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Looking for suggestions for another part of our trip...The Borders

I wrote a few weeks ago asking about the Highlands/NC500. Now I'm looking for info/suggestions in another area, the Borders.

We spent 2-3 days in some parts of the Borders on our second trip (this is our fourt17h). We very much enjoyed Kirkcudbright, even though we only had an afternoon there. Other places we visited: Jedburgh Abbey and Caerlaverock Castle. We'd also like to check out the Western area.

We have 17 nights in Scotland this time and do want to see our favorites plus things we missed before. Ideas?


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hiya @MaicaKid, I have been to the Borders very little but have a couple of suggestions. I personally love the Glentress forest, it is a local favourite for us Edinburghers to get their outdoors fix. The GoApe adventure there is legitimately fun for its cool finale :smile:

    I have also visited the border town of Kelso, a peaceful & charming weekend stay with Floors castle a short walk from the town centre. It is also the tap room for one of the Borders & Scotlands best breweries, Tempest (served at The Cobbles).
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    It's a wee bit over the border, so I probably shouldn't mention it but Kielder Forest is fantastic - the road through it alone is worth it for the drive... 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Melrose area is great - Melrose is a lovely town with the river Tweed running through it, its Abbey, gardens and the Eildon Hills in the background. If you enjoy walking you will be spoiled for choice. Abbotsford House (home of Sir Walter Scott) is also nearby and you can walk to it going along the river Tweed from Melrose. Hope you enjoy your visit!
  • MaicaKidMaicaKid Member ✭✭
    Thank you all -- what about to the west? Say from Kircudbright west? Anything you'd recommend?
  • VisitScotlandSarahWVisitScotlandSarahW Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited February 2017
    Hi @MaicaKid.  I would throughly recommend heading further South West from Kirkcudbright along the Solway Coast. This area is home to some fantastic beaches and little fishing villages. Portpatrick is a must see, with a lovely harbour and great restaurants; if you are feeling a little adventurous you can walk up along the cliffs to the ruins of Dunskey Castle

    Wigtown is the book capital of Scotland and a real gem of a place to visit. Finally, I would highly recommend a visit to the Mull of Galloway, the most southerly point in Scotland. You can climb 115 steps to the top of the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse; the most southerly lighthouse in Scotland! Part of the site is an RSPB nature reserve so its a great place to see seabirds. On a clear day you are treated to spectacular views of the coast of Northern Ireland!

    I hope this helps!  :)

    Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

    Looking over cliffs towards Mull of Galloway Visitor Centre

  • ElaineRElaineR VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    @MaicaKid There's so much to see and do, it really depends what you are interested in and also when you will be visiting. Traquair House (inhabited continuously for around a thousand years) and its impressive hedge maze are worth a visit, as is Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. Dryburgh Abbey is tucked away in a beautiful setting, and nearby Scott's View gives a magnificent panoramic view of the countryside with the three peaks of the Eildon Hills taking centre stage. Bowhill House and Estate are lovely - if you are looking for a marvellous walk with fab scenery, then the Duchess' Drive walk is a must. The lonely and windswept Smailholm Tower is a fairly unique, and complete, example of a fortified tower house, many of which dotted the landscape back in the days of the Border Reivers - the tower also has connections to Sir Walter Scott and his ancestors. If you like the coast, then St Abbs is a picturesque fishing village and nearby St Abbs Head has some of the most fascinating geological features down by Pettico Wick - the view from beside the St Abbs lighthouse is pretty special too. Nearby  Coldingham Sands is a wonderful sandy beach and its colourful beach huts are a lovely feature that you don't often see on Scottish beaches. The Tweed Valley is a photographer's dream - the countryside around Peebles is so pretty, with a medieval castle perched high above the river on a bluff just a few minutes walk from the town centre. Carry on upstream and you reach Manor Valley - the best place to take in the sweeping view is from the viewpoint at Manor Sware. I could go on...
  • MaicaKidMaicaKid Member ✭✭
    Thank you all so much!
  • MogMJMRMogMJMR Member ✭✭
    @MaicaKid I would really recommend the Mill Tour at Lochcarron in Selkirk, if you are looking for something a wee bit different from a historic house or Abbey in the East Borders.
    You can see Tartan being made - and marvel at the skill of those who do

    I haven't managed to visit yet, but heart of hawick located in the historic tower mill is also meant to be great

    I love Harestanes outdoor centre too - great events including a yearly Bat walk in August - just amazing! 
    Fantastic (free ) play area if you are travelling with Children.

    Go Ape at Glentress (mentioned above) gets my vote too; and Born in the Borders is a great wee place. Lots to do for all.

    If you are visiting in the summer months and haven't seen one before, I would recommend spectating a Common Riding - annual events across the borders commemorating historical events and riding of the marches. It's a great and #unique spectacle to see.

    Hope this helps too - couldn't resist adding some of my favourites!
    Based in the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire has a special place in my heart.
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