Traquair House , near Innerleithen dates back to the 12th century and is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited house in Scotland. When its Bear Gates were closed in 1745, it was decreed that they should not re-open until another Stewart takes to the throne.
Floors Castle in Kelso is the home of the Roxburghe family and is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. The house has 365 windows, one for every day of the year.
The Scottish Borders have four amazing abbeys in Jedburgh , Kelso , Dryburgh and Melrose . The abbeys date back to the era of David I in the 12th century and were, in their day, a constant target for English invasion leading to a history of destruction and rebuilding. Today, only breath-taking ruins remain.
Glentress Forest lies just 1½ miles to the east of Peebles and is ideal for walking, cycling, mountain biking , horse riding and wildlife watching.
Fishing the River Tweed : The Tweed is the second-longest river in Scotland and produces more fish caught on the fly than any other river in Britain, and so is a haven for fisherman. The river boasts the longest salmon season in the country, running from the start of February until the end of November.
Scott’s View : Looking onto the Eildon Hills, this is so-called because it was Sir Walter Scott’s favourite patch for picnics and contemplation. When the carriage bearing Scott’s body was on its way to his funeral at Dryburgh Abbey, the horses stopped without being reigned, as they always did when carrying Scott. Thus it was named ‘Scott’s View’.
The Berwickshire sea cliffs are the highest and grandest along the east coast of mainland Britain. From St Abb’s Head, you can observe vast numbers of cliff-nesting seabirds and sometimes whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals. St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve , with 100m high cliffs, offers a spectacular walk down the coast to Eyemouth , a busy fishing town.
St Cuthbert’s Way leads from Melrose, where St Cuthbert is said to have started his ministry, to Holy Island (Lindisfarne), where he ended his days. The full distance is 62 miles but it is split into easy sections so you can simply enjoy a small part of it if you choose. Start at Newton St Boswells, taking in a walk along the River Tweed and Dryburgh Abbey.
The Southern Upland Way , at 212 miles, is the longest official walk in Scotland, consisting of coast, forest, farmland and hills. Made up of several smaller sections, you can walk as little or as much of it as you choose. The route starts at the west coast, making its way through Galloway, past the Moffat Hills and St Mary’s Loch to the River Tweed. It then crosses the moors around Lauder before gentler farmland leads to Cockburnspath on the east coast.
Abbotsford is the former home of Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century novelist and poet and author of Waverley and Ivanhoe . The house is located on the B6360 east of Melrose.
Rugby : while football drives the passions of the nation, rugby sets Border hearts beating faster. The Melrose Sevens, held in April, is a very special event in the Scottish rugby calendar.
Tartan and tweed, wool and cashmere are all fine examples of the Scottish Borders contribution to the textiles industry. The most famous name is possibly Pringle in Hawick.