The Borders and the Southwest Feature
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Top Reasons to Go to The Borders and the Southwest
Ancient abbeys: The region's four ruined abbeys—Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh, and Kelso—tell of a long history of struggle. Vestiges of intricately carved capitals, decorative gargoyles, and painstakingly exquisite tracery reveal a flicker of the abbeys' former brilliance.
Country biking: Away from busy roads, the Borders area is ideal for bicycling. In the southwest, once you're off the beaten track, you'll discover quiet roads and country lanes that beg to be explored. There are bike-rental shops in many towns, including Peebles, Dumfries, and Castle Douglas.
Stately homes and castles: Transport yourself back to a more gracious time. Paxton and Manderston houses hold well-preserved treasures from a bygone era, and you can sip ale on the grounds of the 12th-century Traquair House. Splendid Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland.
Scott's Scotland: This part of the country has enough monuments and sites dedicated to Sir Walter Scott to make his life and works a theme of your visit. Don't miss the epic Abbortsford House, Smailholm Tower, Dryburgh Abbey, and Scott's View.
Sweaters and sweets: The Borders is well known for its knitwear industry, and mill shops are abundant. Throughout the region also look for specialty peppermint or fruit-flavor boiled sweets (hard candies), tablet (a sugary caramel-like candy), and fudges. Don't worry; you won't go home empty-handed.
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