Our Tweedswood Retreat is situated in the tiny village of Redpath, close to Melrose, and perfectly placed for exploring the breathtaking landscapes, ancient abbeys, famous woollen mills and historic Border towns which make this area unique.
Here are a few suggestions of where to go and what to do during your stay:
Melrose – the most stunning of Border towns
A bustling, old Border town with a very contemporary, stylish feel. At the heart of Melrose, Burt’s Hotel, recently awarded Scotland’s Dining Pub of the Year by the Good Pub Guide 2013 , is the epitome of Scottish-ness with its roaring fire, excellent range of ales and whiskies and fabulous food. And that’s just one of many great places to eat in Melrose – try The Townhouse and Marmion’s Brasserie – as well as numerous coffee shops, interior and gift shops and even a tiny theatre!
The home of poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford House was designed by the writer himself and is surrounded by the landscape which inspired his Romantic works. Recently re-opened by the Queen after a major refurbishment, the house hosts Sir Walter Scott’s fascinating collection of historic relics and artefacts, including Rob Roy’s gun, his library of over 7000 books and his beloved gardens leading down to the Tweed. There’s a fantastic new visitor centre, childrens’ play area and stylish eating at Ochiltrees Restaurant, all sitting high above the house and gardens, and providing stunning views over the place which meant so much to the famous author.
Scott’s View, Bemersyde
We can’t talk about Sir Walter Scott without mentioning Scott’s View – a breath-taking viewpoint of the Eildon Hills and the River Tweed, close to Dryburgh Abbey, which was much-loved and frequently visited by the man himself as he rode around the Border hills. In fact, they say that when drawing Sir Walter’s hearse to his burial site at Dryburgh Abbey, his horse came to a halt at the viewpoint, as it had done so many times before on outings with its master.
Described as a ‘destination bookshop and cafe’, Mainstreet Trading was awarded Best Bookshop in The Telegraph Best Small Shops Awards and Independent Bookshop of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards. It’s an absolute must if you love good books, good coffee and fantastic cakes. Mainstreet Trading recently extended with a deli and home shop – all well worth a visit.
Home of the Duke of Roxburghe, Floors Castle sits on the banks of the Tweed in Kelso. Visit the house and gardens, sample food from the castle’s chef at the Terrace Restaurant and even take some back to eat at Tweedswood – the shop sells a range of upmarket ‘ready meals’ prepared in the castle kitchens. Floors has an excellent play area for children – they’ll find the zip-wire irresistible – while those of you with green fingers will love a wander around the well-stocked plant centre.
With a history dating back to the 12th Century, Traquair was once a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. Follow in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots who visited in 1566; her bed and the cradle where she rocked her baby son James are among many treasures to be found at the house. There are lovely gardens, a maze, a playground of willow tunnels, woodland walks and one of the oldest working breweries in Britain where Traquair House Ales can be sampled and bought.
The ruined abbeys of Melrose (where Robert the Bruce’s heart is said to be buried), Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso
Visit the four great Border abbeys, built in the 12th Century, now ruins, but still full of atmosphere and drama – beautiful monuments to the Cistercian and Augustinian monks who lived there all those centuries ago. Keen cyclists may be tempted by the 55 mile circular cycle route around all four abbeys – a great way to take them all in whilst exploring the stunning Borders countryside.
Salmon fishing on the River Tweed
The River Tweed is one of the world’s best salmon fishing rivers and fly fishermen (and women!) travel from all over the world to fish in its abundant waters. More salmon are caught on the Tweed than any other British river and for centuries anglers have been fishing the river for its famous run of salmon. The Tweed can boast the longest season of any Salmon River in this country running from February 1 to November 30. Fishing permits and guides can be obtained from a number of local angling associations.
Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre
Situated on St Cuthbert’s Way, near Ancrum, Harestanes offers a great outdoor play park, as well as indoor activities for children, craft workshops, a gallery with a great range of local crafts and a coffee shop. There are great walks and cycle routes in the woods and surrounding countryside – and a cafe with some excellent home cooking and baking on offer.
Cashmere and Tweed
The Scottish Borders is famous for its woollen mills and the beautiful tartans, tweeds and cashmere they produce. Follow the Textile Trail to take in the many mills, shops and visitor centres across the area. If you want to pick just one textile town for a visit, go to Hawick for luxury cashmere clothing and interior collections at Johnsons of Elgin, stop off for coffee at its delightful new cafe and then pop over the River Teviot to Hawick Cashmere of Scotland in the hope of finding some cashmere bargains.
And finally, if a bit of luxury and relaxation is in order, then what could be better than a spa treatment at a magical Scottish Castle. Stobo offers a good range of spa days in the beautiful setting of the castle by the lake.