Start in the fishing village of Eyemouth and then visit Saint Abbs with its nature reserve and bird colony. Visit the hill fort ruins of Eden’s Hall Broch, Duns Castle and Hume Castle. Take in Mellerstain House, the ruins of Roxburgh Castle, Kelso and the stately home of Floors Castle. Pause at Coldstream and finish at Paxton House.
The first significant settlement you encounter after crossing the Scottish border is part seaside resort and part working fishing harbour with a boatyard. Gunsgreen House built in 1753 for local smuggler John Nisbet included special places to hide merchandise. The Auld Kirk is now a museum. For a brief time the town was garrisoned by 500 French troops.
A small, picturesque fishing village situated at the foot of the St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve and adjacent to the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve. The area is internationally important for its rugged landscape and seabird colony, and is best viewed from the cliffs near the lighthouse.
Edin's Hall Broch
An extraordinary large and rare example of this type of fortification in lowland Scotland. Built in the first century AD within the earlier defences of an Iron Age hillfort, it is likely this was some form of high status residence. Cockburn Law hillfort overlooks the site and may have been contemporary.
Built in the 14th century and now surrounded by parkland. Within the grounds lies Duns Law, an historic site of special interest, where the famous uprising against King Charles I, known as the Scottish Covenant, took place in 1639. It has been a hill fort since Neolithic times.
Built upon a natural outcrop of rock, the castle was constructed in a rectangular courtyard plan. Successive Lords Home were Wardens of the Eastern Marches, policing the Scottish side of the Border, which was less than five miles away. For generations the fortress was alternately in the hands of the English and Scots. Access is free.
One of the great houses and gardens of Scotland begun in 1725 and finally completed in 1778, this grand stately home has a fascinating history and is of unique architectural interest. The result of a fruitful collaboration between the Baillie family and two of Scotland’s greatest architects, William Adam and his son Robert.
Once a key border fortress on the River Tweed, Roxburgh Castle was built by David I of Scotland but changed hands on multiple occasions. James II was killed whilst besieging the site and it was subsequently stormed and demolished.
Kelso & Floors Castle
Just outside the delightful market town stands Floors Castle designed by William Adam for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe in 1721 originally as a plain but symmetrical Georgian country house. Remodelled between 1837 and 1847 to create a fairy tale castle and grounds. The ruins of 12th century Kelso Abbey in the town are worth exploring.
The town lies on the River Tweed, the lowest point it can be forded. This meant it was often in the way when both Scottish and English armies crossed the border. It gave its name to the Guards regiment who marched from here to London in 1660, an action that resulted in the restoration of Charles II. The Coldstream Museum highlights the history of the regiment.
Built between 1758-63 this is one of the finest examples of neo-Palladian design. Filled with an outstanding collection of mahogany furniture from Britain’s master cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale still on display in the rooms for which it was commissioned. He also provided wallpaper, soft furnishings and wall decorations amongst many other things.