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The Scottish Borders offers a wealth of outdoor and rural pursuits to suit everyone's tastes. Whether you enjoy walking in the hills, fishing for rainbow trout or salmon in nearby rivers, horseriding or simply watching point-to-point racing, you're sure to find an activity that suits you. And if you are interested in local history and archaeology, there are several museums and local historical sites that display artefacts from Roman times to the Border Reivers.

If you are arriving during the summer, you can look forward to experiencing some of the Borders Festivals. From the Common Ridings in Selkirk, Hawick and Lauder to the Braw Lads Gathering in Galashiels and the Beltane in Peebles, many of these fesitvals originated in ancient times and are still celebrated today.


Fishing is available in the Rivers Tweed, Ettrick and Yarrow, and on nearby Lindean Reservoir. Permits can be purchased locally, or at

Local fishing lochs include:


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.

For a list of local golf courses, see Scottish Borders Golf Courses

Cycling and Mountain Biking

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:

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.


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 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.



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. There is an excellent clay pigeon facility two miles away near Midlem at the Bisley Clay Pigeon Shooting grounds.

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.

Horse Riding

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.


Kelso Races are on throughout the year, and are about 25 minutes away.

A little further afield, Musselburgh Racecourse is popular. It's close to Edinburgh, and about an hour's drive from the cottage.

History & Archaeology

The Scottish Borders is rich in historical and archaeological sites of interest stretching from Roman times to the Reivers. Numerous museums, abbeys, stately homes and towers illustrate the area's colourful heritage and offer the visitor an ideal way to discover Borders heritage.Visiting the Border museums is a good way to get started.

Borders Town Festivals

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.

Edinburgh City Attractions

The bustling and cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh is just over an hour's drive from Nether Whitlaw Farm Cottage, allowing visitors to explore the delights of the capital. With world famous Festivals, spectacular productions of theatre, opera and dance, superb collections of art and history at National Galleries and Museums, fine dining and fabulous shopping - there's something for everyone to enjoy.

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