Days Out With a Dog
If you’re holidaying with your four-legged friend(s) you’ll find no shortage of beautiful walks to enjoy together. But sometimes a dog walk need only be a potter rather than a full-on hike! For the days when your pooch needs only a mooch, here’s a selection of dog-friendly attractions (where dogs are welcome on a lead in the grounds) within a short drive of Kelso. Many have on-site cafes or tea rooms where you can refuel, or alternatively just ask us to make you up a packed lunch to take on your way. Please check restrictions with the individual attraction before you visit.
FLOORS CASTLE, KELSO
Floors Castle is one of the most iconic country houses in Scotland as well as being Scotland’s largest inhabited castle. Visible from Ednam House and built for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe in 1721, today it is the ancestral home to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe and his family. Visit to see the impressive collection of fine art, porcelain, newly restored tapestries and grand rooms. With a variety of woodland and riverside walks, acres of gardens, a stunning Victorian walled garden, a well-stocked delicatessen and gift shop there’s something for everyone.
JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN, HAWICK
Cashmere is a true luxury product – and one that will be irrevocably associated with the Johnstons of Elgin name.
On the banks of the River Teviot, Eastfield Mill has been a centre of the textile manufacturing for over 140 years. The visitor centre tells the unique and proud story of Johnstons of Elgin, with the chance to touch and feel the different fibres used in production, as well as showcasing the iconic machines used over the mill’s history.
Enjoy a free tour of the factory and see first-hand the talent and special skills used in the manufacture of the luxury knitted cashmere and lambswool before browsing the latest collections in the shop.
BOWHILL HOUSE & GROUNDS, SELKIRK
The Scotts of Buccleuch have been part of Scottish Borders history for over 700 years and their principal house, Bowhill, is today home to the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry and a part of the internationally renowned Buccleuch art collection.
Head to Bowhill and you’ll find an impressive country estate with waymarked walks taking in beautiful views and native wildlife, tree trails, fishing and even an adventure playground for children. On special dates throughout the year, Bowhill House opens its doors for guided tours where you can see items from the world-renowned Buccleuch art collection including masterworks by Canaletto, Raeburn, Reynolds and Gainsborough.
THE HIRSEL ARTS & CRAFTS CENTRE, COLDSTREAM
A hub for crafts, the centre is home to a gallery, Cottage Tearooms and craft workshops where resident artists and skilled craftspeople sell a variety of handmade work inspired by the surroundings of the Scottish Borders. Within the centre you’ll find specialists in ceramics, watercolours, textiles and home furniture and furnishings as well as hand-blown glass, felting and jewellery. Items can be bought there and then or commissioned for personalisation.
The centre also houses a museum of country life, a photography exhibition documenting a year on the estate, a children’s playground and picnic area. If you’re bringing the dog they may appreciate a walk through the surrounding estate including to take in the Hirsel’s famous pedigree herd of highland cattle.
MELLERSTAIN HOUSE & GARDENS, BERWICKSHIRE
Started in 1725 by Scottish architect William Adam and completed in 1778 by his son Robert Adam, the magnificent Mellerstain House is perhaps the finest example of Adam’s work. With an enviable collection of period furniture and fine arts, the house is well worth a visit. So too are the grounds. Sitting in acres of glorious parkland and formal gardens with views across to the Cheviot Hills and a range of lakeside and woodland walks, a play area and coffee shop there’s plenty here to fill a day.
LINDISFARNE ISLAND (HOLY ISLAND), BERWICK-UPON-TWEED
Just a few miles off the Northumberland coast, Lindisfarne Island is a must-see destination. Although cut off twice a day from the rest of the world by fast-moving tides, you can drive, walk or cycle over the dramatic causeway to Holy Island (after checking the safe crossing times). The epicentre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times, the Lindisfarne Priory is one of the region’s most revered treasures and the island remains a place of pilgrimage today. Although dogs aren’t allowed in the 16th century Lindisfarne Castle itself, staff will watch them while you browse the rooms and artefacts. You can walk all the way around the castle, spend time in the Lindisfarne museum and potter around the pretty village. The Lindisfarne Nature Reserve is home to rare plants and an exciting array of wildlife. You’ll often see seals hauled up on the sand as well as puffins and dolphins.