Scottish Borders Region

(Above image is a capture of haymaking near Newcastleton.)

The Scottish Borders covers an area of 1800 square miles in southern Scotland with the city of Edinburgh and Lothians to the north, Dumfries and Galloway to the west, and Northumberland in northern England to the south.The region is characterised by rolling hills, narrow roads, omnipresent sheep, rivers and streams and seasonal colours.Here, farming is a major industry. Tourism and textiles are also important aspects of economic activity.

Landscape view from Ettleton Cemetery, an ancient burial place containing graves of many Armstrongs.

Today's peaceful landscape belies a violent past when the region acted as lawless buffer between England and Scotland which gave rise to the Border Reivers era (13th century to early 17th century) when local family groups reigned supreme.

Population of the Borders region is 114,000.

For the visitor the Borders offers a combination of tranquillity and a choice of attractions and sites to suite a wide range of interests, some of which are summarised below.


Located close to Melrose is the impressive house  where famous author Sir Walter Scott resided between 1812 and 1832. The house holds interesting collections whilst outside there are gardens and a woodland walk located in a stunning location on the banks of the River Tweed.

Abbotsford House
Bowhill House & Country Park, Selkirk

Home of the Duke of Buccleuch and contains an internationally renowned art collection. Also woodland walks, visitor centre, etc.

Dawyck Botanic Garden, near Peebles

Woodland garden with magnificent trees, shrubs and plant trails. Usual visitor facilities.

Floors Castle & Gardens, near Kelso

Largest inhabited castle in Scotland with walled garden and usual visitor facilities.

Jedforest Deer & Farm Park, near Jedburgh

Deer herds, rare breeds and birds of prey.

Gilnockie Tower
A rstored 16th century Tower House near Langholm. Now a Clan Armstrong heritage centre.
 Mellerstain House, Gordon, Berwickshire
A fine Georgian House with Adam architecture, outstanding interiors, period furniture, fine art and award-winning gardens.

Paxton House Gallery & Country Park, near Berwick-upon-Tweed

A magnificent Georgian Mansion House with twelve period rooms, a spectacular picture gallery, gardens and riverside walks.

Dryburgh Abbey, near Melrose

Possibly the most beautiful of the Border Abbeys the ruins  of which contain the burial place of Sir Walter Scott.

Hermitage Castle, near Newcastleton

A vast fortress which has witnessed many of the bloody events in the Borders volatile history.

Jedburgh Abbey, Jedburgh

A majestic ruin, originally founded by King David I in 1138.

 Smailholm Tower, near Kelso

A well preserved 16th century Tower House which holds an interesting exhibition of Walter Scott inspired tapestries and costume dolls. Access entails walking over a rough trail and farmland.

Melrose Abbey, Melrose

A romantic (and very impressive) ruin  dating from the 14th-16th centuries. Buried in the grounds is a casket containing the heart of King Robert the Bruce.

 Harmony Garden, Melrose

A tranquil, walled garden located near to Melrose Abbey and affording views of the Eildon Hills.

Scott's View

A scenic viewpoint near Melrose which overlooks the valley of the River Tweed. This is reputed to be one of the favourite views of novelist, Sir Walter Scott.

 Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre, Jedburgh

A historic house  themed on the story of  Mary Queen of Scots. (There is no documentary evidence that the famous Queen owned, lived or ever visited the property.)

Priorwood Garden, Melrose

This is a specialist garden where plants are selected and grown for purposes of producing dried flowers. Close to Harmony Garden.

Jedburgh Castle, Jail and Museum, Jedburgh

A very impressive attraction affording visitors an insight into life as a guard and prisoner in the town jail in bygone years.

Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre, Selkirk

Here, visitors can view salmon live by underwater camera on a large screen.

Traquair House, Innerleithen

This is reputed to be the oldest inhabited house in Scotland. Own microbrewery and rooms for letting on a Bed & Breakfast basis. Traquair House has a history dating back to 1107 and has been home to the Stuart family since 1491.

© Nigel P Cole/Catswhiskerstours Limited


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