Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Building in Peebles

Traquair House

One of Scotland's great country houses, Traquair House has a power­ful, ethereal beauty, and exploring it is like time travel. Odd, sloping floors and a musty odour bestow a genuine feel, and parts of the building a…
Top Choice Historic Building in Melrose

Abbotsford

Just outside Melrose, this is where to discover the life and works of Sir Walter Scott, to whom we arguably owe both the modern novel and our mind's-eye view of Scotland. This whimsical, fabulous house where he live…
Top Choice Castle in Borders Region

Hermitage Castle

The 'guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain', Hermitage Castle embodies the brutal history of the Scottish Borders. Desolate but proud with its massive squared stone walls, it looks more like a lair for orc r…
Top Choice Historic Building in Borders Region

Paxton House

Paxton House, 6 miles west of Berwick-upon-Tweed, is beside the River Tweed and surrounded by parkland and gardens. It was built in 1758 by Patrick Home for his intended wife, the daughter of Prussia’s Frederick the…
Top Choice Ruins in Melrose

Melrose Abbey

Perhaps the most interesting of the Border abbeys, red-sandstone Melrose was repeatedly destroyed by the English in the 14th century. The remaining broken shell is pure Gothic and the ruins are famous for their deco…
Top Choice Ruins in Melrose

Dryburgh Abbey

This is the most beautiful and complete of the Border abbeys, partly because the neighbouring town of Dryburgh no longer exists (another victim of the wars) and partly because of its lovely site by the Tweed in a sh…
Top Choice Ruins in Jedburgh

Jedburgh Abbey

Dominating the town skyline, this was the first of the great Border abbeys to be passed into state care, and it shows – audio and visual presentations telling the abbey's story are scattered throughout the carefully…
Top Choice Bistro in Peebles

Coltman's

This main-street deli has numerous temptations, such as excellent cheeses and Italian smallgoods, as well as perhaps Scotland's tastiest sausage roll. Behind the shop, the good-looking dining area serves up confiden…
Top Choice Bistro in Kelso

Cobbles

This inn off the main square is so popular you will need to book a table at weekends. It's cheery, very welcoming and warm, and serves excellent upmarket pub food in generous portions. Pick and mix from bar menu, st…
Top Choice Bistro in Hawick

Night Safe Bistro

Lively and attractive, this High St coffee stop and restaurant occupies the ground level of a handsome bank building. Morning coffees and light lunches give way to sturdier dinner mains based around well-sourced duc…