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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 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

    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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    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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