VISITORS to the Beyond Borders International Festival at Traquair House next month will be able to take part in free guided bike rides.

Local resident Andrew Marchant will be teaming up with authors and avid cyclists Kate Rawles, Peter Walker and Will Manners to lead a series of rides through the local countryside.

Festival goers will be welcome to bring their own or simply hop on one of the hire bikes that will be available free of charge.

Along the stunning routes in the surrounding area, cyclists will listen and share a wealth of cycling knowledge with Andrew, Kate, Will and Peter. As well as giving informal talks, the authors will take part in a Beyond Borders Question Time panel discussion in the Walled Garden, discussing the positive impact that cycling can have on society.

Kate Rawles wrote ‘The Carbon Cycle’ about her 4553-mile ride across the ridge of the Rocky Mountains, from Texas to Alaska. She completed the entire journey on the UK’s first bamboo bike, Woody, which she will be bringing with her to the Borders.

Guardian political correspondent Peter Walker is equally keen to get people out on their bikes. He curates The Guardian’s award-winning ‘Bike Blog’ and is author of ‘Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save The World’.

The impact of cycling on human history is a topic also close to the heart of Will Manners.

His book, ‘Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain’ explores how the invention of the bicycle in the 19th Century contributed to human evolution, changing how people travelled, met each other and moved between isolated rural communities.

Will, Peter and Kate will be available for book signings and will each discuss their books as part of the Walled Garden programme.

Following its introduction to the festival in 2017, the Walled Garden is shaping up to be “an explosion of cultural activities” according to Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair House, and includes prize-winning photography from The New York Times, music from Barbara Dickson, pop-up poetry and more.

The Beyond Borders festival takes place on August 25 and 26. A full programme and tickets are available online at

Tickets are £49 for a weekend pass; £26 for a day pass; £9 for individual events; access to the Walled Garden only is £12 and the walks and cycle rides are £6.

For more information, email or call 0131 557 7775.