Scottish Borders Walking festival kicks off

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Hundreds of walkers helped kick off this year’s annual walking festival on Saturday, now in its 20th year.

This year’s event is based in Jedburgh and Denholm and around 800 walkers have booked to take part in the festival this week.

Festival chairman, Charlie Young said: “The host towns of Jedburgh and Denholm have prepared 28 walks of differing grades and length to offer our guests.

“The theme of the week is following the footsteps of Romans and Reivers, and takes our visitors from the quiet broad-leaved valleys of the Rivers Rule and Jed to the wide open spaces of the Cheviots where the Kale water gathers in its tributaries. The popularity of the Cheviot trails is proving so successful that waiting lists have been taken, but we would advise booking on alternative walks to avoid disappointment.

“To enhance the social side of walking evening events are also included, from historical tours and presentations to pub quiz and folk nights with a ceilidh to round off the week.

SEStran is again sponsoring the festival as part of its commitment to encouraging sustainable forms of transportation; including walking, for public health and to reduce traffic congestion and car dependency. A number of the inter-community all-abilities routes have been specifically branded SEStran walks.

SEStran chairman, Councillor Russell Imrie said: “SEStran is proud to sponsor the Scottish Borders Walking Festival for the fourth consecutive year.

“It is Scotland’s longest-running annual walking event and certainly the biggest of its kind in the South East. It’s also one of the most popular, as the rate of sign-ups for the festival shows.”