Scottish Borders

Day Tours to the Scottish Borders from Edinburgh

Jedburgh Abbey
The border between Scotland and its 'Auld Enemy' England has been the site of many battles; although the families who controlled this area fought as much amongst themselves: the Armstrongs, Johnstones, Scotts, Elliotts, Fenwicks, Bells, Nixons, Maxwells, Kerrs, Dodds, Taits, Howards, Cecils, Douglases, Homes (Hume), where cattle theft was the norm and earned them the nickname the Border Reivers, as they did with the English on the other side of the Border.

This turbulent area however, also produced great architecture in the shape of the Border abbeys of Melrose, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Kelso. These were built to impress - well that is just asking for trouble - not surprisingly were constantly attacked.

Yet perhaps because of rather than inspite of the constant battles this is also the land of poets and Storytellers such as Thomas the Rymer, Burns, Scott, and James Hogg, "The Etterick Shepherd." These men wrote as much about the human condition as they did about the landscape. As such their work still resonates today and had a profound effect on Literature.

In such lawless times, townspeople would ride their boundaries, or 'marches', to protect their common lands and prevent encroachment by neighbouring landlords. Long after they ceased to be essential, the ridings in commemoration of local legend, history and tradition.

Today, each Borders town celebrates its history once a year during June - August with magnificent rideouts involving hundreds of horses, ridden with a passion worthy of the reivers old. It is in the Borders that you will see the best examples of the Scottish character, perhaps because nothing could be taken for granted, tradition is still an important facet.

But don't ask why in Hawick, where they will simply tell you, " It's aye been!"
borders
On route to the Borders visit Rosslyn Chapel
(The Da Vinci Code)
Rosslyn logo
Smailholm Tower

Visit stately homes, castles and country houses 

Floors Castle

floors castle
The largest stately home in Scotland is the seat of the Duke of Roxburghe.
The castle  featured as Greystoke in The Legend of Tarzan.

Abbotsford House

Abbotsford house
The home built by Sir Walter Scott on the proceeds of his literary genius. It is an  iconic building of the 19th century Scottish Baronial style and became a model for the modern revival of the baronial style.

Traquair House

Traquair House
The Bear gates were closed, after Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) passed through in 1745, the Earl vowed they would never be opened again until a Stuart king returned.

Day Tours from Edinburgh to the Border abbeys, towns & historic sites 

Explore the Abbeys and visit the great country houses . The border towns of Melrose and Kelso have a unique charm of their own.

Dryburgh Abbey

dryburgh

Melrose Abbey

melrose

Kelso

Kelso

Tour the Borders en route to Hadrian's Wall & Newcastle
(2 days/1 night)

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