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

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

  • 2. Broughton House

    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...Read More

  • 3. Caerlaverock Castle

    The stunningly beautiful moated Caerlaverock Castle stands in splendid isolation amid the surrounding wetlands. Built in a unique triangular design, this 13th-century fortress has solid-sandstone...Read More

  • 4. Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre

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

  • 5. Castle Kennedy Gardens

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

  • 6. Crawick Multiverse

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

  • 7. 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 by the...Read More

  • 8. Floors Castle

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

  • 9. Galloway Forest Park

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

  • 10. Jedburgh Abbey

    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...Read More

  • 11. Melrose Abbey

    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

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

  • 13. The Great Tapestry of Scotland

    This purpose-built museum at the end of Galashiels High Street houses the 160 panels of the stunning Tapestry of Scotland, which showcases major moments in...Read More

  • 14. Threave Castle

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

  • 15. Traquair House

    Said to be the oldest continually occupied home in Scotland (since 1107), Traquair House has secret stairways and passages, a library with more than 3,000...Read More

  • 16. Blacksmith's Shop

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

  • 17. Borders Textile Towerhouse

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

  • 18. Bowhill

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

  • 19. 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 Galloway, then the...Read More

  • 20. Creetown Gem Rock Museum

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

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