Denholm is in the heart of the Scottish Borders providing easy access to all the local attractions. You’ll find that driving through the Borders is a pleasure as there is little traffic on most of the roads. Here are a few suggestions to start off with!
Trip One – Go west
Head west to Hawick on the A698 – you will see signs for the Hawico as you enter Hawick. This 4 star visitor attraction is a must for anyone interested in stylish knitwear. They sell beautifully styled cashmere clothes and have a viewing area where you can watch the garments being knitted. Or you could visit one of the many knitwear outlets in the town where you are sure to find a bargain.
If you are searching for information on your Scottish Borders ancestry a visit to the Heritage Hub is a must as they hold many of the local records or have a walk round the award winning Wilton Lodge Park, a bite of lunch in one of the cafes then head out of Hawick on the B6399 into the hills to the 14th century Hermitage Castle -open during summer months it is an eerie reminder of our turbulent past. From Hermitage head south towards Newcastleton then turn left onto the B6357 and return to Denholm via Bonchester Bridge .
Trip Two – Go East
Head east towards Jedburgh where you can visit the Abbey – a five star visitor attraction which is well worth looking round. Pop into the Tourist Information Centre and pick up a free information on the area and take a pleasant stroll around this pretty border town. From Jedburgh head north on the A68 for two and a half miles then take a right turn onto the A698, towards Kelso, a picturesque country town with lots of interesting shops. Just outside Kelso, Floors Castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, opens during the summer months and is worth a visit as is the restaurant at the the walled gardens. If you are not ready to go home now from Kelso you could head on down on the A698 to Berwick-upon-Tweed then south on the A1 to the North Northumberland coast. Check the crossing times before you set off and you might be able to cross the Causeway to Lindisfarne or travel further south and visit Bamburgh Castle- a coastal fortress towering above the village and beach.
Retrace your steps from Bamburgh Castle on the B1342 then north on the A1 turning left for Fenwick on the B6353. Meander through this country road to Crookham, Branxton then Cornhill on Tweed. The Collingwood Arms in Cornhill has been recently refurbished and does excellent meals. From Cornhill you can turn left onto the B6350 and back to Kelso then home on the A698 -A68 -A698 to Denholm.
Trip Three – Go North to Edinburgh
We are just over an hours drive from Edinburgh where you will find a wide range of tourist attractions, restaurants and interesting shops. You can travel up on the A68 or the A7 – there’s not much difference in time or distance. If you do not fancy parking in Edinburgh you could use the park and ride just beyond the Sherrifhall roundabout and get a bus into the centre of town alternatively leave the car at Old Craighall and get the train into the centre. Take a stroll up onto the Royal Mile, visit Edinburgh Castle or one of the many museums or art galleries in the centre of this beautiful city. You can even visit our Scottish Parliament building at the bottom of The Mile. Or take a trip out to Leith and visit the Royal Yacht Britannia at the Ocean Terminal.
We now have the Borders Railway so you can drive to Tweedbank and leave your car there all day and get the train into Waverley Station in the centre of Edinburgh. Tweedbank is a 25 minute drive from Denholm and has plenty of free parking.
Trip Four – Go gardening!
If like me you enjoy visiting gardens you will be spoilt for choice in the Borders – there are lots of little gems of gardens. Near Peebles there are Kailzie Gardens and Dawyck Botanic Gardens. At Melrose the National Trust have 2 properties near to the Abbey – the Priorwood Gardens which specialise in dried flowers and the Harmony Garden with its herbaceous borders. My favourite garden is probably the one at Monteviot House just north of Jedburgh. It has wonderful herbaceous borders which sweep down towards the river Teviot. You can spend many hours wandering in the garden or just sitting watching the river flow by. It is open from 12 noon to 5pm, April to October. Just next to Monteviot is the Woodside Walled Garden with lovely borders and kitchen garden which supplies their cafe with fresh vegetables.The cafe serves excellent homemade soup and snacks. Woodside always has interesting plants in their nursery and are at hand to offer good advice.
Another gem close by that should not be missed is the Teviot Smokery, Coffee Shop and Water Garden. From there you could continue on to Kelso where you will find the refurbished Mayfield Garden Centre with gift shop, restaurant as well as a wide selection of plants. At the gates of the garden centre there is an excellent fresh fruit and vegetable shop – Julians.
Trip Five – Rainy day with children!
One of the most popular attractions for children on a rainy day is the Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre north of Jedburgh, just off the A68 on the B6400. Open from April to October there are exhibitions, wooden toys that children can play with, a shop and a café. If the weather improves there is an outdoor adventure play park for younger children and signposted walks. The Ranger Service is based here so there are quite often guided walks and other activities arranged.
From Harestanes you could head back onto the A68 and travel north towards Lauder and Thirlestane Castle. It has plenty to offer the whole family. For younger children there is a lovely nursery with many historic toys as well as a ”dressing up” box. On the way home to Denholm you could make a detour by Galashiels which has a multiplex cinema.
This is only a selection of the many interesting things that you can do and places that you can see using Denholm as a base. We would be really happy to help you plan and make the most of your stay!