The Borders and the Southwest Sights

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Smailholm Tower

Smailholm Tower 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.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Off B6404, 4½ miles south of Mellerstain House, Kelso, TD5 7PG | Map It
  • Phone: 01573/460365
  • Cost: £4.50
  • Hours: Apr.–Sept., daily 9:30–5:30; Oct.–Mar., weekends 9:30–4:30; last admission ½ hr before closing
  • Website:
  • Location: Kelso
Updated: 11-01-2013

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