Self-catering accommodation in the Scottish Borders

Staying in the Scottish Borders

The borders of Scotland with England was much fought over land till the mid 17th century - towns were sacked and rebuilt and most settlements were fortified. The magnificent abbeys at Melrose, Kelso, Dryburgh and Jedburgh were destroyed and repaired many times until the Reformation led to their final destruction. As well as the English, the Border Reivers (powerful border families) fought amongst themselves and stole cattle. The fast-flowing rivers Tweed and Teviot are famous for salmon and trout fishing, and their waters used to drive the woollen mills (the Border towns are still famous for their textiles). If you are staying in a holiday cottage in the Borders during the summer, then try to see one of the Common Riding Festivals, unique spectacles. Riding is particularly popular here and there are plenty of riding centres offering pony-trekking.

On the Borders' coast, fishing and smuggling used to be the most important activities. St Abbs is a pretty village with narrow streets running steeply down to the harbour. Some of the brightly painted fisherman's cottages are now available for holiday rentals, and as St Abbs has a sandy beach they are much sought after. Eyemouth is a small seaside town with amazing cliffs and caves.

Tweed Valley - Scottish Borders

The Tweed Valley is a popular location for cottage holidays in Scotland as it is a particularly beautiful part of the Borders. The River Tweed is one of the most famous salmon rivers in the world, and it meets with the Teviot at Kelso. Kelso has a fine Georgian square and Kelso Abbey, which is one of famous Borders' Abbeys. Nearby Floors Castle, is an Adam house and was added to by William Playfair and is open to the public. It has a magnificent collection of paintings, porcelain and tapestries, and is home of the Duke of Roxboroughe. Mellerstain is one of Scotland's finest Georgian mansions, with fabulous formal Italianate gardens.

Dryburgh Abbey, west of Kelso, is another of the Border abbeys founded by David I, and is a beautiful ruin. Melrose Abbey was perhaps the most beautiful of the four abbeys, and Robert the Bruce's heart is believed to be buried here. There are many fine Border's towns and there is plenty of luxury holiday accommodation available to rent in Kelso and Melrose and the surrounding area.

Abbotsford House was home of Sir Walter Scott and was built by him - it is a mock Scots Baronial house and there is plenty of Walter Scott memorabilia on display. Selkirk is a good place to buy tweed and other woollen goods, as is Galashiels - both are great centres near which to base your cottage holiday in Scotland. Traquair House is particularly famour for the gates through which Bonnie Prince Charlie passed on his march to Derby - they were shut by the fifth Earl of Traquair who vowed they wouldn't be opened until a Stuart king ruled Scotland (and so they have never been opened again). The River Tweed runs through Peebles, which is an old town with narrow streets and some fine buildings.

Teviot Valley - Scottish Borders

Roxborough and Jedburgh are in the Teviot Valley, which is particularly worth a visit if you are in Scotland for an autumn break as the colours are fabulous. Jedburgh Abbey is another dreamy ruin, which echoes with the ghosts of the past. Hawick is another well known Scottish borders' town and is famous for its Rugby Sevens.

The Border region of Scotland is a fascinating place for a holiday - there is a wealth of historical sights and abbeys, set amidst fabulous scenery. Holiday cottages in the Borders range from country cottages, Scottish castles to town houses - Big holiday houses for lare groups, as well as smaller cottages for couple, and families - all of them delightful places to rent for a memorable holiday in the Scottish Borders.