Visiting the Borders this Autumn & Winter
Colourful landscapes, glowing skies and taste sensations from the kitchen. A visit to the Scottish Borders in the calm of the autumn and winter months offers the perfect chance for escapism. Pack your boots, your woolies and your camera and embrace mother nature’s finest spectacles in the Borders this season.
Here are a few ideas of places to visit, just a short drive from the hotel.
St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve, Eyemouth – 60 minutes from Ednam House
Layer up and head out to coast for jaw dropping scenery and fresh sea air aplenty. Open year-round this National Trust for Scotland owned nature reserve is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and famed for its seabird colonies. It’s a paradise for hikers, bird watchers and nature lovers. Walk the Berwickshire Coastal Path along the volcanic clifftops, around the Mire Loch and out towards the lighthouse for the best views and remember to look out for grey seal pups between the months of October and December. St Abbs itself is a charming fishing village with a couple of cafes naturally serving freshly caught seafood – try a crab sandwich or traditional Cullen Skink.
Abbotsford House, Melrose – 25 minutes from Ednam House
Once home to 19th century novelist Sir Walter Scott the sprawling Abbotsford estate is well worth a visit. Many of the historic rooms, where Scott became the biggest-selling author of his day, have been left just as he kept them and are full of intriguing items that he collected during his lifetime.
The gardens are no less impressive with a productive walled kitchen garden and a series of sheltered ‘rooms’ amongst the highlights. Walk the paths of the wider estate on well-marked paths along the banks of the River Tweed or through Scott’s woodlands – perfect for a crisp autumnal or winter stroll. There’s also a visitor centre, shop and cafe onsite.
Monteviot Lights, Jedburgh – 20 minutes from Ednam House
The Scottish Borders first winter light trail comes to Monteviot House and Gardens from 30th November to 10th December and looks set to be a magical crowd-pleaser. Produced by the same team involved in the enchanting light shows at Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Zoo, this promises to be a captivating sound and light show taking in a 1.5km route through the illuminated gardens and woods of the house, punctuated with local food and drink pop ups stalls to enjoy. Guaranteed to give you all the Christmas feels!
Hogmanay at Ednam House
The Scots love a good party and Hogmanay is no exception! Celebrate the arrival of the new year and see in 2024 with a fabulous two-course gala buffet dinner with friends and family in the Border’s largest ballroom. Follow with a night of dancing to our DJ and the rousing sounds of our Scottish piper marking midnight. Take a look at our Hogmanay packages.
Floors Castle, Kelso – 5 minutes from Ednam House
Stretch your legs in the winter gardens of Floors Castle, just a stone’s throw from the hotel. The castle closes for the winter season but tickets can be purchased between October and March for just £3 per adult for entry to the winter gardens and terrace café. There’s still plenty to see this season, take a mooch around the fine Victorian walled, kitchen gardens and the formal Millennium Garden and explore the beautiful estate. Dogs are welcome.
A Day at the Races
Affectionately known as the UK’s friendliest racecourse, Kelso Races is also the home of National Hunt Racing and offers a thrilling day out during the racing season. There’s one public enclosure so racegoers can get up close to the action and cheer in the winners. With the autumn season now underway take a look at the course website for a list of race days.
Kelso Farmers Market, Kelso
Now in its 20th year, the Kelso monthly farmers market is the place to sample and treat yourself to a range of locally grown, reared and home-made produce. Recently named the best in Scotland, KFM is held in the square on the fourth Saturday of every month between 9.30am and 1.30pm.
Paxton House, Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Every Wednesday in November, 11am.
Come and discover the stories of one of Britain’s finest Palladian houses in a behind the scenes tour that takes place once the house closes for the winter season. The tour of Paxton House, lasting approximately 60-90 minutes, will take in the extensive furniture and costume collections, the social history of the house and its Caribbean connections.
September to March is widely regarded as the best time to see the elusive Aurora Borealis and Scotland is far enough north to offer a decent chance to see them – although nothing is guaranteed. Long cold nights and clear skies away from human-generated light pollution set the perfect conditions for aurora hunters and even if you aren’t lucky enough to see the Northern Lights, you’ll likely see some incredible constellations. With little light pollution to distract from the star-studded skies and meteor showers above, why not take a short drive to the Eildon Hills, take in the views and watch the sunset followed by front-row seats to a show of magnificent constellations.