Local Area Things To Do
Situated on the banks of the River Tweed, Kelso is full of architectural and historic interest.
Home to many specialist independent shops and a packed schedule of town events, there’s always plenty to do in and around Scotland’s ‘most beautiful’ town. It’s also ideally located to explore the Scottish Borders, the Berwickshire Coast and North Northumberland. Here are some of our favourite things to do in the area.
Scotland’s historic textile towns of Hawick, Innerleithen, Selkirk and Peebles produce some of the world’s finest tartans, tweeds and cashmere. Within around 30 miles, you’ll find ten textile companies, factory outlets, visitor centres and museums showcasing the region’s famous tweed and knitwear industry and heritage. Book yourself on a factory tour, watch the manufacturing process first-hand or simply indulge in some retail therapy.
Visible from the hotel and built for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe in 1721, and today the ancestral home to the 11th Duke of Roxburghe and his family, this is Scotland’s largest inhabited castle. 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 well-stocked delicatessen and gift shop there’s something for everyone.
Fishing on The Tweed
Ednam House occupies a prime spot on the River Tweed overlooking the Junction Pool, one of the most celebrated salmon beats in the UK. With facilities for the safe storage of your equipment and your catch, a drying room and little black book of expert local guides, Ednam has long been a popular choice for fishermen. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or keen to try your hand at fishing for the first time, our local experts Tweed Guide will ensure you have the best advice on choosing a beat, hiring your tackle and timing your trip.
Mellerstain House and Gardens
Begun 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.
This 100-mile cycle route is a loop from Kelso forming a section of the 250-mile Borderloop. Taking in the handsome towns of Coldstream, Duns, Eyemouth as well as Kelso, the routes mostly follows quiet lanes that criss-cross the beautiful region, along field and land boundaries.
Four Abbeys Cycle Route
This popular 55-mile circular route links the four main abbeys in the Scottish Borders at Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh and follows a scenic route that takes in many historic interest points in the region either on the route or close by.
Scotland is world renowned for its country pursuits the area offers a variety of mixed game and shooting set ups, from rough walked up days to fully catered for grouse days. We can put you in touch with the surrounding estates to plan your trip. Shooting parties are well accommodated at Ednam House.
High on a rocky outcrop, five miles west of Kelso, stands Smailholm Tower. Built in the 15th century by a well-known Scottish Borders family this 65ft rectangular peel tower is a much-loved landmark. Step inside and you’ll find a charming collection of costume figures and tapestries relating to Sir Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders. It’s a spot that is said to have sparked his imagination as a young boy given the stunning views of the countryside from its battlements.
Just a short walk from Ednam House, Kelso Racecourse combines a picturesque setting with modern facilities to host high quality National Hunt racing between October and May. With a reputation as ‘Britain’s friendliest course’ you can be assured of a fabulous day out, regardless of your luck with the bookmakers.
In 1128 David I granted monks permission to build an abbey across the water from his castle, Roxburgh. The resulting Kelso Abbey was one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture of the time and one of the largest and richest in Scotland. Little remains of the once-sprawling monastery precinct but what survives of the church is one of the most spectacular architectural achievements in medieval Scotland. Admission is free.