Scottish Borders Campsites
The town is situated on Leithen Water near its junction with the River Tweed. Innerleithen is known for its woollens – the first tweed mill was opened here in 1790. To the south of the town is Traquair House which is thought to be the model for ‘Tullyveolan’, the house in Scott’s Waverley. The town became an attraction when, in 1830, Sir Walter Scott published St Ronan’s Well, in which he linked Doo’s Well with the saint. Each summer the expulsion of the Devil by St Ronan is re-enacted 1n the St Ronan games.
Lauder, the only Royal Burgh in old Berwickshire, claims to have been granted this distinction during the reign of William the Lion, and it has certainly held its charter since 1502. The church is 16th century, with an octagonal spire, and magnificent Thirlestane Castle, just outside the town, also dates back to this period though with later additions; it now houses the Border Country Life Museum. Old Lauder Bridge set the scene for the hanging of several favourites of James III by the Earl of Angus in 1482, and the days of the old street fairs are recalled by the curious little stepped tolbooth where stallholders used to pay their dues. Lauder Common Riding, a horseriding festival held here each june, is one of the oldest in the country, and the Leader Water has excellent fishing.
Three salmon appear on the town’s coat of arms, aptly, as the dignified old county town of Peeblesshire on the River Tweed is a noted centre for salmon fishing. Tweeds and knitwear are manufactured here. The Chambers Institute, a museum and library, was built by William and Robert Chambers, of Chambers Dictionary and Encyclopaedias, who were born here. Other residents were Mungo Park, the explorer of the Niger, who worked here as a surgeon, and Anna Buchan, sister of John and a writer in her own right. The wooded hills above the river are dominated by 15th century Neidpath Castle, Where Scott was a frequent visrtor; south east of the town are pleasant, wooded Kailzie Gardens.
A picturesque fishing village, a fine sandy beach, and a splendid coastline: these are some of the features that explain why St Abbs is such a popular holiday resort. On St Abbs Head stands a lighthouse built in 1861. 3 miles north west, the ruins of Fast Castle perch 70ft up on the clifftop. This, in Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor, is ‘Wolf ’s Crag’, the tower of Edgar of Ravenswood.
Selkirk, once a royal burgh, stands on a hill overlooking Ettrick Water and is an excellent touring centre. A statue to Sir Walter Scott in the market place is a reminder that he was sheriff of thecounty. At the other end of the high stree there is a statue to Mungo Park, the African missionary and explorer, who was born at nearby Foulshiels in 1771. A third monument, erected in 1913, recalls the burning of Selkirk by the English after their victory at Flodden in 1513. Bowhill is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Buccleuch. It contains outstandingcollections of paintings, porcelain and furniture, and relics of Montrose, Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria.
Stobo lies in the beautiful Tweed valley. The Norman church was added to in the 16th and 17th centuries, though the 13th century doorway is intact. Stobo Castle was restored in the l9th century. Across the river, Dawyck Botanic Gardens are among the best known in Scotland. They contain some fine specimens of trees -including larch that were imported from Sweden in the 18th century.
A neat and ancient village in the sheep farming Southern Uplands, Traquair stands on Quair Water, a tributary of the River Tweed. St Bryde’s Church, on a knoll that has been an ecclesiastical site since before the 12th century, is an 18th-century building and has a galleried outside staircase. Traquair House, seat of the Stuarts of Traquair, tall, turreted, elegant and austere, is a famous, chateau-style mansion inhabited for 1000 years, probably longer than any house in Scotland. Originally 10th century, preserving its tower, the house was largely rebuilt in 1642, the wings added later. Among its special contents are 13th-century glass, tapestries, embroideries, and relics of Mary Queen of Scots. Since William the Lion held court here in 1209, 26 English and Scottish monarchs have visited the house. Montrose perhaps sheltered here after the Battle of Philiphaugh, travelling by the old drovers’ road that climbs to 1856ft over Winchmuir between Selkirk and Peebles. Traquair House ale is still made in the 18th-century brewery.
This pretty village in pastoral countryside encircled by the Lowland hills, such as the flat-topped 2754ft Broad Law and 2680ft Dollar Law. John Buchan, who took the title of Lord Tweedsmuir, lived here as a boy and made the countryside the background of many of his books. The rivers Annan, Tweed and Clyde all rise about 8 miles south west. Near Tweed’s Well, 1500ft up, a cairn on the lonely Moffat road commemorates the death, in a snowstorm in 1831, of the driver and guard of the Edinburgh mailcoach. The Talla and Fruid Reservoirs hold Edinburgh’s water and from the former, the Games Hope Burn flows down from Molls Cleuch Dod (2571ft), forming on the way the waterfalls of Talla Linnfoots. Here the Covenanters held the secret meetings described in The Heart of Midlothian.