Start in Jedburgh before exploring the lovely Tweed valley. Take in Fatlips Castle, Monteviot House and Dryburgh, before arriving in Melrose. Detour to see the house and estate of Bowhill before arriving in Galashiels. Explore the town, Traquair House and Kailzie Gardens before finishing in Peebles.
The ancient town, created as a Royal Burgh in the 12th century, is a gateway to Scotland containing over 100 listed buildings with the dominating remains of the 12th century Augustine Abbey, the Castle Jail and Museum and the Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre.
A pele tower situated at the top of Minto Crags, above the River Teviot, it was built in the 16th century by the Turnbulls of Barnhills, notorious Border Reivers. The curious name is allegedly linked to an old castle custom permitting visitors to kiss one of their hosts.
Monteviot House & Gardens
The House is surrounded by a series of wonderful Gardens against the background of the curving and winding River Teviot and the hills beyond. Monteviot itself is an ancient site, and the present house began as an early-Eighteenth Century lodge developed later in the 18th Century into a model Palladian villa. The home of Lord Lothian the house is only open briefly in the summer.
The ruins on the banks of the River Tweed are remarkably complete and surrounded by beautiful grounds. First established in 1150, it was burned by English troops in 1322, after which it was restored only to be again burned by Richard II in 1385, but it flourished in the fifteenth century. It was finally destroyed in 1544.
Located next to the Eildon Hills and the birthplace of Rugby Sevens. Ruined Melrose Abbey dates from 1136. The Romans built a major fort nearby named Trimontium. The Three Hills Roman Heritage Centre houses a Museum dedicated to Roman life in Scotland. Harmony Gardens is a beautiful walled garden and nearby is Sir Walter Scott's romantic mansion of Abbotsford.
Detour to see the present house at Bowhill set in a wonderful landscape, it dates mainly from 1812 and was greatly expanded during the 19th century. The House’s superb art treasures, including 18th century hand-painted Chinese wallpapers, numerous famous paintings and thousands of books are also now safe for future generations.
Galashiels has been the centre of the tartan, tweed and woollen industries since medieval times and is one of the largest towns in the Borders. Its past is recreated every June during the Braw Lad’s Gathering. A statue to the Border Reveirs or band of lawless raiders can be seen at the foot of the clock tower.
Scotland’s oldest inhabited house dating from 1107 and lived in by the Stuart family since 1491. Originally a royal hunting lodge, Traquair played host to Mary Queen of Scots and later as staunch Catholics they supported the Jacobite cause without counting the cost. The garden, maze and onsite brewery make this an interesting place to visit.
The walled gardens date from 1812 and benefit from a lovely setting looking over the rolling hills in the distance. Apart from the gardens, principal attractions for a day out include live viewing of the Tweed Valley Ospreys (Easter to end of August) at the Watch Centre, the restaurant, a larder shop, and plant sales.
The historic core - the Old Town - lies to the west of the junction of the River Tweed and Eddleston Water. With fine buildings, some dating from the 11th century the town is full of relics from times gone by, including an old Mercat Cross and the ruined Cross Kirk as well as a more modern celebration of local author John Buchan.