Fruid Reservoir

Strenuous Walk

This is a beautiful walk along the banks of Fruid reservoir that will provide some amazing views at any time of the year. The high hills often are reflected beautifully in the reservoir creating some great photo opportunities.

This is a gentle walk along the private road that runs along the length of Fruid reservoir to the farms at the top of the Valley.
You could then choose to extend your walk by continuing along the other side of the dam, back to the start. The path on this section is not so well defined. You will have to cross cattle grids.

To follow the farm track and return the same way, allow 1.5 hours for 6km/3.7miles walk. This walk is a gentle walk, with no climbs.

If you chose to extend your walk down the other side you will need to extend your walk, and the terrain is more difficult. (8km/5miles, 2.5 hours)


Parking: There is car parking at the reservoir at the start of the walk.

After parking your car, take the narrow, tarmacked road that runs to the left of the reservoir and follow this road as it winds along the length of the loch. You will pass the unusual concrete building which is the ‘retro’ control house.

Fruid Reservoir was formed in the 1960s by damming the Fruid Water. The water from Fruid supplements the contents of nearby Talla Reservoir, and travels through the hillside in a tunnel. This water eventually supplies drinking water to Edinburgh. Fruid Reservoir is quite small, measuring 140 hectares. It is managed by Scottish Water. Construction on the site was completed in 1968.

Farmland  buildings were sacrificed to build the reservoir (including Fruid, Carterhope and Hawkshaw), and are now underneath the water. New cottages were built as replacements at the end of the reservoir.

Carterhope Farm was run by the monks of Melrose Abbey in the 13th-15th Centuries, when Fruid Castle was occupied by the Frasers. The monks were faming cattle and sheep, selling fleeces and hides as well as butter and cheese (from both cow and sheep milk). The goods would have been transported by horse and cart, and local farm names reflect this: Carterhope and Hopecarton both mean ‘valley of the carts’.

The monks also had a chapel and a graveyard, now lost under the water, and the baptismal font from this chapel now forms part of the signpost directing travellers at the crossroads in Tweedsmuir Village. The Chapel was located on the banks of Chapel Burn, a tributary of Fruid Water.

The playwright Peter Moffat had ancestors who lived in the area that is now under the reservoir. He has cited this location as the inspiration for his 1993 TV series The Village. The series tells the story of life in a Derbyshire village in the early 20th Century.

Biggar Archaeological Group Excavation

A survey of the Fruid Reservoir has identified numerous archaeological features including an unenclosed platform settlement. 2003 was an exceptionally dry year, and the lower water levels in the reservoir allowed access to the site, on the right bank of the reservoir. The excavation uncovered two bronze age roundhouses. There were many finds, but the most important was a bronze palstave (a type of chisel or axe). With carbon dating, the archaeologists were able to prove that both buildings were made of hazel wattle and birch, and had been destroyed by fire around the middle Bronze Age.