Greensykes Bothy


Route:  Hawick – Roberton – Howpasley – Greensykes – Samye Ling – Craik – Roberton – Hawick.

Date: May 2017

Distance: 57 miles or 92 kilometres.

Days: 2

GPX link:

Following on from the success of our Over Phawhope bothy trip we planned a visit to another local bothy – Greensykes.  We set off on an overcast day and filled our water bottles at the spring in Roberton.  Fresh, cool, clear spring water is a delicious treat which is not to be missed.

Joe, taking a wee rest before the long, gentle climb out of Howpasley.

We had to lift the bikes over a couple of gates, but this is not a problem now that our bikepacking luggage means that our bikes weigh a lot less.

The track through Craik forest is a pleasure to ride.

Clear-cutting devastation. Joe said it looked like the zombie apocolypse had just happened.

I made a daft call and attempted a short-cut….

The heather was so deep you could park your bike in it.

That’s another fine mess you have got me into Mum….. not one of my better ideas… I had to promise that we wouldn’t try this again…. a couple of hundred metres took us over an hour of very hard slog.

Tickets please…..

We arrived at the bothy as the sun was going down. One other cyclist there already, a very nice young teacher from Hawick.  He had also been inspired to make the journey by the Bothy Bible book.

The Greensykes rhubarb patch. Bring custard and sugar if you come! Our bothy companion made a fine rhubarb porridge concoction for pudding.

The bothy had a treasure trove of high-calorie snacks, including this unopened tin of shortbread, presumably left over from the bothy working party at the weekend.

The very new-looking stove in the main room. The bothy has three sleeping rooms (including the living room) so you are pretty-much guaranteed a room to yourself to sleep in.

A glorious day dawned and what a fabulous place wake up.

It’s a beautiful spot.

A wee gem of a bothy.

We had cracking weather for the ride home.

Crossing the ford on the way to Eskdalemuir

Riding into Samye Ling Bhuddist centre

Stunning golden statues abound at Samye Ling.

We hit the tea room for some refreshments, then went on to visit the temple

Inside the temple

The long climb out of Eskdalemuir. Stunning views…. and others not so much…. just after taking this pic I turned around to see an old woman doing her gardening topless. When she saw us she squeaked and ran indoors. 😀

Following the Romans and Reivers route, often along the Roman road that runs through these parts.

It was a stunning ride through empty country in gorgeous weather. This is my happy place.

Nearly at the highest point on the return journey.

At the Roman signal station on Craik Cross Hill. It’s all downhill from there.

We made the long swooping descent into Craik as the shadows lengthened.

Pentangle guitarist John Renbourn’s old house. … preciation

We filled the water bottles again at the last spring before Hawick. It was a great trip and the perfect length – we were home in time for fish and chips and a hot bath before bed.

Note – it is possible to cut around 25 miles off the length of this journey by starting and finishing your trip at Craik.  There are places to park at the picnic area there.  This would reduce the overall distance of the trip to around 22 miles.

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