Rosehips on the circular walk from Roxburgh

Circular Walk from Roxburgh – a forager’s paradise

This circular walk from Roxburgh is relatively short, but perfectly formed. Walking it on a late summer/early autumn day we could only marvel at the season’s abundance: a forager’s paradise. Luckily, I just happened to have some foraging bags in my rucksack.

Roxburgh Viaduct

Roxburgh Viaduct has to be one of the most stunning of the many viaducts in the area and this walk starts from a small car park just below one of the arches on the south side. You can access the carpark by turning off the A698 at Heiton, at the sign to the Roxburgh Schloss Hotel and following the road until you get to the Viaduct. Once out of the car take the waymarked footpath over the footbridge which is alongside the viaduct. This bridge is the turning point of the Poacher’s Run, which you can read about here.

We always pause to look at the water when crossing bridges on our walks – today we were rewarded by watching a very hard-working toad swimming across the River Teviot and scrambling into the reeds. If architecture is more your thing, stop to admire the stonemasonry on the viaduct which allows it to have a very elegant curve. Once across the footbridge, take the path straight ahead up a slight hill which takes you to the village of Roxburgh. Turn left at the road. There is a lovely sitting area to your right which I took advantage of last time I was this way on the Borders Abbey Way. If you turn immediately left opposite these seats it takes you on a brief, but worthwhile detour to the top of the viaduct. To continue on this circular route from Roxburgh you need to take a short, steep incline onto the old railway line, following the sign saying Jedburgh Line.

Old Railway Line

 I am a big fan of walking on old railway lines because a) they are easy walking and b) there is usually plenty of scrubby areas on either side, making them very good for wildlife and wildflowers. This section certainly did not disappoint. As you looked along the path there was a definite red tinge to the foliage: abundant hawthorn and rosehips festooning the route, ready for harvesting in a couple of weeks. Then there were bushes dripping with elderberries (unfortunately no room in our freezer) and then the best bramble patch we have come across since living in the Borders. Peter and I both have fond memories of brambling when we were children – a welcome into autumn. We have retained our love of picking blackberries ever since and thoroughly enjoyed picking some very ripe beauties to take home and make into crumbles for the winter.

After we had picked sufficient we had made no impact on the  amount of berries available and as we continued the walk there were still more luscious bushes laden with brambles. We moved on, enjoying seeing speckled wood butterflies, which seem to love this type of habitat, and some red admirals. We kept on the old railway line until a sign going down some steps indicating the Borders Abbey Way.

River Teviot Swim Spot

The path now takes you back down to the river through a field and gives some lovely vistas out across the water. You then just follow the path downstream, at one point there is a choice of paths, take the right hand one through a gate to keep by the river. Among the thickets of brambles there were also a lot of Himalayan balsam, I know it is invasive, but it looked very pretty and the bees were loving it. If you can be bothered you can also forage the seeds by putting a bag over the seedheads and cutting off the stem – I have done it, but it is very fiddly. Add the seeds to your breakfast cereal or to biscuits for a bit of added crunch.

There is a very well placed bench along this stretch, perfect for a picnic or a brew up and we spent some time there just enjoying the late summer sun and watching a dragonfly.

The swim spot along this route is quite obvious as there is a shingle beach for you to dump your bags and get changed. This was the third time we had been to this particular spot this year, back in July it had been a family trip with the paddleboard too. The water level was quite a bit higher than last time, but it was still a lovely swim and VERY refreshing – I still feel invigorated from it as I write!

After leaving this delightful swim spot keep on walking downstream and you soon get views of the viaduct ahead of you. This time of year is not brilliant for bird watching, but look out for swans, herons, moorhens and mallards along this stretch. Once you get to the Viaduct, turn right over the footbridge and back to the car park.

This walk is approximately 3 miles. If you want a longer circular route, you could easily tag it on to the circular walk from Kelso which I describe here, giving you event more old railway and riverside.


Under the arches of the Roxburgh Viaduct
Under the arches of the Roxburgh Viaduct
The old Jedburgh railway line
Path along the old railway line
River Teviot
The River Teviot
Roxburgh viaduct in the distance
Roxburgh Viaduct in the distance
View across the River Teviot near Roxburgh
Just downstream from the swim spot

Date Walked: 3rd Sept. 2023

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy, but steps and stiles included





  • Great tit
  • Speckled wood butterfly
  • Red admiral butterfly
  • Rosehips
  • Blackberries
  • Heron
  • Dragonflies
  • Himalayan Balsam