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Background shows Floors Castle, Kelso

Attractions/Things to See and Do in the Scottish Borders

Galashiels is a great central location from which to explore the delights of The Scottish Borders.  There are so many interesting places to visit, and things to do.  We're close to Abbotsford if you have an event there, and we're possibly the closest guest house to Glendearg Farm yurt, if you're visiting for a party or wedding and don't fancy spending the night in a tent.  Also, we didn't realise how much cycling there is to offer in the area.  We've been amazed at the' sorties our guests have been taking into the Border Hills on their bikes and trikes, whether its on or off-road, or a specialist centre. 

The Border towns are famous for their common ridings, which began during the lawless 13th and 14th centuries when the people of the towns would ride out to protect their boundaries from cattle thieves known as reivers.  Each town has a week of celebrations harking back to this tradition, and hold what is called a ride out.  These annual events bring the townsfolk and visitors out for parades, musical events, ceilidhs, and other events.

Grand houses:

  • Abbotsford, Melrose, home of Sir Walter Scott

  • Traquair House, brewery and maze, Innerleithen

  • Mary Queen of Scots's House, Jedburgh

  • Thirlestane Castle, Lauder

  • Floors Castle, Kelso, home of the Duke of Roxburgh

  • The Haining, Selkirk

  • Bowhill, Selkirk, home of the Duke of Buccleuch

  • Manderston, Duns

  • Mellerstain, Berwick-upon-Tweed

  • Paxton House, Berwick-upon-Tweed


  • Langlee Community Woodland, Galashiels

  • Wooplaw Community Woodland, Stow

  • Harestanes Visitor Centre and walks, Jedburgh

  • Riverside walks at 'Born in the Borders', Jedburgh

  • The Hirsel, Coldstream

  • Glentress, near Peebles


  • Hume Tower

  • Smailholm Tower (and nearby Smailholm Pottery)

Coming soon:

  • The Scottish Tapestry

The Border Abbeys and spiritual places:

  • Melrose Abbey

  • Dryburgh Abbey

  • Kelso Abbey

  • Jedburgh Abbey

  • Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery

  • Rosslyn Chapel, made famous in 'The Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown

Beautiful spaces:

  • Harmony Garden, Melrose

  • Priorwood Garden, Melrose

  • Mertoun House gardens, St Boswells

  • Monteviot House gardens, Jedburgh

  • Bemersyde House gardens, Melrose

  • Bughtrig House gardens, Leitholm

  • Kailzie Gardens, Peebles

  • Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, Peebles

  • Scott's View, Melrose

  • Teviot Water Garden, smokery, restaurant

More energetic pursuits:

  • Woodland walks (to name but a few):

    • Langlee Community Woodland

    • Wooplaw Woods

    • Harestanes walks and visitor centre

  • River Tweed walks

  • Born in the Borders - riverside walk, brewery, restaurant and shops selling Borders related goods.

  • The Southern Upland Way - part of the route is just a few minutes walk from Solus Bed and Breakfast

  • St Cuthbert's Way

  • The Eildon Hills - visible from your window, and within easy reach of some hillwalking.

  • Ettrick Valley

  • St Mary's Loch and The Grey Mare's Tail - the UK's 5th highest waterfall

  • Keilder Forest and Keilder Observatory


Further afield, but within a day trip's visit:

  • Edinburgh - Why not travel the famous new Borders Railway, right into the heart of the city?

  • The Museum of Flight, East Fortune

  • Alnwick Castle, Treehouse and Gardens - a spectacular day, and great for Harry Potter fans, of course, because the castle was used at Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films.

  • Hadrian's Wall

  • Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies

  • Linlithgow Castle

  • Bamburgh

  • Lindisfarne, Holy Island

The arts:

  • The Borders Book Festival, Melrose

  • Innerleithen music festival

  • Stowed Out music festival, Stow

  • Art galleries and studios - in spring, many local artists open their studios to the public.

  • Scottish Borders Art Fair

  • Museums

  • Various music events throughout the year.

  • Ceilidhs

  • Woodworking workshops


  • The Border Towns' Common Ridings

  • The Borders Vintage Motoring Extravanganza, Thirlestane Castle

  • Melrose rugby 7s

  • Floors Castle Horse Trials

  • Massed Pipe Bands Day at Floors Castle

  • Floors Castle Horse Trials

  • Border Union Agricultural Show

  • Art, crafts, antiques and wedding shows

  • Christmas fairs at many of the castles

  • Cycling.

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of experiencing life." ~  Albatross Travel