The Three Brethren

If you are looking for motivation, this inspiring walk in the Scottish Borders might just be the thing. On a relatively low hill outside Selkirk, the Three Brethren stand tall against the skyline. Three 10 foot cairns stand on the top of a hill, and give outstanding views of the surrounding countryside. These carefully and beautifully built cairns tower over the standard trig point that stands next to them.

The Three Brethren mark the intersection of three borders estates. The Buccleuch Estate, Yair Estate and Selkirk Burgh meet at this point. I wanted to take a walk up and see for myself this impressive landmark in the Scottish Borders.


 Our Route

We started our walk near the bottom of Craig Hill. Yair Hill Forest covers the entire area and we spent most of the walk on forest tracks and roads. The land is managed by The Forestry Commission and the roads are suitable for most vehicles and would make a pleasant trip for a mountain bike. I have have tried to show on the diagram below the sort of path we took.

The path meandered its way up gently through the forest and what struck me was the dazzling array of colour. Even in the middle of winter, the colour was just exquisite. There was fauna at various stages of growth just made from brand new shoots to dead and decaying wood. This made for a wonderful display of nature’s colour.

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Once we got to the top of the forest, the path joined a moor and from there it was only a short walk to the top and to the site of the Three Brethren. The last few hundred meters joined the path of the Southern Upland Way. This is a path that runs right across Scotland from East to West. This was a very well defined path which we could see stretching far into the distance.


An Iconic Walk

Once you get near the Three Brethren, they are not difficult to spot. The three cairns stand loud and proud and are an impressive site. It was extremely windy the day we were there so just time for a couple of photographs and off the top again.

This is an iconic walk in the Scottish Borders but like most things, there is more than one way to approach the top. You will notice from the diagram I made that we went up and back down the same way. From the same starting point there is a well marked out loop you can do. It takes in the Three Brethren and is all on forestry tracks and is about 9 miles long. Another popular route is starting at Yarrowford near Selkirk.

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Just Do It

Whatever route you decide to take, I really recommend this walk. With fantastic views over the rolling Borders hills and a feast of colour any time of the year, you will enjoy it. I find a walk like this just lifts my spirits and feeds my senses and does me the world of good. It have really put me in the mood for the outdoors again and I’m looking forward to the better weather and longer days.


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