The Borders and the Southwest

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Borders and the Southwest - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Abbotsford House

    House/Mansion/Villa

    In this great house overlooking the Tweed, Sir Walter Scott lived, worked, and received the great and the good in luxurious salons. In 1811...Read More

  • 2. Broughton House

    House/Mansion/Villa

    The 18th-century Broughton House was the home of the artist E. A. Hornel from 1901 until his death in 1933 and remains largely as it was in...Read More

  • 3. Caerlaverock Castle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The stunningly beautiful moated Caerlaverock Castle stands in splendid isolation amid the surrounding wetlands. Built in a unique triangular...Read More

  • 4. Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    This wild and beautiful wetland provides a stunning backdrop to Caerlaverock Castle. Here you can observe wintering wildfowl, including migrating...Read More

  • 5. Castle Kennedy Gardens

    Garden/Arboretum

    The lovely Castle Kennedy Gardens surround the shell of the original Castle Kennedy, which burned down in 1716. Parks scattered around the property...Read More

  • 6. Crawick Multiverse

    Public Art (Mural/Sculpture/Statue)

    The extraordinary 2015 land artwork by Charles Jencks, 45 minutes north of Dumfries near the village of Sanquhar, must surely become a focus...Read More

  • 7. Drumlanrig Castle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    A spectacular estate, Drumlanrig Castle is as close as Scotland gets to the treasure houses of England—which is not surprising, since it's owned...Read More

  • 8. Floors Castle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The palatial Floors Castle, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland, is an architectural extravagance bristling with pepper-mill turrets. Not...Read More

  • 9. Galloway Forest Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    The expansive facilities in Galloway Forest Park are evidence of the growing enthusiasm for active vacations in Scotland; it offers chances...Read More

  • 10. Jedburgh Abbey

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The most impressive of the Borders abbeys towers above Jedburgh. Built by David I, king of Scots in the 12th century, the abbey was nearly destroyed...Read More

  • 11. Melrose Abbey

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Just off Melrose's town square sit the ruins of Melrose Abbey, one of the four Borders abbeys: "If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright, go...Read More

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  • 12. Smailholm Tower

    Building/Architectural Site

    Standing uncompromisingly on top of a barren, rocky ridge in the hills south of Mellerstain, this 16th-century peel tower, characteristic of...Read More

  • 13. Threave Castle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    Once home to the Black Douglases, who were the earls of Nithsdale and lords of Galloway, Threave's imposing towers reflect well the Lord of...Read More

  • 14. Traquair House

    House/Mansion/Villa

    Said to be the oldest continually occupied home in Scotland (since 1107), Traquair House has secret stairways and passages, a library with more...Read More

  • 15. Blacksmith's Shop

    Historic District/Site

    Today the 18th-century house of the village blacksmith, known as the "anvil priest," contains a collection of blacksmithing tools, as well as...Read More

  • 16. Borders Textile Towerhouse

    Museum/Gallery

    In the former Drumlanrig Tower, this museum includes a good exhibition about the textile industry, once the lifeblood of the Borders. Plenty...Read More

  • 17. Bowhill

    House/Mansion/Villa

    Home of the Duke of Buccleuch, Bowhill dates from the 19th century and houses an outstanding collection of works by Gainsborough, Van Dyck,...Read More

  • 18. Cardoness Castle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The castle was a typical Scottish tower house, severe and uncompromising. The 15th-century structure once was the home of the McCullochs of...Read More

  • 19. Creetown Gem Rock Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    In the village of Creetown outside Newton Stewart, this museum has an eclectic mineral collection, a dinosaur egg, an erupting volcano, and...Read More

  • 20. Dryburgh Abbey

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The final resting place of Sir Walter Scott and his wife, and the most peaceful and secluded of the Borders abbeys, the "gentle ruins" of Dryburgh...Read More

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