Holiday rentals in Scottish Borders

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Your guide to Scottish Borders

Welcome to the Scottish Borders

Steeped in history, adorned with breathtaking landscapes, and pitted with gorgeous coastal scenery, this area of Scotland may not be as celebrated as the Highlands, but it’s just as attractive and far easier to get to. Located between Edinburgh and Lothian to the north and Northumberland in northern England to the south, the Borders offer an exciting contrast of the battle-scarred ruins of towers and castles (many skirmishes between the Scots and the English took place in the region) mixed with gentle rolling countryside and villages brimming with character.

The River Tweed runs through the centre of the Borders, with picturesque towns such as Peebles and Coldstream nestled on the banks. The Berwickshire coast holds delights such as the fishing village of Burnmouth, and St Abbs, which you may recognise as a location in certain Hollywood blockbusters. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing stay in glorious countryside or an extreme-sports-themed high-adrenaline weekend, the Scottish Borders has something to offer everyone.

The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Scottish Borders

Each season has something to offer in this part of the world. In spring, as the temperatures begin to rise, it’s the perfect time to book a holiday cottage near the River Tweed and see the snowdrops and daffodils emerging along its banks in towns such as Kelso. In late summer, the heather is in full bloom, so a walk around the Lammermuir Hills should be spectacular. Located near Peebles, the Dawyck Botanic Garden is perfect for an autumn visit, especially if you’re a fan of kicking up leaves. The seaside is a magical place to visit in winter and, if you’re feeling brave, the Berwickshire coast is thought to have some of the best cold-water diving spots in Europe. Local town festivals, known as ridings, take place during the summer months and involve games, equestrian events, concerts, and a general festive atmosphere.

Top things to do in Scottish Borders

Melrose Abbey

Where else are you likely to see a bagpipe-playing gargoyle pig? Scotland’s first Cistercian monastery was founded in 1136 but was repeatedly attacked by the English until this remarkable Gothic shell was all that remained. It’s a site of such majesty that Robert the Bruce insisted his heart be buried there. Along with the impressive architecture, there’s a museum filled with medieval artefacts, plus wonderful, tranquil grounds.

St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve

Just outside the rugged, remote fishing village of St Abb’s you’ll discover this 200-acre site renowned for its fabulous coastal views and seabird colonies. There are a number of walking trails, including a spectacular 4-mile one to the nearby lighthouse via the pretty Mire Loch. Just to the south, Coldingham Bay is a popular surfing spot.

Abbotsford House in Melrose

The former home of Sir Walter Scott, the famed Scottish novelist, is a testament to his largesse. Scott’s immense wealth drove him to expand what was originally a small farmhouse into this astonishing baronial pile, which is now a museum filled with objects from Scott’s life plus artefacts from the area’s history. Along with rooms filled with splendour, there are extensive gardens to roam, plus literary events throughout the year.

Destinations to explore