The Borders and the Southwest Feature

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Top Reasons to Go to the Borders and the Southwest

Ancient abbeys: The great abbeys of the Border regions, and the Whithorn Priory and the wonderful Sweetheart Abbey in the Southwest, are in ruins, but they retain hints of their former grandeur.

Outdoor activities: You can walk, bicycle, or even ride horses across Galloway or through the Borders. Abandoned railway tracks make good paths, and there are forests and moorlands if you prefer wilder country. Most towns have bike-rental shops.

Stately homes and castles: The landed aristocracy still lives in these grand mansions, and most of the homes are open to visitors. Try Floors Castle or the wonderful Traquair House in the east. Threave, Drumnlarig, and the magical Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries evoke grander times.

Literary Scotland: The Borders region has enough monuments dedicated to Sir Walter Scott that you could make him a theme of your visit. Abbotsford House, which he built for himself, is unmissable. The poet Robert Burns spent much of his working life in Dumfries.

Shopping: The sheep you see everywhere explain why so many locals became involved in textile production. Mill shops are abundant, and are well worth a visit for their wonderful woolens.

Updated: 2014-02-13

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