The Tweed Valley is renowned for having some of the best mountain biking anywhere in the world, but there are also plenty of adventures to be enjoyed out of the saddle … with more and more opportunities opening up every year it seems. It’s little wonder that the area has spawned a variety of adventure events, from the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival at the Eastgate Theatre to the Mighty Deerstalker and the brand new Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run in October.
There are miles of trails to explore – from old drove roads to forest tracks – with plenty of opportunities for overnight wild camps in secluded spots. Just be sure to leave your site even tidier than you found it so that others can also enjoy the pristine landscape all around.
When water levels are right, the River Tweed can provide excellent canoe and kayak touring, with the river runnable from just above Peebles all the way to Berwick-upon-Tweed. It’s a journey that would take three/four days – perhaps camping along the way – or else can easily be broken up into bite-size sections. The Tweed offers mainly grade II water, with some grade III sections to spice things up here and there. Bring your own craft, or look for outdoor activity companies such as Epic Adventures that provide guided tours of the river.
If rivers are not your thing, then how about going vertical? Built on a hillside within Glentress Forest, the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure course is one of the best around with a series of challenging obstacles – from rope bridges to Tarzan swings and crossings – some jaw dropping exposure and a seriously high (and looong!) zip wire at the end. It’s a huge amount of fun and, for many, a real achievement to get around the course (minimum age 10 and at least 1.4m/4ft 7in tall).
But if you want to do something REALLY different, we’d heartily recommend you have a shot of the electric bikes available from E-Motion Bikes. The bikes look much like regular hybrid bikes, but with an electric motor built into the rear hub. The bikes are ‘pedal-assist’, which means the motor only kicks in to give riders a helping hand when their speed drops off – great for covering longer distances without having to puff up the hills.
Another option is to make your way to Velvet Hall Alpacas where you can either just meet and learn more about these fabulous animals or go on a mini-trek with them (great for kids!). As well as being a lot of fun, the treks also provide fabulous views of the wider Tweed Valley.