Rating out of 5: 4
This route truly is one of a kind and leaves me with mixed thoughts and unsure about how I truly feel about it. For one it was a challenge and had me on my knees in places, but on the other hand the views were great and I didn’t regret a single footstep I took on the route. Like already mentioned on Walkhighlands you will find that especially the bit down towards Walkerburn is very steep and here you have to watch your feet very carefully to not just slip and slide down the hill on your backside (which given the stones etc. lying around would be more than just a pain in the backside; trust me I was tempted to do it).
I think to go with a 4 out of 5 rating for this route does do it justice with amazing views all the way over to Fife and the Lomond Hills once you reached the highest point of the walk, Windlestraw Law.
Along the way you will pass old stone walls as well as many secluded areas and with this walk not being busy at all you can feel very secluded and if you are the only person in the whole world, in a good way, since it is only for moments and lets you be yourself. Not many people seem to head up to the Windlestraw Law, especially not on the route I am referring to, since it is very long and climbs a couple of hills on the way (which unfortunately are not listed) before reaching the highest of the Moorfoots.
The ground can be boggy but especially during the summer months when it has been dry for a while it is not too bad and if the distance is too far for you, you can simply adjust it by finishing the walk at Walkerburn and getting a bus back to Innerleithen from there. The last part of the route only follows the River Tweed and offers some amazing views but if you are getting exhausted it can seem like quite a long distance and that mentally can make things worse for you.
However, I did like most of the walk and it really challenged me with my fear of heights in places where the path just dropped down very steeply and you felt as if you had to climb up a cliff, the next hill up. What I found important is that you got lots of water with you on that walk (I needed more than I usually would and luckily, I always pack more than I need), also this is definitely a walk you shouldn’t attempt with your kids unless they are experienced with walking great distances and know how to navigate carefully on the side of a steep hill. Another important point is the choice of footwear… I changed my shoes for the way down because I underestimated it and let’s just say the trainers, I wore were not suitable for the route at that point in time! For the hill walk part of the walk you definitely need good and sturdy walking boots.
Nevertheless a very nice walk if fully equipped and prepared for it, deserving of the 4 stars for sure.