Adventure on Wheels are providers of bespoke Car, Car & Trailer, Motorcycle training, and Motorcycle tours at their best throughout Scotland, Ireland and Spain
Welcome to Border Reiver Country!
The moorlands and valleys of the south of Scotland a living legacy of a turbulent, passionate past on the Scottish/English divide.
And Great Biking roads
This is a combination of six of our very popular Border tours,
For full details of the six tours, please use the links to each individual page.
This six day tour is a unique opportunity to discover what the south of Scotland offers the biking fraternity. It begins and ends each day at our head office in Melrose, covering the four main points of a compass, we will ride the "Marches" taking time to stop and enjoy several points of interest around the Lowlands of Scotland. The theme of this tour is based on the areas history during the 13th to 17th century but you do not need to be a "historian" to enjoy the routs. The road classifications are A' B' and C' (all tarmac) with no duel carriageway or motorway, just great entertaining roads. With any border, there are problems - and so it was with this one. This area became a battleground. To survive families started to raid and steal.
From the 13th Century through to the beginning of the 17th, the border lands between England and Scotland were home to the Reivers, lawless gangs who survived by plundering livestock, but who also engaged in other practises such as kidnapping and racketeering.
Centuries of warfare between the two countries had created a
lawless society where people just tried to survive. Riders, raiders, guerrilla
fighters, gangsters – the border Reivers gave the words ‘bereaved’ and
‘blackmail’ to the English language.
In the 16th century, the English/Scottish border was divided into six areas called Marches. Each March had its own Warden, whose job was to keep law and order for his respective King. It meant maintaining a small army and sometimes a Warden found it so expensive he also had to take to reiving to pay for it.
Thankfully today’s Border is much more peaceful and becoming more popular for its tranquillity and great biking roads rather than warfare.
The Reivers Run 1000 miles over six days
Day 1: The East March,
The East March 130 miles approx: We start (and finish) our day at Melrose, riding to the east coast, many of the roads are quite and scenic, taking in rural towns and villages, including Kelso, Duns, Abbey St Bathans and on towards Eyemouth and Lauder
Although the mileage for this day is not high the roads are a good introduction to what you should expect during the rest of the tour with a great deal to see. Starting with Scotts view A spectacular vantage point from Bemersyde Hill, high above the River Tweed. The view, which looks west towards the three main peaks of the Eildon Hills, was much loved by the author Sir Walter Scott, so much so that his hearse was drawn up to the view prior to his funeral. He portrayed the Reivers in a romantic light and as brave, noble and honourable. However, as a keen historian of the Scottish borders, it is likely that he would have known that the Reivers lived in harsh, unforgiving conditions and were undoubtedly courageous, but also ruthless and at times cruel.
Day 2: The "H" Run,
The "H" Run (The South Middle March) 200 Miles Approx: This trip is a very full day tour crossing the Border into Northumberland and Cumbria giving us panoramic hilltop views of the Borders and the north of England, running the vigorously defended Ddebatable Lands and Border Marches, scenes of bloody clan warfare.
Starting from our head office in Melrose we head to Hawick, the first of our "H" stops and the largest town in the Borders, famous for its woolen and cashmere products. Hawick is also the home of museums to the memories of the late Steve Hislop and Jimmie Guthrie, two famous motorcyclists. This part of our jurney is easy riding but as the rout matures it becomes much more demanding, climaxing at Hartside with the option of a easy fast ride home.
We leave the town heading for Hermitage Castle, the second of our "H" stops, guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain and the Strength of Liddesdale. Built around 1240 by Nicholas de Soulis.
One of the occupants' was James Hepburn, 1st Duke of Orkney (c. 1534 – 14 April 1578), better known by his inherited title as 4th Earl of Bothwell, was hereditary Lord High Admiral of Scotland. He is best known for his association with and subsequent marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, as her third husband.
After a short break for a cupa and a few biscuits just to keep us going till lunch at Hartside, (Tom always caries a hot flask and biscuits for everyone to share) we continue our journey south to Newcastleton. It is so called after the profusion of castles and peel-towers, mostly in the Armstrong or Elliott possession that thronged this wild and strife-ridden stretch of the Border.
As we continue south for our third "H" stop, Hartside Cafe (the highest sitting cafe in England) on the top of Hartside summit 580 meters', we find even more opportunities for taking photos and the chance to meet more bikers, the cafe is one of Britain's many "Bikers meets" locations. After lunch we make our way to Carlisle, paying a visit to the fourth and final "H" stop, the Honda Carlisle bike shop. The final stage of this tour is the home run to Melrose, via Langholm "home of men" such as Hugh MacDiarmid, Sir Pulteney Malcolm, Sir John Malcolm, Thomas Telford and the Armstrong clan.
What a great day.
Day 3: The Borders Jacobite Run,
Originally owned by the kings of Scotland from at least 1107, it later became the home of the Stuart Earls of Traquair and is still lived in by their descendants.
Next stop St Marys Loch for refreshments at the Glen Cafe, a popular stop for motorcyclists. The Loch lies At the heart of the Yarrow Valley, with its sister the Loch of the Lowes. I once hade the grate privilege of living next to the Loch staying at Dryhope cottage next to the old Tower, Great days.
The area is rich in beauty and has a depth of history, the Border Reivers, literary giants such as James Hogg and Walter Scott.
After our refreshments we continue our journey east to the Border Line at "Carter barr"
Carter Bar was the location of Truce days, that were held between the Lord Wardens of the Marches of both countries to dispense cross border justice.
A great spot for taking photographs on the Scotland-England border.
The next part of the day takes us to Jedburgh, Like all Border towns, Jedburgh is steeped in a blooded history of tribal warfare and reiving between Scotland and England. The expression "Jeddart justice" or "Jethart Justice", is where a man was hanged first, and tried afterward. Jedburgh has several attractions within the town to spend time discovering such as Jedburgh Abbey, Jedburgh Castle Jail, Mary Queen of Scots House and several Woollen Mill shops. After Jedburgh it’s back to Melrose, home of Melrose Abbey the resting place of King Robert The Bruce's heart and "Abbotsford" the house of Sir Walter Scott.
Day 4: The Middle March
The Middle March 180 miles approx: Another very full day starting at Melrose, we're heading south to Langholm "home of men" such as Hugh MacDiarmid, Sir Pulteney Malcolm, Sir John Malcolm, Thomas Telford and the Armstrong clan, then north to the Samye Ling Buddhist Temple for refreshments and a leg stretch. The Temple is one of the largest outside Asia with a resident community numbering over 100. Located in a peaceful valley on the banks of the river Esk in Scotland, Kagyu Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to have been established in the West. It is a centre for wisdom and learning within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and is open to people of all faiths and none.
Our furthest point north will be Roslin, home of Roslin Castle and Roslin Chapel, recently highlighted by the film "The De Vinci Code" The last part of the day is down the best section of the A7 to Galashiels and finishing back at Melrose. The entire route has a great variation on the types of road, taking us down in to hidden valleys and up to summits with a few good sections to help hone your tight bends riding, and in places very demanding so Scan An Plan.
Day 5: The Northumberland Raid,
The Northumberland Raid (The South March)150 Miles Approx: Starting at Melrose we cross the Border into Northumberland giving us panoramic hilltop views of the Borders and North Northumberland.
From Melrosel we head to Selkirk, and on to Hawick, the largest town in the Borders, famous for its woollen and cashmere products.
We continue our Journey now heading for Kielder. Once at Kielder the ride is wide open and easy. At the time of construction in the early 1980s, Kielder Water was the largest manmade body of water in Europe. The surrounding forestation was, at the time of planting, the largest manmade commercial forest in Europe.
Following the River North Tyne and on to Otterburn. The next point of interest is Carter Bar and the border between England and Scotland. This is a must-see view to the north - the whole of the Scottish Borders is spread out before you. Magnificent photo opportunity!
Back on the road again we continue north to Jedburgh, If time permits, a stop could be made at Jedburgh for a browse and refreshments. Shortly after leaving Jedburgh, the route becomes more demanding on your planning skills, taking us to Morebattle and Yetholm then on to Kelso, then St Boswells, and back to Melrose.
Day 6: The Drumlanrig foray.
Drumlanrig Fory (The West March)190 Miles Approx: Starting at Melrose we travel westwards following some of the Borders' most meandering valleys and Loch's to the small beginnings of the River Tweed and on to Moffat home of the finest toffee. The roads on this rout are mostly A' class but with a few B' and C' class that are very entertaining! Our route west takes us to Drumlanrig Castle. Completed in 1689 now home of the Dukes of Buccleuch in the Dumfries and Galloway region. We return to the central Borders by Abington, Biggar, Peebles, passing Neidpath Castle built in the late 14th century, now home of the Earls of Wemyss and on to Galashiels, then back to Melrose.
General Information: The tour begins and ends each day at our head office in Melrose and covers the four main points of a compass from Melrose, taking time to stop and enjoy several points of interest around the Lowlands of Scotland. Any bike hire is normally sorted out on the Saturday with day 1 of the tour starting on the Sunday and finishing late afternoon on the Friday (subject to requirements') returning the hire bikes on the following Saturday morning (subject to requirements'). The theme of all our tours on Scotland's country roads is for a relaxed and unhurried trip, enjoying local scenery and popular historic sites. We try to run at a pace to suit all within the group but appreciate that some may wish to go faster than others and will endeavour to accommodate such riders on appropriate sections of the tour.
It should be noted that it is Tom's policy to avoid riding on motorways so please do not expect any! However, there are occasions when we have to be at a particular location at a specific time and therefore the planned route may be altered accordingly.
Prices: For individual or joint tours are available on enquiry; accommodation options and costs can also be made available on request, if required.
Dinning out: We are always happy to advise on where to dine and when at all possible we like to dine with the hole group.
Bike hire: For information on bike/equipment hire and our vehicle support service please refer to our webpage Bike and equipment hire etc.
Our "Reivers Run" tour can be incorporated into any of our Lowland, Irish and Highland routes.
The theme of all our tours is for a safe relaxed and unhurried exciting trip, taking in local scenery, points of interest and great twisty roads. We try to run at a pace to suit all within the group but appreciate that some may wish to go faster than others and will endeavour to accommodate such riders on appropriate sections of the tour.