|Location Map ( geo)
|14.1 miles (22.7 km)
|B7014, A707, B7039, B709
|Route outline (key)
The B7009 is a route heading upstream along the valley of the Ettrick Water in Selkirkshire.
The route starts to the west of Selkirk town centre by turning south off the B7014 Muthag Street and climbing along Mill Street, which is an ordinary residential road, albeit the houses to the left sit high up the hill above street level. The A707 Heatherlie Terrace is soon reached and there's a short multiplex to the right, which climbs more gently. After a left-hand bend the B7009 regains its number by turning left onto the steeper Ettrick Road. It climbs between short rows of old stone houses, before becoming leafier and running past back gardens, but soon reaches the edge of town and winds through woodland, with some glimpses of the valley floor far below. A gentle descent brings the road down into the valley bottom, where it skirts the edge of the flood plan and at this point actually follows a more winding course than the river to the north. A scattering of farms are passed as the valley opens out and the road becomes straighter but this doesn't last and its soon forced to climb up the valley side to avoid crossing the river.
There are some good views across the valley as the road meanders a little across fields and through a patch of woodland, before dropping back down to the riverbank. The B7039 comes in from the right here, crossing the Carterheugh Bridge immediately before the junction. Road and river slowly diverge, as the river meanders away and the road turns south onto a long straight, with the river meandering back and winding through the trees across the fields to the right. The road remains on the same bank for a couple more miles, becoming windier and then climbing up the hillside once more. Along the way it passes less than a dozen farms and houses, scattered along the roadside, with fields and patches of woodland between. At length, the small village of Ettrickbridge is reached where, as its name suggests, the road crosses to the western bank of the Ettrick. Most of the village lies on the west bank, with a good mix of old and new houses passed as the road climbs gently along the main street.
Beyond the village, the road seems narrower as it winds its way up through a patch of woodland to cross the 200m contour. It then drops back down to the valley floor, passing a large farm before finally reaching the riverbank. Road and river then meander southwards, never more than a field apart. A left turn leads across the river to Hyndhope, a tiny settlement on the far bank. The valley then turns to head west, and again the road climbs a little away from the riverbank to bypass a meander. The valley can be seen stretching ahead into the hills, and the road and river both wind back and forth as they head west, sometimes close together, but mostly with a narrow field between them. The hills above are now open moorland, with a scattering of straggly trees and here and there some grazing livestock, but few other signs of life. There are houses here, and farms, often hidden in folds of the hills or behind clumps of trees, only revealing themselves at the last moment.
The valley turns south west, taking the road with it, and ahead a much steeper slope can be seen. Presently the road is winding around the base of this hill, called the kip, and reaches its summit of around 235m. A gentle descent then leads to the remote hamlet of Crosslee where the Crosslee Burn is bridged, just before the route comes to an end at a TOTSO on the B709 at Tushielaw. The mainline continues ahead, upstream, and soon reaches another junction with the B711, while the northern part of the B709 turns right and heads back north, ultimately also reaching the A7.
The route was originally unclassified but had gained its number by 1927, when it is shown on the revised MOT map. This map identifies the current route in Selkirk, however the OS Six inch map from c1938 shows the B7009 extending the full length of Dunsdale Road to meet the A7. This has been reverted by 1957 when the post-war 1:10,000 sheet was published. Both maps, however, suggest that the B7014 was primarily a spur from the A707 to the town's station, without a direct connection to Dunsdale Road, and a close look at the MOT map suggests that this too might have a break between the two routes. In theory, at least, the B7009 number was allocated prior to the B7014 number, perhaps a year earlier. This would lead to the conclusion that either the B7009 did originally extend to meet the A7, or the Mill Street section was added when the B7014 was classified. At present, the former looks more plausible.