A BORDERS family are stuck in France after beginning an overland journey to Japan before coronavirus restrictions were imposed.

Solicitor Harriet Campbell, of Kelso, set out with husband Ben and their four children for a 5,000-mile adventure.

They had originally planned to attend the Tokyo Olympics, but the event has now been postponed and their journey has stalled.

Mrs Campbell, 43, said: “I know the trip has been cut short but – in the wider scheme of things – we’re very lucky.”

The family left Kelso in early February with hopes of visiting around 20 countries and ultimately watching judo and rugby sevens in Tokyo.

“The idea came about as a result of missing the London Olympics,” explained Mrs Campbell, originally from Essex, who moved from London to Kelso with her Edinburgh-born husband in 2010.

Mr and Mrs Campbell were keen to have a “big adventure” with their children – 13-year-old Lucy, 11-year-old twins Aurora and Sophie, and eight-year-old Magnus.

“We wanted to let the children experience the big old world outside the Borders – the Borders is lovely but there’s a big world out there,” Mrs Campbell said.

The family were in Vienna, Austria, by the time lockdown measures were about to sweep Europe.

With a sense that borders would shut imminently, they drove to Mr Campbell’s parents’ house near Grenoble.

They have now spent more time in lockdown than on the road, Mrs Campbell said, but they look back fondly at the countries they have visited so far.

Mrs Campbell said: “The travelling was extraordinary and we were incredibly lucky to have had that, so I can’t complain.

“We’ve eaten fantastic food, met interesting people and been to amazing countries that I’d never been to before.

“And I think we’ve got much better at getting on with each other and living in the same space as each other.”

The original plan was to leave their car with Mr Campbell’s parents, before taking a series of trains, ferries and vehicles to Japan.

At the time of speaking to the Border Telegraph, the family should have been in Moscow, Mrs Campbell said.

Reflecting on the scuppering of plans, Mrs Campbell said: “We’re hugely upset, of course we are, but we’re resilient and accepting.

“Yes, there are days when we think this is so rubbish, but we’re safe and well and we’re very fortunate we are.”

She added: “It’s so much worse for other people and it could have been so much worse for us. We’re trying to concentrate on the positive experiences we’ve had and are having.”

Countries they have visited include Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

“We’re not yet halfway through and the next question is what happens next,” said Mrs Campbell.

“We’re in lockdown here until May 11 and we’ll wait to see what happens after that,” she said.

Mr Campbell, 47, left his job as a broadband commercial manager before the trip.

The family, who have return flights booked for August, are running a blog about their experience called Tweed to Tokyo. You can visit it here.