The River Tweed is one of Scotland's greatest salmon and trout rivers. The 98 mile river, which runs from Moffat in Dumfriesshire to Berwick-on-Tweed, is one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world.
The River Tweed has always been internationally famous for its salmon fishing, with people coming from all over the world to fish here.
Taking a boat trip with Billy Shiel out to the Farne Islands during the spring is a real highlight.
Birdwatch Northumbria run local birdwatching tours on Holy Island, Seahouses and up in the Cheviot Hills.
There are 21 Scottish Borders Golf Courses, the nearest being the Hirsel Golf Course at Coldstream.
A beautiful course set in the Hirsel Country Park.
The Scottish Borders Play and Stay
The Hirsel Golf Club offers 3 rounds of golf at The Hirsel, Eyemouth and Duns. £130 per person;this includes golf clubs and 2 nights accommodation at Babingtons cottage.
Weekly stays available. All subject to availability.
The Hirsel Professional Shop, The Hirsel Golf Club
Kelso Road, Coldstream, Berwickshire, TD12 4NJ
Tel:01890 882 156
Opened in 1997, the Roxburghe Golf Course is the ultimate golf course in the Borders.
Widely acknowledged as a truly classic links course, it is now a Regional Qualifier venue for the British Open Championship.
A challenging 18th hole Championship Course with superb views over the Berwickshire Coast. Excellent Club House restaurant.
Set in the lovely Berwickshire countryside Duns Golf Club was started in 1894 and became an 18 hole course in 1921. It has long been associated with the Hay Family of nearby Duns Castle. This fascinating 14th century castle and amazing grounds have been in the Hay family since 1696.
Bamburgh Golf Course is one of the most scenic golf courses in Britain with views of Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands, the Cheviot Hills and Bamburgh Castle. Lined with gorse, heather and unique fauna it is a course not to be missed. The friendly Club house offers good food.
The Borders provide some of the best horse riding in Britain. With 350 km of old drove roads, river routes, disused railways and tracks, riders can journey for days amidst stunning scenery.
A variety of riding hacks are available at Kimmerston Riding Centre. Instructional rides, Moor rides, Hill rides and Beach rides. www.kimmerston.com
Local author and horse whisperer Peter Neilson's books and healing expertise with horses are a Borders legend. Scotland's Horse Whisperer.
Hayfield Farm Heavy Horse Centre on the Ford and Etal Estate in Northumberland is a fascinating days visit. The Centre which houses the British Heavy Breeds, the Suffolk Punch, the Shire, the Clydesdale, and the French Percheron Horses, is full of horse drawn vehicles and farm machinery.
Horses are for Hire and the centre offers a shop and picnic areas. www.hayfarmheavies.co.uk
National Hunt racing is held at the Kelso racecourse.
With a population of only 100,000 and hills rising to over 2,700 feet the big open spaces are a paradise for mountain bikers, cyclists and walkers. The local tourist boards provide information on cycling and walking routes.
The region claims some 25 interesting gardens to visit, some of which include:
Cragside House and Gardens is a mock Tudor house in Rothbury, Northumberland, set in 1,000 acres of forest gardens. It was built in 1863 by Lord Armstrong on a rocky hillside, and is famous for its Rhododendrons. Lord Armstrong, an armaments manufacturer, installed the worlds first hydroelectric power system and generators to provide power, which were housed in the farm buildings. The magnificent trees and lakes are breathtaking.
A late 18th century mansion that is set in beautiful parkland, and surrounded by wooded hills, nestling in a bend of the river Leader. There is a superb garden featuring shrubberies, mixed borders, a secret garden and a winter garden. Carolside holds a national collection of pre-1900 Gallicia roses. Open for only 5 weeks in the Summer.
One of the most exciting contemporary gardens. Designed by Wirtz International it is a wonderful day out.
Delightful tranquil riverside garden, water garden, shop, smokery and coffee shop/restaurant.
Situated on the banks of the River Tweed this 26 acre garden has a wonderful walled garden, specimen trees and extensive herbaceous borders.
Specialist centre for dried flowers from gardens for flower arranging.
Situated on the banks of the River Teviot. A water garden of islands linked by bridges, rose garden, and arboretum.
Famous arboretum of exotic conifers dating back to 1680.
Open 7 days a week. Wonderful walled garden, wild garden and greenhouses.
Shepherd House Garden dates from 1690 and is surrounded by high walls in the village of Inveresk, which was originally a Roman Camp. Owned by Sir Charles and Lady Fraser since 1957 it is a complete delight to visit.
The magnificent home of Sir Walter Scott on the banks of the Tweed. One of Scotland's greatest writers, he found much of his inspiration at Abbotsford.
Scotlands largest inhabited castle at Kelso was built for the lst Duke of Roxburghe in 1721. Visit the castle, gardens, restaurant, plant centre and the many events held there.
One of the Scotland's finest neo-palladian houses, near Berwick-on-Tweed, Paxton house was built between 1758-1763 for Patrick Home. Over seventy paintings, Chippendale furniture and an extensive costume collection.
John Kinross's superb Edwardian country house built for Sir James Miller is a short distance from Duns. The magnificent marble staircase, silver plated balustrade and solid brass rail were inspired by Madame de Pompadour's staircase at the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
Built in 1725 by William Adam, and completed by Robert Adam, Mellerstain House and stunning gardens are 13 kilometres north of Kelso. Splendid interiors, classical plasterwork and paintings, it is a setting and place of exquisite beauty. Currently the home of the 13th Earl and Countess of Haddington.
Spanning nine acres of land on its rocky plateau high above the Northumberland coastline, Bamburgh is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.
The castle is semi-ruined and near Newcastleton. Built around 1240 it is one of the most sinister places in Scotland. Its name is thought to be derived from the old French word l'armitage, meaning guardhouse.
This well preserved 16th century tower near Kelso has an exhibition of tapestries and costumes. Sir Walter Scott drew many of his inspirations from Smailholm and is buried at nearby Dryburgh Abbey.
This was the first house in the world to use hydroelectric power. It is built into a rocky hillside above a large forested area with one of the largest rock gardens in Europe, and a large collection of mostly coniferous trees.
A late 16th Century Tower in the centre of the historic town of Jedburgh reflects the proud association of the town with Queen Mary who stayed here in 1566.
Anthony Babington (1561-1586) was convicted of plotting the assassination of Elizabeth I of England and conspiring with the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots. The Babington Plot and Mary's involvement in it were the basis of the treason charges against her which led to her execution.
Anthony Babington is related to Maggie Babington, the present owner of Babington's Cottage.
The Farne Islands lie two to three miles off the Northumberland coast midway between the fishing village of Seahouses and the magnificent Castle of Bamburgh. As well as being the most famous Sea Bird Sanctuary in the British Isles they also have a large colony of Atlantic or Grey Seals.
By boat –this excellent unforgettable trip lasts 4 hours including the 2 hours spent on the island. Commentary is given en route.
By car –Holy Island (Lindisfarne) is a tidal island and vehicles can only cross the causeway when the tide is open. Opening times vary significantly every day and you should familiarise yourself with the causeway opening times for the day of your visit!
A 15" gauge steam railway running from Heatherslaw, 6.4km to Etal Village - a return journey of 50 minutes.
Step back in time to the beginning of the century. Try typesetting by hand and watch the printer at work. www.nts.org.uk
Started in 1948 by William Selby Robson, this family business has a lovely visitors centre with products relating to bees, close to Berwick-on-Tweed by the Union Bridge. Old farm machinery is housed in the grounds.
Completed in 1820 the bridge was then the longest suspension bridge in the world. It remains the oldest and is still open to traffic.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Jim Clarks death in 1993, Berwickshire District Council refurbished the 'Room' to provide a museum. The world motor racing champion was killed on April 7th 1968 in an unimportant F2 race at Hockenheim, Germany.
A delightful shop situated in the Hirsel Country Park, Angela Clay-Parker has a charming array of home accessories, vinatage furniture, lighting, childrens items and fabrics. Items can be personalised and commissions undertaken.
This sanctuary provides a caring home for donkeys and mules in need of love and attention.
Babingtons Cottage has sponsored two donkeys;Twinkletoes and Sweetpea.
Newly decorated former Coaching Inn.
Overlooking the famous Junction Pool in Kelso.
Open 7 days a week and situated in Beaumont Street, Kelso. This delightful pub specialises in local produce with "a passion". Booking recommended. Private dining and Function Room.
The number one place to eat out locally.
Delightful Pub with an excellent bar menu.
Lovely teas and snacks at The Hirsel.
The Queens Head is a beautiful and elegant hotel with restaurant and rooms overlooking Sandgate, in the old part of Berwick-on-Tweed.
Delivery of local shellfish. Orders:07714 900 969
Coldstream is situated by the Tweed between Scotland and England, on the border which was created in 1018. Joining the two countries the town grew around a ford but after the bridge was built in 1766 by John Smeaton the ford was not longer utilised. Marriage houses existed around the border including the famous Gretna Green. One such exists on Coldstream Bridge where marriages were performed. The town houses the museum of the Coldstream Guards, the oldest regiment in the army, their motto "Nulli Secundus" meaning "Second to none". Every year, in Civic week, there is a rideout to Flodden.
The ancient town centre, with the largest cobbled market square in Scotland, was described by Sir Walter Scott as "the most beautiful, if not the most romantic town in Scotland". By the river Tweed, it boasts of world class salmon fishing, the ancient Kelso Abbey, and the Visitors Centre in the town hall.
Just north of the Eildon Hill, generally pluralized into Eildon Hills because of its three peaks, Melrose was the original site recorded by the Venerable Bede of a Monastery. The Abbey, one of the most beautiful monastic ruins in Great Britain, was re-founded for the Cistercian order by David I and is the site of the burial of the heart of the Scottish King Robert the Bruce.
The pretty market town is dominated by a magnificent 12th century Augustinian Abbey. The young Mary Queen of Scots arrived in 1566 to hold a Circuit Court in the Bastel House and journeyed to Hermitage Castle to Lord Bothwell who had been wounded there. The 19th century Jail is on the original site of the Castle of Jedburgh. You can follow a town trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and William Wordsworth who all walked the ancient streets of Jedburgh.
Situated in Northumberland it is the most northern town in England. Founded as an Anglo-Saxon settlement and for 400 years it has been central to the border war between England and Scotland. Traditionally a market town it has some interesting architectural features including its medieval town walls, its Elizabethan ramparts and Britain's earliest barrack's buildings (1712-21) by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Immensely sought after Berwickshire artist Sue Ryder began painting professionally at an early age encouraged by her father, Robert Ryder VC.
From portraits to interiors her unique skills with light, colour and composition are a source of great joy.
Trained under Bernard Dunstan at the prestigious Byam Shaw School of Art her glorious interiors occupy a place amongst the great names of contemporary British impressionism.
Pictures of her very successful solo 2006 exhibition at
Panter &Hall can be seen on their website:
and other works on her own website:susanryder.co.uk
Very gifted artist Leonie Seely trained at the Farnham School of Art, then the Heatherly School of Art. She then studied under the famous Russian painter Israel Zohar. Her animal portraits, house, garden and flower paintings are a delight. She works around the world and commissions are undertaken.
The very gifted Stephen Whitehorne runs photographic workshops from the White Fox Gallery, and other locations, in the beautiful Scottish Borders throughout the year. Workshops never exceed 6 participants ensuring personal attention to each and everyone in the group.
Why not combine a relaxing stay at Babingtons Cottage with your very own exclusive photography workshop, taking in the amazing views on your doorstep. (Minimum of 3 people;private tuition for couples available).