The Scottish Borders is an often overlooked region when it comes to tourism – but it has much to offer. From elemental coastlines and impressive rivers, to rolling hills and a wealth of historical sites, a diverse array of attractions await your exploration. Let’s take a trip together through some of the historical highlights.

An hour’s drive from Edinburgh you can reach Kailzie Gardens, where you can wander through 20 acres of botanical garden, arboretum and woodland, before sitting down at the courtyard cafe for lunch. Afterwards, why not try your hand at the French boules game of Petanque or get your eye in on the 18-hole putting green? Its riverside location also means there are fly fishing opportunities to be had too.

From here, you can easily find yourself a few miles down the road at Traquair House – Scotland’s oldest inhabited property. Dating back to 1107 and lived in by the Stuart family since 1491, this former royal hunting lodge has 19 rooms for you to experience, as well as a maze, brewery, extensive grounds, craft workshops and a garden cafe.

As we drive deeper into the region, there are a host of opportunities to step back in time. We can take you to a trio of fascinatingly atmospheric abbeys, each with their own engrossing story to tell. First up, Melrose Abbey. An impressive ruin adorned with unusual sculptures that is believed to be the resting place for Robert the Bruce’s heart.

Then onwards to Dryburgh Abbey, where you can let monastic chants wash over you, stand before the burial place of Sir Walter Scott, and peer into many nooks and crannies. It is a place with a special ambience.

Finish this segment of your tour at Jedburgh Abbey: where you will find a distinctive blend of early Gothic and Romanesque architecture built over 70 years. Wander the recreated cloister garden, before gazing at some outstanding examples of early Christian artefacts in the visitor centre which pre-date the abbey.

Another connection to the illustrious Scottish novelist, poet and historian Sir Walter Scott can be found at Abbotsford House – his extraordinary former home built from being the best-selling author of his day. Explore the vast grounds by the banks of the dramatic River Tweed before delving into the property’s many interesting features, including one of the best examples of a 19th century writer’s library. Baronial beauty at its finest. You could then finish your day taking in one of the best vistas in the region - and Scott’s favourite place to come and reflect - at Scott’s View.

A trip through the Borders’ past will give you much to reflect on. 

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