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

    Historic Home

    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. Caerlaverock Castle


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

  • 3. Drumlanrig Castle


    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

  • 4. Floors Castle


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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Smailholm Tower

    Notable Building

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

  • 7. Threave Castle


    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

  • 8. Traquair House

    Historic Home

    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

  • 9. Cardoness Castle


    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

  • 10. Globe Inn

    Historic District/Site

    Poet Robert Burns spent quite a lot of time at the Globe Inn, where he frequently fell asleep in the tack room beside the stables; today it...Read More

  • 11. Halliwell's House Museum


    Tucked off the main square, Halliwell's House Museum was once an ironmonger's shop, which is now re-created downstairs. Upstairs, an exhibit...Read More

  • 12. Hermitage Castle


    To appreciate the famous 20-mile ride of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1566—she rushed to the side of her wounded lover, the Earl of Bothwell—travel...Read More

  • 13. Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum


    This building might look like a castle, but it's actually a prison that sits where a castle originally once stood. Named for the prison reformer...Read More

  • 14. Kelso Abbey

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The least intact ruin of the four great abbeys, Kelso Abbey is just a bleak fragment of what was once the largest of the group. It was here...Read More

  • 15. Mary, Queen of Scots Visitor Centre

    Historic Home

    This bastel (from the French bastille ) was the fortified town house in which, as the story goes, Mary stayed before embarking on her famous...Read More

  • 16. Mellerstain House and Gardens

    Historic Home

    One fine example of the Borders area's ornate country homes is Mellerstain House, begun in the 1720s and finished in the 1770s by Robert Adam...Read More

  • 17. Robert Burns House

    Historic Home

    Poet Robert Burns (1759–96) lived here, on what was then called Mill Street, for the last three years of his life, when his salary from the...Read More

  • 18. Sir Walter Scott's Courtroom


    The historic courtroom where Sir Walter Scott presided as sheriff from 1804 to 1832 contains a display examining his life, writings, and time...Read More

  • 19. Thirlestane Castle


    This large, turreted, and castellated house, part of which was built in the 13th century and part in the 16th century, looks for all the world...Read More

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