A short drive from Edinburgh brings you to the start of the Borders, where Scotland meets England. Mostly inland and littered with meandering rivers and burns, you will find a stretch of coastline to the region’s northwest. This scenic and historic area contains some of the country’s most significant stately homes, abbeys and castles. Meanwhile, more outdoorsy visitors can make use of the many mountain biking and hiking trails, golf courses, river angling opportunities, wild swimming spots and activity centres. Whether you prefer grand or intimate accommodation styles, here are the finest places to lay your head while enjoying a lavish Scottish Border break.
This multi-award-winning hotel was built at the turn of the 19th century close to the riverside town of Peebles. Book a room, suite or self-contained lodge surrounded by landscaped gardens. Dining here is relaxed with an emphasis on wellbeing – although this doesn’t mean a deficit of treats. In addition to the nutritious fresh fare, champagne, puddings and cakes are all integral to its culinary offer – and the opening of a smart new cocktail lounge with an extensive range of beverages and an entire gin menu has proven popular. Stobo’s four-decade-old health spa has a 25-metre ozone pool, choice of over 70 treatments, hydro suite and fairy-lit jacuzzis. All of which makes it a destination hotel for spa and gourmet breaks.
SCHLOSS Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course
Attracting an international gold clientele, the championship course here is part of an epic 50000-acre estate in Kelso – guests can also indulge in a little clay pigeon shooting, target shooting, archery, croquet or salmon fishing. The name provides a hint to its former owners – the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, whose home still lies on the grounds. The hotel is a Jacobean mansion house with a bar, restaurant and 20 bedrooms, each individually decorated to reflect both the building’s heritage and contemporary tastes. Some adjoining rooms are available and pets can stay with you for an extra fee.
Windlestraw stands beside the River Tweed, near Walkerburn, with an Edwardian facade and lovingly restored arts and crafts interiors. The hotel was first built by a local mill owner, Mr Ballantyne, for his Austrian wife (look out for the Austrian woodwork within), but it has been owned by the hospitable incumbents, John and Sylvia, since 2015. It has just six antique-filled and super peaceful bedrooms, making it ultra bijou, yet fully five-star. Guests eat together – a nightly five-course affair beside a roaring log fire, preceded by drinks and canapés. It’s a seasonal gourmet experience with ingredients plucked from the grounds’ kitchen garden, that’s earned the hotel a triple AA Rosette.
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