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The Borders and the Southwest Sights

Smailholm Tower

  • Off B6404 Map It
  • Kelso
  • Military Site
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 11/01/2013

Fodor's Review

The characteristic Borders structure Smailholm Tower stands uncompromisingly on top of a barren, rocky ridge in the hills south of Mellerstain. The 16th-century peel was built solely for defense, and its unadorned stones contrast with the luxury of Mellerstain House. If you let your imagination wander in this windy spot, you can almost see the flapping pennants and rising dust of an advancing raiding party and hear the anxious securing of doors and bolts. Sir Walter Scott

found this spot inspiring. His grandfather lived nearby, and the young Scott visited the tower often during his childhood. A museum displays costumed figures and tapestries relating to Scott's folk ballads. A free audio tour is available.

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Sight Information


Off B6404, 4½ miles south of Mellerstain House, Kelso, TD5 7PG, Scotland

Map It



Sight Details:

  • £4.50
  • Apr.–Sept., daily 9:30–5:30; Oct.–Mar., weekends 9:30–4:30; last admission ½ hr before closing

Updated 11/01/2013


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