The Borders were in the past an effective buffer zone for national armies, an often unruly area straddling both Scotland and England that over time has seen much political machination and inter-family reiving (robbing) but also a centre of civilisation with its fine historic abbeys and towns.
In the Border country we meet: a strong and proud people, shepherding a rich source of storytelling, tradition and custom; the towns, villages and abbeys, each full of character and charm, set to a backdrop of a multi-variously wild and tamed landscape.
On this tour:
- Welcome and pick-up from your Edinburgh lodgings (or from the airport)
- Leave Edinburgh along 'Via Regia', the main Roman artery to the South, for Soutra, a hill where the Augustinian Order founded the largest medieval hospital in Scotland and now of archeo-medical interest
- Journey via the former Royal Burgh of Lauder
- Through Earlston, home of the 13th century soothsayer, Thomas the Rhymer
- Savour Sir Walter Scott’s View of the Eildon Hills and its bucolic viewpoint, a favourite of this 19th century novelist, and cultural and political giant.
- Walk in the secluded ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, once a Premonstratensian monastery and now a place of gladed peace and stillness
- Visit Smailholm Tower, a Peel (Watch) Tower from around 1500
- Short stroll to the Eildon Tree where in some variants of the local folk tale and ballad, Thomas the Rhymer meets the Queen of Elfland...
- Traditional pub lunch in Melrose at Burts Hotel
- View the ruins of Melrose Abbey
- Choice of visit to the impressively gothic and romantic Abbotsford House a Scots Baronial style home built by Sir Walter Scott, with fine displays of Scott's life and collecting or/explore Traquair House, situated by the meeting of the River Quair and Tweed, Scotland's oldest continually inhabited house (from 1107), time-sagged yet replete with fascinating historical and family artefacts. Traquair House has a small artisan brewery and craft workshops and is nestled in a bucolic woodland setting with old Yews, Scots Pine, Douglas Fir, Horse Chesnut, Limes and Ash trees.
- Back to Edinburgh for early evening
Stops/visits on the above tour can be tailored to your requirements. For Hadrian's Wall please enquire.