Heritage Path of the month

Herring Road is our Heritage Path of the month for September 2022, click here to view the details

More about Herring Road

From Dunbar, a direct route by road runs by Spott and Spott Mill to Halls (NT653727). However, if walking or cycling, the Spott Road’s roundabout junction with the A1 is best avoided. Instead, head southeast out of Dunbar on the A1087. At Broxburn a right turn should be made to pick up a road that used to link to the A1. Look out for a track on the left running along the north side of the railway. Following this route southeast, it drops down steps to the Brox Burn and passes under both the railway and the A1. The onward route is a lovely track through woodland and along field edges which contours round the northwest side of Doon Hill heading towards Spott House. Before reaching the big house, a track heads northwest via Doon to drop down to the Spott Burn and the road to Spott, thus picking up the road route to Halls.

From Halls, continue south-southeast in the direction of Hartside. At the roadend cattlegrid (NT654722), a signposted track heads east for 300m before passing through a gate then heading south uphill on a good track. At NT658715, where the track turns east below Easter Hartside Edge, instead pass through a kissing gate (as of November 2016 awaiting repair) and head south more steeply uphill. At NT657708, the Herring Road is rejoined by the good track which has ascended the Edge, but shortly diverges again from this more dominant line (the old right of way to Friardykes and Beltondod) and instead heads south-southwest entering Crystal Rig windfarm at NT654702. Here a notice board shows the relationship between windfarm tracks and the pre-existing rights of way. Keep on the same general alignment to cross the upper reaches of Mossy Burn and reach the first windfarm access track. From here a combination of ScotWays markerposts and additional windfarm signposts attempt to aid navigation through the windfarm site*. Descend Spartleton Edge on its west side to reach the Whiteadder Water, 1km south of Johnscleugh.
Continue by road south-southeast to the Whiteadder Reservoir, round its western end to Penshiel and south by a track to cross the Longformacus road. From here, the promoted Herring Road route proceeds by a right of way on the east side of Killpallet Burn, passes through the march fence (in May 2017, the gate was reported as nailed shut, now awaiting resolution) and descends to Dye Cottage. After crossing the Dye Water, go south to NT647562 to follow the Southern Upland Way (passing Twinlaw Cairns) to Braidshawrig.
From Braidshawrig the direct and shortest route to Lauder is by an old track going southwest across the moor on the west side of Blythe Water. In 2km, the SUW (which takes a different route from Braidshawrig) is rejoined. The waymarked SUW route (which in parts follows the right of way) goes southwest to the plantation ahead where the wall at the edge of the wood is followed to its south end. Turn right after a stile to enter the wood and take the first turning left down to Wanton Walls. Continue down to cross the A697 and follow the waymarked route through a wood and over the Leader Water by Thirlestane Castle to Lauder.

*It may be clear from the above that the Herring Road passes through Crystal Rig windfarm and has become more difficult to follow as a result. There are plans to improve the signage, but if you’d like a general idea of what to expect at present, read Dixe Wills’ description of he and his friend’s wild camping trip travelling the entire route from Dunbar to Lauder in January 2015. If you’re considering cycling the Herring Road, we suggest MTB Innerwick Stravaiger’s excellent blog of his journey from Lauder to Dunbar in July 2014.

OS Landranger 67 (Duns, Dunbar & Eyemouth) & 73 (Peebles, Galashiels & surrounding area)

More about Heritage Path

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