After the past few months we’ve had, simply getting out our little suitcase and packing for a weekend away felt like something of a radical act. But this weekend we did just that, with an urban mini break …

Complete with al fresco dining in the central square.

cafe tables outside in Duns

And a cycle tour of the surrounding countryside, courtesy of a local guide.*

quiet borders road

Two nights in Duns might not be on most people’s holiday bucket list but add in an adjusted-for-Scotland heatwave, and the exotic sight of people actually dining outside in a town which I suspect would normally consider such things to be a foreign affectation and it almost felt like an actual holiday. Which is fortunate, because that may well be it for us this year although we still entertain vague hopes of our regular ‘sunshine break’ in Northern Ireland should the pandemic relent sufficiently.

When it comes to the current situation, I’ve no idea if we’re at the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning – or perhaps the start of something new. All I know is I saw more people cycling in Duns during the course of the weekend than I’ve seen in the entire ten years my parents have lived there, and that’s got to be a sign of the tectonic plates shifting. Here’s hoping the Borders Council (motto: ‘It’s Aye Been’) has plans to encourage this one silver lining of the current crisis to continue shining.

quiet borders road
* In fact a fellow Bromptoneer who was happy to meet up with a random person off the Internet to explore some of the less scary roads around Duns (and also avoid the worst climbs).

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