THIS column is dedicated to walking and ramblers' groups from across Scotland, where they can suggest the best routes to enjoy from their areas and further afield.

Hownam Circular, Scottish Borders

By Helen Rabour, Coldstream Ramblers

Start: Hownam Village Hall

Distance: 4.5 miles/7 kilometres

Time: 2.5 to 3 hours

Terrain: Mainly grassy tracks and paths, some boggy bits, slow inclines and only one short steeper ascent.

Level: Easy but rough walking.

Access: The walk is only accessible by car, parking at Hownam Village Hall. Refer to maps OS Landranger 80 or OS Explorer OL16. The OS map grid reference is NT779191.

What makes it special: Rolling hills, standing stones and, if you are lucky, wild goats.

THE Hownam Circular is a beautiful rural route through the Scottish Borders that has the feel of a hill walk without being too strenuous.

Among its many charms are old cultivation terraces and some ancient standing stones, as well as stunning views of the Cheviot Hills. Keep your eyes peeled: there is a possibility of seeing wild goats.

HeraldScotland: Farmland in the foothills of the Cheviots near the village of Hownam, Scottish Borders. Picture: GettyFarmland in the foothills of the Cheviots near the village of Hownam, Scottish Borders. Picture: Getty

Route: Hownam is nine miles east of Jedburgh. Leaving from Hownam Village Hall, turn left on the road, cross the bridge over the burn and take the first road to the left.

You can either walk along the road, which is very quiet, or when you reach the second field on the right, go through the gate up to the feeding trough where a path will take you parallel to the road for nearly a mile. From here you can see the cultivation terraces across the valley.

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At the end of the field, go onto the road and follow this round, taking the left fork past the farm. There may be gates to open and close. After about 100 yards, there is a track off to the left through a gate, just before a burn (there is another steep track just after the burn).

Follow this track to the saddle – there is a steep ascent near the beginning, but the ascent becomes gentle after that. Look out for goats on the opposite hillside. It is about a mile up to the saddle, keep to the left towards the gate as it is usually very boggy there.

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Through the gate you are now on The Street, an ancient drove road that goes over the border into Northumberland. Turn left and follow the grassy track that runs beside the wall. When you see a gate with a signpost, you will see the standing stones ahead of you.

Take the path which leads to them. They are known as The Shearers and legend has it that they were shepherds shearing their sheep on a Sunday, so God turned them to stone.

Retrace your steps back to the gate and go through. Follow the track down, after the second gate you will see a standing stone – this is a good place for a refreshment stop as there are sheltered places to sit.

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Return to the track and follow it down, passing a cottage after a gate. The route ends back at the village hall.

There are no facilities at Hownam but there is a community shop and cafe at nearby Morebattle.

Don't miss: Soaking up the majestic views and enjoying the remote feel.

Useful information: Coldstream Ramblers have group walks every other weekend. The programme is available on the Ramblers website and updated a month at a time. Visit

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The walks are generally across eastern and central Borders or in north Northumberland. For more information, call Helen Rabour 01573 470361.

Do you have a walk you would like to suggest? Email