B D
Thursday 27th August
Circular day rides to the Roxburgh/Jedburgh area. Choice of shorter (S), medium (M) and longer (L) routes available. Meals: B D
Friday 28th August
Circular day ride to the Ettrickdale/St Mary's Loch area. Choice of shorter (S), medium (M) and longer (L) routes available. Meals: B D
Saturday 29th August
Circular day rides through the Cheviot foothills. Choice of shorter (S), medium (M) and longer (L) routes available. Meals: B D
Sunday 30th August
Tour finishes after breakfast. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
The order in which the daily rides are undertaken may be altered, according to weather conditions, changes in cafe opening hours and the wishes of participants.
Accommodation & Meals
This centre-based holiday stays at the Mansfield House Hotel (4-star Tourist Board graded country house hotel) on the outskirts of Hawick, sharing rooms with breakfast and dinner provided.
As this is a centre-based holiday, no vehicle support is provided.
Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your Cycling UK membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.
The price of £650 is based on a minimum number of 9 people taking part in the holiday. If there are insufficient bookings by 14th June 2020, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- 7 nights hotel, sharing room
- 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from the hotel in Hawick
- Drinks with dinner
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance (optional)
- Single occupancy supplement (£140, subject to availability)
A deposit of £100 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £550 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 14th June 2020.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 14th June 2020
From 14th June 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
The Scottish Borders is often described as "the UK's cycling paradise", owing to its extensive network of quiet country roads traversing varied landscapes and affording stunning long distance views. The daily rides on this tour will make full use of this network, leading to varied destinations, from market towns like Melrose, Jedburgh and Kelso to the Tweed valley, Ettrickdale and the Cheviot foothills. By and large this is a hilly area, and each day’s ride inevitably involves frequent climbing and descending. However, the routes have been designed to avoid the steepest grades, while taking in the best views.
Rides & Rest Days
This will be the 19th year that this tour has run, so the daily routes on offer are now well tried and tested. Each day there will be a choice of rides, grouped into shorter (20 to 25 miles), medium (40 to 50 miles) and longer (60 to 70 miles) routes. The 'moderate' difficulty grading of the holiday applies to the shorter and medium rides; as many of the longer rides involve over 1,000 metres of ascent, they should be considered as 'challenging'.
The routes are recommended rather than set in stone; short cuts can be taken to suit abilities, or in response to adverse weather conditions; or outward and return legs of different routes can be combined. If the weather is kind, those who like to push themselves will be able to do the classic 80+ mile circuit via Eskdale and the Samye Ling Tibetan monastery.
The general routine will be to depart at around 9:30am each morning. The Tour Manager will usually look after the longer rides, and the deputy will marshal the medium rides. The shorter rides are designed to be self-led. For the led rides, the plan will be to ride together like a regular CTC group, with regrouping as required at junctions and viewpoints. All routes are designed to take in the main beauty spots and visitor attractions, but are mainly structured around at least two refreshment stops.
Accommodation & Meals
The Hotel is situated in its own grounds on the western edge of Hawick (OS Grid Reference NT 519 155). It has a growing reputation for good food, much of it sourced locally, and prepared in a style described as 'Scottish Italian Fusion'. It is owned and run by hosts who offer a warm welcome and do their best to meet the needs of their guests.
Hawick can be reached from both north and south by following the A7 from Edinburgh or Carlisle respectively. The hotel itself is on the eastern fringe of the town, just off the A698 road towards Denholm, Kelso and Berwick upon Tweed. Car parking is available to the front of the hotel and along the drive leading up to it.
For those who prefer to travel by train the nearest railway station is at Tweedbank, around 20 miles away. This is served by the Borders Railway from Edinburgh, with services departing from Waverley station at half hourly intervals (hourly on Sundays), and the journey taking 55 minutes. Cycles are carried free of charge, without the need for reservation, subject to sufficient space being available. Please note that these trains can be extremely busy, so you might have to wait for a later service to ensure your bike can be carried.
Edinburgh itself is served by regular train services along both the East and West Coast main lines, from London Kings Cross and Euston terminals respectively, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and the North West. There are also connections to other parts of England, Wales and rest of Scotland. Many of these require advance reservations for cycle carriage.
From the south it is also possible to travel to Berwick-upon-Tweed (East Coast) or Carlisle (West Coast), and then cycle the 45 miles over to Hawick. Details of recommended cycle routes from Tweedbank, Berwick or Carlisle can be provided on request.
The maximum number of participants will be 15 excluding the Tour Managers.
Weather & Clothing
While the tour will be taking place in the height of summer, remember that Scotland has an unenviable reputation in terms of holiday weather. Previous tours have generally enjoyed fine conditions, with usually just one day with persistent rain and others alternating between sunny and changeable. The best approach is to plan for a similar unpredictable mixture in 2020. On the whole temperatures should be pleasant, but even in summer it can feel cold on the bike in rainy conditions, so make sure you have an effective set of waterproofs with you, as well as gloves and an appropriate base layer to keep yourself warm.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. Given the poor state of repair of some of the roads, it is advisable to fit new hardwearing touring tyres, of at least 28mm, rather than racing slicks. As there are some steep hills in the area, a bottom gear of no larger than 25 inches is recommended. If you are unsure about this, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Bikes should be fitted with mudguards, to avoid spraying others in the group, and have racks to secure panniers, saddlebags or day packs. Participants will be expected to carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. Advice on what spares and tools you should bring will be provided in the final tour information bulletin.
Maps & Guides
Although detailed route cards (and a full set of GPS files) will be provided, you should also bring a suitable map with you in case you lose your way or become separated from the group. The Nicolson 1:100,000 Tourist Map Scottish Borders (£4.99), available online direct from the publishers (https://www.nicolsondigital.com/tourist-mapping/), covers the area visited.
Alternatively you could detach the relevant pages from a standard road atlas. If you require more detail, the OS 1:50,000 Landranger series Nos. 73 (Peebles, Galashiels and Selkirk), 74 (Kelso and Coldstream), 79 (Hawick and Eskdale) and 80 (Cheviot Hills and Kielder Water) are the best choice. However, Hawick is to be found near to where these four sheets intersect, so they can be a little unwieldy for daily route-finding.