As one of the most unspoiled regions in the country, the Scottish Borders offers the chance to enjoy the outdoors - whether walking the hills, hiking through the glens or rambling in the countryside. There are a number of long-distance routes that traverse the area - namely the Southern Upland Way (212 miles), St. Cuthbert's Way (62 miles) and the Borders Abbeys Way, a new circular route linking the four Border Abbeys on foot.
For a shorter walk, there are numerous routes in the surrounding area, taking in nearby Lindean Reservoir, the Eildon Hills and river routes along the Tweed and in the Yarrow and Ettrick Valleys.
Whilst many areas offer rights of access to walkers, please remember to show consideration for the land and surrounding area by practising the country code. Fasten all gates and keep dogs under close control, leave livestock and machinery alone and keep to paths where possible.
We have also produced a small guide for a country walk from Dimpleknowe. Click here to read, or ask for a copy during your visit.
Local fishing is available in the Rivers Tweed, Ettrick and Yarrow, and on nearby Lindean Reservoir. Permits can be purchased at the following outlets:
The local angling association can advise on stocked lochs and reservoirs. Please call Mr D Mitchell of the Selkirk and District Angling Association, on 01750 20748 for further information.
The Scottish Borders is an ideal place for cycling, with numerous routes and a brand new cycle tour, Borderloop, that stretches around the area. Waymarked road routes include:
The 4 Abbeys: a 55 mile circular route linking Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh Abbeys
The Tweed Cycle Way: an 89 mile route running along the Tweed from Biggar to Berwick
For the adventurous, new forest routes recently opened at The Hub in nearby Glentress, with blue, red and black runs, and the Tweed section of the Forestry Commission's '7stanes' run at Innerleithen.
Further information on routes and bike hire can be obtained from the 7 stanes website.
Scotland is home to some of the finest golf courses, and has no less than five current courses that are venues for the Open Championship. As well as our own golf course, there is plenty of choice when it comes to golfing in the Borders, with over twenty other courses within easy driving distance.
There are several shooting and target practice activities available in the surrounding area, which offer top class facilities and are open to both novices and experienced shots. Clay pigeon shooting is an increasingly popular and enjoyable outdoor pursuit - and junior family members can also participate, depending on age and build.
Opportunities for rough shooting are available at the Buccleuch Estates with several species including snipe, woodcock, pigeons, rabbits as well as pheasant and partridge. Wild duck flighting can also be arranged on the many small lochs on the Estate. With instruction available in both game and clay shooting, and archery centres, you'll be sure to find an activity that suits the whole family.
For further information please contact:
Roy Green, Sporting Manager, Buccleuch Estates: tel. 01848 600283
Eastcote House Archery Centre, Hawick: tel. 01450 870008
The Scottish Borders is famed for some of the best horse-riding country, with local stables and riding schools offering tuition in riding and country hacks. Several short and long distance routes are accessible nearby, including the Buccleuch Country Ride which spans 57 miles. We strongly recommend you book riding lessons in advance of your stay, as schools are often booked, particularly at peak times during the school holidays and the Border Festivals.
The Ian Stark Equestrian Centre, which is around a 15 minute drive from Dimpleknowe is suitable for riders of all abilities and offers equipment hire.
For further information contact:
The Ian Stark Equestrian Centre, Selkirk: tel: 01750 202020
Kailzie Equestrian Centre, Peebles: tel. 01721 729121
For the less active, the local hunt and equestrian societies run regular racing and point-to-point events. Further information is available from:
Kelso Racecourse, Kelso: tel. 01668 280800
North Western Point to Point, Mosshouses, Galashiels: tel. 01896 860242
During the summer months each year, the Borders towns come alive with the celebrations of colourful traditional festivals of riding which have their origins in the 13th Century. These times of troubles saw wars with England and lawlessness that created the 'Border Reivers' - a term denoting customary plunder and cattle thieving.
In such an age, townspeople would ride the boundaries of their land on horseback - also known as riding the 'marches' to protect their area. This tradition continues in every Border town, where a young man is selected each year to carry the town's traditional 'Standard' or flag whilst the cavalcade of horses and their riders follow.
Each year, the 'Standard' is "bussed" - where ribbons are tied to the staff by a selected Lady Busser, in memory of the times when a maiden would attach her ribbon to a knight's lance before battle. Often, a schoolgirl is selected as a 'Queen' of the event and leads processions of school- children in fancy dress parades and festive floats.
The Scottish Borders is rich in historical and archaeological sites of interest stretching from Roman times to the Reivers. Numerous museums, stately homes and towers illustrate the area's colourful heritage and offer the visitor an ideal way to discover Borders heritage. There are also the 4 Border abbeys at Jedburgh, Melrose, Kelso and - most peaceful and atmospheric of all - Dryburgh by the River Tweed, all waiting to be discovered.