Situated 2 miles north-east of St Boswells, Mertoun Gardens occupy a stunning location on the banks of the River Tweed. A sweeping lawn is bounded to the east by the tree-covered bank of the Tweed and to the north by borders of herbaceous plants, shrub roses and azaleas. Beyond is an arboretum, established over the last 40 years, with a great variety of both conifers and hardwoods. Paths and grass walks provide access to all parts of the garden and its surrounding woodland, as well as forming several most attractive circular walks, with views over the River.
Learn all about the life cycle of the King of the fishes from the Salmon Wall display. Then see what dangers lie in the river and how many survive after the female salmon has laid 5,000 eggs. Then watch the Salmon live on the interactive video screen and choose from 4 different cameras around the edge of the Ettrick river.
See salmon leaping up the cauld on the last leg of their epic journey in season (either May & June or Sept to Nov when river is high) - all just a few minutes walk from the centre.
Thirlestane is Scotland's fairytale castle. Set in the Scottish Borders at Lauder, the Castle has its origins in the 13th century. It was rebuilt as the Maitland family home in 1590 and has been greatly enhanced and extended at various times. Now in the care of a Charitable Trust, Thirlestane has been carefully restored to its former splendour and is a fantastic place to visit. The formal garden and extensive grounds include a picnic area and woodland walk. The Southern Upland Way also runs through the grounds. Enjoy delicious home baking in the Tea Room.
Melrose Abbey is an impressive rose-coloured ruin standing guard over the lovely town of Melrose. Built on the site of the first Cirsterian monastry in Scotland it is believed to be the burial place of the heart of Robert the Bruce and is also worth a visit to see the detailed carvings which include hobgoblins, lute-playing angels and a pig playing the bagpipes. The property is managed by Historic Scotland and there is an entrance charge. Melrose itself is worth a good look around with some impressive buildings, unique shops, traditional pubs and good walks along the Tweed and nearby Eildon Hills.
Dawyck is truly one of the world's finest arboreta. Seasonal displays of abundant exotic and native plants provide a breathtaking backdrop of colour throughout the year. The Garden also offers an award-winning visitor centre.
The remains of Dryburgh Abbey are set out over a large and beautiful site next to the River Tweed. The Abbey was established in 1150 and existed until the protestant reformation, surviving being burnt down by Edward II's retreating army in 1322. Sir Walter Scott is buried here along with the 11th Earl of Buchan who lived in the nearby Dryburgh House which is now a hotel. The Abbey ruins and grounds make a peaceful spot to visit. The site is managed by Historic Scotland and there is an entry charge.
Eyemouth Museum presents the fascinating story of the fishing and social heritage of Eyemouth, brought to life by exhibits and local people's stories. Marvel at the famous Eyemouth Tapestry that commemorates the Great East Coast Fishing Disaster of 1881, when 129 Eyemouth men lost their lives at sea. Museum, tourist information centre, exhibition gallery and gift shop. Open Apr - Oct, Tues - Sat 10:00 - 16:00, Sun 12:00 - 16:00
Jedburgh Abbey is one of the most magnificent church ruins in Scotland. It was founded by King David I in 1138 but the site had previously been an important church for several centuries. The site is managed by Historic Scotland and there is an entry charge. Jedburgh itself is an interesting town to look around with a good shops and places to eat as well as a number of walks locally.