Route: Kershopefoot – Kershope bridge – Kershopehead bothy.
Date: December 2018
Distance: 10.5 miles or 17 kilometres
Since we got back from Spain in May we have barely touched our bikes due to my work commitments and then a knee injury. I’m on the road to recovery now and as soon as I started to feel a bit stronger I sat down to plan a trip to that would be a short and flattish ride. Kershopehead bothy seemed to fit the bill – it is only 8.5km from Kershopefoot and as the path follows the burn it seemed a good bet for only a gentle incline.
It’s not far from home and can be reached fairly easily off-road via the disused Borders railway, so I have to admit it felt like cheating to drive down to the village of Kershopefoot to park. I need to be careful of my knee though so on this occasion I had to be content with a shorter journey. We drove through Kershopefoot and parked on the edge of the forest. You could park at Kershope Bridge to shorten the journey even further but it would mean missing the single-track section between Kershopefoot and the bridge, which would be a shame as this is good fun to ride.
We are riding in England – Scotland lies on the other side of Kershope burn to Joe’s left.
A border raider crossing the bridge from Scotland to England.
After an easy roll along forestry tracks we found the bothy – the first two-storey bothy we have visited. We were pleased to have it to ourselves as the upstairs doesn’t have a stove which would have meant a chilly night had we needed to sleep up there.
It’s a lovely little bothy inside – very festive with two Christmas trees and a chandelier hung with LED fairy lights. It even has a living room carpet! (Apologies for the blurry phone photo).
Viewed from outside through a rain-splattered window.
The wood which had been left in the woodshed to dry by previous visitors was much appreciated. Here is Joe cutting some for the stove. A dry woodshed is a real luxury when it is raining outside, as it was on our visit.
We had a nice evening sitting by the stove playing cards, then a cosy night in our sleeping bags. This is Joe writing the bothy book the following morning.
Much is made of a historic murder nearby….
The woodshed makes a great bike store – I even picked up 4G internet in there! I don’t even get that at home in my house! We collected some fallen wood from the clear-cut areas nearby and left it in the woodshed to dry for the next visitors.
This is the road away from the bothy heading into the hills. This called my name very strongly, but my knee was also telling me it was time to go home. We returned the way had come and were back at the car in no time at all – a nice easy wee trip to recharge our outdoor batteries.