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Visit Castles - Historic Houses and Stately Homes in the Scottish Borders

No visit to the beautiful Scottish Borders would be complete without at least one visit to one of the magnificent Castles or Stately Homes listed below.

Scotland’s famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, designed and commissioned his beautiful home, Abbotsford House, on the outskirts of Galashiels. If you explore this residence you will witness the joyous life he and his family lived there and understand why it was the inspiration for many of his novels. The house is also home to a vast collection of books and many of Sir Walter’s souvenirs from far-flung travels. The library is of particular interest, displaying an impressive replica of the Rosslyn Chapel’s ceiling.

There are many other Historic Houses and Castles some of which are not open to the public and Castles which may be in ruins. Here are some of these:-

Ayton Castle, Paxton House, Duns Castle, Greenknowe Tower, Gordon, Old Gala House and Scott Gallery, Drumlanrig's Tower, Hawick, Ferniehurst Castle and Mary Queen Of Scots House, Jedburgh, Jedburgh Castle Jail, Smailholm Tower, Neidpath Castle, Peebles, Hermitage Castle, Newcastleton

Visit Abbotsford House | Sir Walter Scott's home - touring Scotland

Thirlestane Castle

Thirlestane Castle, on the outskirts of Lauder, is nestled in the gentle Border hills. With its rose pink sandstone and fairytale turrets, it holds a unique and important place in Scottish history.  Thirlestane is one of the oldest and finest castles in Scotland and home to one of the country’s most distinguished families.
Floors Castle Floors Castle, near Kelso, the grand old gentleman of the Borders stately homes. An expansive and ornate architectural masterpiece, it stands on grounds overlooking the River Tweed.  Designed by William Adam, it is the home of the Duke of Roxburghe and has been enlarged and embellished throughout its history.  If you have time after exploring its magnificent interior, there is a garden centre and tea room within the grounds to visit too!  Well worth a visit.
Traquair House Traquair House near Innerleithen, with it’s legendary ‘Bear Gates’, is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland and home to Lady Laird Catherine Maxwell Stuart of Traqauir and her family. Traquair House is Scotland’s oldest inhabited house and was originally a hunting lodge for the kings of Scotland. It has strong associations with Mary Queen of Scots. The brewery situated next to the house uses traditional methods to produce award-winning quality ales. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings by meandering through the extensive gardens and maze.
Manderston House Manderston House, a beautiful 18th century Georgian house, designed by Robert Adam with beautiful gardens and wonderful terraces, it is home to a vast collection of fabulous paintings, embroidery, china and furniture which are important remnants of Scottish history.
Mellerstain House
Mellerstain House, a beautiful 18th century Georgian house, designed by Robert Adam with beautiful gardens and wonderful terraces, it is home to a vast collection of fabulous paintings, embroidery, china and furniture which are important remnants of Scottish history.
Bowhill House and Country Park Bowhill House and Country Park, with its immense grounds and tranquil beauty.  Nestled in the countryside a few miles from Selkirk, it features a fascinating exhibition of the life of Ettrick shepherd James Hogg and has an outstanding collection of paintings and silverware.  Walking into Bowhill’s fully-restored Victorian kitchen is like stepping back in Scottish history, and there is much to enjoy and appreciate at this impressive stately home.


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If you want to see where the English were defeated three times in one day then visit Neidpath Castle which towers over the River Tweed near Peebles. - Mary Stuart and Oliver Cromwell stayed there. Neidpath is one of many Scottish historic houses used as a film location. ‘The Bruce’ was a filmed at Neidpath, Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull was the location for ‘Entrapment’ and Floors Castle in Kelso was the home of Tarzan the Earl off Greystoke in ‘Greystoke”.
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