Things To See & Do
Abbotsford House offers an ideal introduction to the life of the area’s most famous son, Sir Walter Scott. This splendid house, formal gardens and visitor centre contain a treasure trove of intriguing objects and unusual artefacts which inspired Scott’s greatest poems and novels. Conveying a sense of drama and romance, Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin. The graceful architecture is also, apparently, the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s embalmed heart, and is marked with a commemorative stone plaque.
For a more up-to-date insight visit the Borders Textile Towerhouse in Hawick. The textile industry is long-established here producing tartan, tweed, wool and cashmere which grace some of the world’s finest fashion houses. In fact, the whole area is well-known for exceptional artisan design and craft businesses including jewellers, furniture-makers and contemporary sculptors.
Further afield, put your walking boots on for a day out at St Mary’s Loch, the largest natural loch in the region and a great place for hillwalkers and botanists. You’ll also find a rich collection of some of southern Scotland’s rarest upland plants. Look out, too, for Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall which cascades from Loch Skeen into the Moffat Water Valley from a rocky precipice 60m above.
Head further west to Dumfries and Galloway, with pretty market towns and some spectacular scenery – the Dalveen Pass is reminiscent of a mini Glencoe, while the coast around the Mull of Galloway includes Scotland’s most southerly point and is one of Britain’s best kept secrets – especially if you are looking for peace and tranquillity.