The valley in the Scottish borderlands is golf-course green near the banks of the winding river. Above, the fields and woods are hilltops with shaved heads, covered in bracken and gorse. It's a little bit of heaven.
I took a path behind town to Lee Pen, a 1,500-foot hill with a satellite tower on top. Paved at first, the route traversed a wood where giant ferns and mushrooms grew, then emerged at a bench on the hilltop.
From there, a network of paths led in all directions -- along stone walls, through sheep pastures and over wooden turnstiles. I chose one; I couldn't get lost because I never lost sight of the town and river below.
I could also see great manor houses along the Tweed, including Traquair, home of the Stuarts of Traquair, staunch Roman Catholics who entertained Mary Queen of Scots.
Beyond that, it was just the sheep, the clouds and me. I could have stayed forever but had to be on my way.
Back in town at the Corner House pub, I revived myself with a cheddar-cheese baked potato and a pot of hot tea.