The John Buchan Way


The John Buchan Way celebrates Buchan’s love of the Borders in a walk from Peebles to Broughton.  Buchan’s brother and sister settled in Peebles.  The walk ends in Broughton, the home of John Buchan’s mother’s family, the Mastertons.  Buchan walked these hills as a boy and returned to walk them throughout his life.

The Walk

The route is 22 kms (13 miles) in length, with a total climb of about 800 metres. It’s  a day’s walk for strong walkers, but you can split it into two stages: Peebles to Stobo and Stobo to Broughton. The MacEwan 91 bus to Peebles and Broughton stops at Stobo, the half way point. It’s wise to wear full hill walking gear as parts of the walk are quite exposed.

The walk offers the opportunity to view Stobo Kirk, the prehistoric forts on Cademuir Hill, Neidpath Castle, The Hillhouse Gallery (located in the former John Buchan Centre),  and Dawyck Gardens,  home to the national tree collection.  Once you get to Broughton stop in  the famous Laurel Bank Tearoom, Bistro & Bar in and treat yourself to a well earned pint of locally brewed Broughton Ales.  Below we’ve picked out 3 of our favourite spots for you to visit along the way.

Stobo Kirk

According to tradition, Stobo Kirk stands on the site of an even older foundation associated with St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo).  A stained glass window depicts St Mungo baptising Merlin the magician.. The kirk is Norman in layout and may date from as early as 1120.  It was the most important church in upper Tweeddale for many centuries.

Cademuir Forts

its wise to Hilltops were natural places for fortification and security in prehistoric times, and Cademuir has two impressive forts. The main fort on the upper part of the hill covers over 2ha.  The fort is surrounded by ramparts, and there’s evidence of at least 35 small circular dwellings.  At the south west end of the summit there is a  second fort.  The fort had a stone wall, remains of which are still visible, and an additional defence in the form of chevaux de frise.  These are large, sharp projecting stones set firmly into the turf – at least 100 of them – and designed to halt charging enemies.

Dawyck Gardens

Small waterfall at Dawyck Gardens

Photo Credit: Bob Kelpie

Dawyck is truly one of the world’s finest arboreta. Seasonal displays of abundant exotic and native plants provide a breathtaking backdrop of colour throughout the year. The Garden also offers an award-winning visitor centre.

Open daily 1 February to 30 November from 10am to 4pm/5pm/6pm (check website for details)

Admission: Adults £6.50 | Concessions £5.50 | Children Free | Members Free

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