Bowhill House

Bowhill

Route: Bowhill House, Selkirk

Area: Scottish Borders

Date of walk: 2nd May 2018

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 2.5 miles

Ascent: 200 feet

Weather: Overcast

Bowhill is a large country estate in the Scottish Borders, and its magnificent house, centred at its heart, is home to Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. Most of the lands around Bowhill were once part of the vast Ettrick Forest, much of which was acquired between 1708 and 1726. There is an abundance of paths and tracks throughout the estate, and this makes it a good destination for walkers. On arrival at the entrance we were given a leaflet with descriptions of 4 waymarked trails. We were on our way home after a short break in the area and only had time for the short Lochs Walk, which is the most popular walk on the estate

After leaving the courtyard we joined a woodland path leading us around the edge of the Upper Loch. The loch was excavated following a suggestion by Sir Walter Scott, who thought that the house would be well reflected by the addition of a loch. Further along the path, which took us past some ancient specimen trees, there was a wonderful view back to the House

We kept a sharp lookout for red squirrels which are known to inhabit the estate but were out of luck today. We descended to the Lower Loch and followed the path around it. It was a thrill to see an otter in the distance, too far away for a decent photo unfortunately

We made our way back uphill to the House, reflecting on a walk that was full of interest and beauty despite the rather indifferent weather

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