Smailholm Tower

Spend a day in the Scottish Borders

With its stories past and captivating landscape, the Borders is well worth exploring. It’s a fair journey from central Edinburgh, but with some forward planning, it’s easy to pop there and back in a day.

Take a tour on the Borders Railway

Borders Railway
Image Credit: VisitScotland, Kenny Lam

A ride on the Borders Railway is a fun, practical way to see the Borders in a day. Simply head to Waverley Station and jump on a train headed for Tweedbank.

Ride a few stops to Newtongrange, where you’ll find the National Mining Museum Scotland. Situated in one of Europe’s finest surviving Victorian collieries, this museum has won the Scottish Visitor Attractions’ award for “Best Visitor Experience” twice.

An alternative option: Hop off the train in Galashiels for a wander around this popular Borders town. Enjoy the idyllic gardens of Old Gala House, which dates to the 16th century. And then travel to the final stop in Tweedbank and visit Tempest Brewing Co for a guided brewery tour and to sample some of Scotland’s finest craft beers in their tap room.

Walk in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s most famous writers

Abbotsford House Melrose

Hop back on the train and head all the way to Tweedbank. Here, you’ll find Abbotsford House, a luxurious mansion that was once home to Sir Walter Scott. Beautiful gardens, fascinating stories and memorable exhibitions await. 

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all that exploring, grab a taxi back to Melrose and take your pick from the many charming cafes and bars – or even grab a picnic to enjoy in the stunning grounds of Melrose Abbey.

Dinner and a drink in Peebles

Glentress Forest
Image Credit: VisitScotland, Kenny Lam

Head to Peebles, one of the Borders most bustling town centres and home to plenty of great options for an evening meal. For a touch of class try Osso, which was recommended by the Michelin Guide. Their small plates blend Asian and mediterranean flavours to create exciting new flavours.

For traditional pub grub done to a high standard, check out the Crown Hotel Restaurant. It’s also a perfect spot to enjoy a drink before taking the bus back to Edinburgh.

An alternative option: If you prefer high-octane evenings, why not go mountain-biking at night at Glentress Forest

Share your day in the Borders  

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