Scottish Borders Attractions

The Scottish Borders includes a choice of local attractions in the region, visitors have a choice of charming places to discover. The scenic region includes rolling hills, unspoilt moorland and river valleys with a number of museums, parks, gardens, a number of historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. The Scottish Borders’s location next to the border with England offers visitors a wonderful landscape to enjoy and the great outdoors is located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the region.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Scottish Borders and surrounding areas, these include:

Floors Castle is the largest inhabited house in Scotland and is home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe in the scenic countryside. The castle has some wonderful tapestries, impressive 17th century French furniture, artworks and porcelain. The Walled Gardens are a treat and make for a wonderful sight, there are colourful herbaceous borders, soft fruit cages, glass peach houses, the children’s adventure playground and coffee shop. A trip here makes gives a fascinating insight in to history and in such wonderful surroundings visitors can enjoy a fun family day out here. There are events going on here throughout the year and some of these are the Snowdrop Festival, Tapestry Trail, Fruit Tree Pruning and others.

One of the historic places history fans will enjoy is at Thirlestane Castle the historic seat of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale. The castle is currently still in the Maitland family and is their family home. The castle is famed for its 17th century plasterwork ceilings, there are fine pictures, furnishings, family treasures of the Maitland family and a country life exhibition. Facilities here include a woodland walk and free parking for castle visitors as well as a gift shop. Visitors can get drinks and light lunches in the Old Servants Hall. The venue can be hired for corporate events and special occasions.

The House of Mary Queen of Scots is among the most popular visitor attractions in the Scottish Borders. It is a 16th Century fortified bastel house, and contains displays on the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots. There is archive material relating to her visit to Jedburgh in 1566 and original material from the 16th Century that help to recreate the turbulent reign of one of the charismatic Queen. The house is set in gardens that are award winning and looks dramatic at night when they are floodlit. There are a number of souvenirs, books and postcards available there. The rooms here contain oil paintings, tapestries, furniture, arms and armour and even some of the Queen's possessions.

Paxton House was built in 1758 on a ridge overlooking the River Tweed. Paxton House is regarded as among the finest 18th century Palladian country houses in the UK. The house has interiors by Robert Adam and fine collections of furniture by Thomas Chippendale. There is also currently the largest picture gallery in a Scottish country house, Paxton houses over 70 paintings from the National Galleries of Scotland. This makes a trip here a fascinating and enjoyable one for arts lovers.

There are a number of period rooms to explore, over 80 acres of gardens, woodland and parkland and a mile of the River Tweed for visitors to explore. There are gift shops for souvenirs and an adventure playground to keep the children amused and occupied. The picnic areas allow visitors to take advantage of the beautiful surrounds and enjoy a picnic here.

Abbotsford House is located a few miles from Melrose. The impressive house and gardens date back to the 19th century, the house was the home of eminent Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott. Inside the house, highlights include the dining room, Chinese drawing room and the library. There are splendid landscaped gardens to explore including the Walled and Morris Gardens, the Entrance Courts and there is a woodland walk visitors can do offering great views of the River Tweed through oak and rhododendrons. Visitors can find light lunches, snacks and soups in the Tea Room whilst the Gift Shop includes arts and crafts, knitwear, books and memorabilia. Visitors can enjoy a trip through history learning more about Sir Walter Scott, exploring the formal gardens and enjoying a stroll with riverside and woodland walks in wonderful surroundings.

Melrose Abbey is located in the Border town of Melrose, established back in the 12th century the historic ruins of Melrose Abbey still pose an imposing sight. The ruins are thought to be the burial place for the heart of Robert the Bruce, with a commemorative plague located on the grounds. The abbey is the burial place for a number of kings and nobility including Alexander II. Highlights include the impressive architecture considered among the finest late 14th century architecture in the UK and a number of interesting sculptures. Visitors can see the Commendator’s House Museum that includes local artefacts and a collection of medieval objects from around the site.

The Heart of Hawick project is located in the Border town of Hawick, it is an arts, leisure and heritage complex offering visitors with a range of things to see and do. The Heritage Hub includes the Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, the Tower Mill includes a cinema, conference and multi-arts centre whilst the Borders Textile Waterhouse tells the storey of Scottish knitwear and tweed. The Civic Space is used for outdoor events including Farmers Markets and musical performances. The Café Bar offers a place to sit back and relax with a coffee, pizza, pastries, sandwiches and tapas. The centre includes a number of events and exhibitions for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year

Dawyck Botanic Garden boasts a history of several hundred years of tree planting and is regarded as among the world's finest arboreta. The gardens contain some of the tallest trees in Britain, exotic conifers and the unique Dawyck Beech. Located in the heart of the Border region the gardens make for a great sight, there a number of burnside walks, allowing you to enjoy the sights, fragrances and wide array of plants on display in this interesting garden. Dawyck is an interesting place to visit all year round there are plenty of snowdrops and daffodils in early spring and displays of azaleas and rhododendrons in early summer. This kaleidoscope of seasonal changes also includes the autumn offering of tones that include orange, gold and red.

The Bowhill Theatre started back in 1989 and offer theatre fans with a full programme of drama and music all year round. Located a few miles from the burgh of Selkirk in scenic borderlands region, the theatre is surrounded by 500 acres of park and woodland that is unspoilt making it a beautiful location. Facilities include a theatre and foyer bar, a courtyard restaurant where visitors can enjoy a romantic meal in a wonderful environment. The theatre has hosted many performers, that are locally based, and from other areas too. The theatre aims to provide a platform for local talent and bring quality music and drama to primarily rural audience.

It is recommended that prior to visiting the Scottish Borders; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

The Scottish Borders are located in a naturally scenic part of Scotland making it a popular holiday and short breaks destination. The area has plenty to offer visitors with a mix of charming small towns and villages including plenty of picturesque locations in the scenic Scottish countryside. The lack of large cities in the region offers visitors the chance to get away from it all and enjoy the feeling of space and freedom to enjoy the great outdoors and visitor attractions away from the crowds. The Scottish Borders includes a number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, parks and gardens with attractions to enjoy for the entire family. Scottish Borders’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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