I’ve been spending a lot of time in Scotland lately. I’ve alluded to it here and there, but today I want to come clean. I’ve fallen in love, you see, and the man in question has a house in the Scottish Borders. We’re up there a lot, and in the past year I’ve discovered a part of the UK I never knew about. And it’s pretty amazing. If you want to know why, here are 5 days out in the Scottish Borders that will show you.

Days Out in the Scottish Borders

Days Out in the Scottish Borders

One of the best things about the Scottish Borders is that the region is under the radar as far as travel destinations go. Despite being just south of Edinburgh, there are fewer crowds and more opportunities to experience a land full of fairytale castles, breathtaking coastline, and storybook villages.

Heather on the Moors in the Scottish Borders

Whether I’m exploring the ruins of an abbey or wading through heather at dawn to watch the sunrise over the moors, this part of Scotland reveals its magic everywhere I go.

Sunrise in the Scottish Borders

The best days out in the Scottish Borders are:
1. Melrose Abbey
2. Abbotsford House
3. Kelso
4. St Abbs
5. Traquair House

Melrose Abbey

This is particularly true at Melrose Abbey. A former Cistercian monastery, what remains of the current building dates back to the 1300’s and offers a wealth of treasures to explore. The abbey was so famous in its day that Robert the Bruce chose it as the final resting place for his heart.

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

I recently took an audio tour of the premises, learning all about the mystical ruins and exploring the nooks and towers. Walking through architecture so old and beautiful was awe-inspiring.

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

Abbotsford House

Equally stunning is Abbotsford House. The former home of celebrated Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, a visit makes for another of the best days out in the Scottish Borders.

Abbotsford House

With turrets galore and a walled garden to die for, the 19th-century house is straight out of a fairytale.

Abbotsford House

Medieval halls and sumptuous libraries win me over on the inside, and grounds that extend to the River Tweed keep me active outdoors.

Abbotsford House

From formal gardens to wooded glades, Abbotsford House has as picturesque a setting as it does a structure.

Abbotsford House


As far as towns go, Kelso shows the Scottish Borders at its best. Home to another of the region’s ruined abbeys, it also has a pretty square that comes alive with delicious sights and aromas on market days. And that’s to say nothing of the colorful shops and houses that line the streets.

Kelso, Scottish Borders

Kelso is also next door to Floors Castle, Scotland’s largest inhabited castle and one of the most impressive country houses in the United Kingdom. The grounds, gardens, and adjacent Roxburghe Hotel are delightful to explore, too.

Kelso, Scottish Borders

St Abbs

When it comes to coastline, one of the best days out in the Scottish Borders is St Abbs.

St Abbs, Scottish Borders

The fishing village of the same name is charming, but the real treat is walking along the coastal path to St Abb’s Head.

St Abbs, Scottish Borders

A nature reserve with wild rock formations and rugged shoreline, it shows off Scotland’s beauty from the wildlife to the lighthouse.

St Abb's Head, Scottish Borders

Traquair House

Traquair House is the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. A cross between a castle and a fortified mansion, this impressive home is a great place to dive into Scotland’s legendary past.

Traquair House, Scottish Borders

Dating back to 1107, Traquair House was initially a royal hunting lodge. Later the Stuarts of Traquair supported Mary Queen of Scots, who stayed in the house in 1566. The interiors are a delight—I want to take the library home with me—and the grounds are brimming with gardens (and an impressive hedge maze!).

Traquair House, Scottish Borders

Scottish Borders

These 5 highlights are just a handful of places I’ve come to love in this undiscovered region of Britain. There are more castles, towns, paths, and ruins to explore, and and I can’t wait to keep uncovering the best of the Borders.

Hume Castle, Scottish Borders

Have you been to this part of the UK? What are your favorite days out in the Scottish Borders?

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Days Out in the Scottish Borders

26 Comments on Lady’s 5 Days Out that Will Make You Want to Visit the Scottish Borders

  1. We spent a few days in the area driving down the coast from Edinburgh to Seahouses in England and back up again via Kelso. We stayed at the divine Roxburghe Hotel and stopped off at St Abbs which is the prettiest of fishing villages. I’d love to revisit and take in some of the places you’ve mentioned which we missed.

  2. Abbottsford House looks amazing. Thanks for highlighting this lesser known area of Scotland. I’m adding it to my travel list. And I’m thrilled you are in love!

  3. Having just stent a beautiful autumn picnic lunch with my wife and grandchild by the banks of the Teviot : upstream from the beautiful old railway viaduct at Roxburgh. iI agree with everything you have said about the beautiful Borders….but Then I would because I live here….All the Best.
    Petshop Pete

  4. Wow! I haven’t visited this part of Scotland yet, but looking at all your wonderful photos has made me add it to my ever-growing list of places to visit. It truly is beautiful. 🙂

  5. Julie, this was such a fun escape to read along with the photos! I would print out this post and just go down the list visiting each place. Have a great upcoming week, my friend! 🙂

  6. Your photos are amazing, thanks for sharing them! And thanks for the info on what looks like an awesome area to travel that I’ve never been.

  7. All of your posts regarding Scotland have me planning my first trip there. The only problem is there is WAY too much I want to see and I will only have ten days. The good news is tha should give me an excuse to return again.:) Thank you so much for stoking my desire to visit Scotland! Your pictures of it are unbelievable, simply amazing.

  8. I would love to visit these places when I travel to Europe this coming July. Can you give a suggestion how to visit these places for a day or 2? Maybe just a normal transportation hopefully 😊

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