Wednesday, 24 July 2019


Floors Castle is a magnificent stately home set in the Roxburghe Estate near the market town of Kelso. Home to the10th Duke of Roxburghe, Floors Castle is the largest inhabited house in Scotland. Set within extensive grounds and beautiful gardens this wonderful family home is steeped in history. Built in 1721 on the banks of the River Tweed the castle offers superb views of the surrounding countryside. Only a 15 - 20 minute walk from Kelso town centre Floors Castle is a wonderful place to spend a relaxing day, absorbing the history of the grand stately rooms, once visited by Queen Victoria, strolling through the the woodland and beside the river or relaxing in the walled and millennium gardens followed by a treat in the courtyard or terrace cafe. 

Although inhabited, many parts of this historic building are open to the public. In addition to the splendour and grandness of the rooms and tapestries the castle contains collections of fine art, porcelain and a vast collection of stuffed birds, featuring almost every UK species, including a couple of truly enormous ones in the Golden Eagle and the Great Bustard. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and extensive woodland offering riverside walks and fabulous views. In summer the walled garden is ablaze with colour and the adjacent millennium garden complete with a summer house enjoyed by Queen Victoria is a tranquil retreat. 


Until the reformation the lands of Floors were originally held by the monks of Kelso Abbey. They were handed to Robert Ker of Cessford (later to become the 1st Earl Roxburghe) by King James VI. Floors Castle was built in 1721 for the 1st  Duke of Roxburghe, who was rewarded with the title for his role in securing a union between England and Scotland.The Castle was built incorporating and an earlier Tower House and was originally a symmetrical Georgian Country House. Between 1837 and 1847  the 6th Duke commissioned William Playfair to remodel the castle creating the  "fairytale castle" that exists today. In 1867 Queen Victoria and four of her children stayed in the castle for two nights before departing for Balmoral. 

In 1903 the 8h Duke married Mary Goelet, an American heiress who furnished the castle with her own collection of art, furniture, porcelain and tapestries brought with her her from Long Island. The present Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe continue to live in and maintain the castle. 

surrounded by woodland are the impressive walled and millennium gardens. The flower beds in the secluded walled garden overflow with colour and the victorian glasshouses are packed with young plants and fruits. 

The formal millennium garden was created to commemorate the new millennium, featuring thinterteinihg initials of the Duke and Duchess. Within the garden is "The Queens House" which was built in 1867 for Queen Victoria to take afternoon tea during her visit.

The Walled Garden

The Walled Garden

The Millennium Garden

Between the castle and the millennium garden is the beautiful and serene woodland garden, containing a mixture of open glades, mature trees and shrubs. A great way to explore the grounds is follow the woodland walk, meandering through the woodland and observing the many birds, owls, woodpeckers and red squirrels. 

The riverside walk along the banks of the River Tweed offers stunning views of the parkland and surrounding countryside. Look out for  the vast array of wildlife including, otters, herons and oyster catchers. 

A cycle tail runs through the grounds and is the perfect way to enjoy this magnificent estate.


Kelso Bridge

Kelso Bridge is a road bridge crossing the River Tweed in the market town of Kelso. The original bridge was built to replace a ferry running across the river and was opened in 1754. Unfortunately in 1756 six people were killed when an arch collapsed and although repairs were undertaken a storm in 1797 caused such severe damage to the foundations that the bridge collapsed into the river the following day. 

The current bridge also known as Rennie's Bridge was built between 1800 and 1803. In 1923 it was repointed and in the1980's further repairs were undertaken.

Sunday, 7 July 2019


Edin's Hall Broch is a 2nd century broch in the Lammermuir Hills about 8 miles from the market town of Duns and near to the village of Abbey St Bathans. The broch, situated on the northeast slope of Cockburn Law and surrounded by the remains of an Iron Age hill fort has far reaching views across the hills and down to the river valley of the Whiteadder Water

This lovely walk is about 2.5 miles each way and involves a small amount of uphill climbing over rough ground. The route is well signposted. The walk starts at a small car park near the A6112, following a woodland track down to the Whiteadder Water before crossing via the Elba suspension bridge. The final stage takes you across fields and uphill to the broch. 

1. From Duns Take the A6112  towards Granthouse. After about 5 miles turn left at the sign for Edin’s Hall Broch and after a short distance park in a signposted lay-by on the left. From the lay-by follow the road/track through woodland slowly heading downhill to the Whiteadder Water. At the bottom do not cross the ford but turn left and follow the path to the Elba suspension footbridge. 


Elba Suspension Footbridge

2. Cross the bridge (the bridge will move in the wind and only two people are allowed on 
the bridge at the same time), stopping to admire the river as it cuts its way through this beautiful ancient gorge.

Whiteadder Water

3. After crossing the bridge take the path to the right and follow it through some trees before crossing a lawned area beside the river. Cross over the small track (the ford will be on your right and a farm on your left) and head straight ahead up some steps. Follow the footpath until you reach a wooden gate. Be careful not to frighten the chickens and geese you will meet along this path.

4. Go through the gate and follow the right side of the field with the river beside you. At the end of the field the sign directs you left beside a stone wall and up a small hill to a set of steps over the wall at the top. Alternatively cross the field diagonally towards the small hill at the end and take the track which will take you gently up the slope.

5. Climb over the stone wall using the steps and head across another field to another stone wall opposite and again cross using the steps.  

6. After crossing the wall follow the well trodden path up the hill. There is a small amount of uphill climbing over uneven ground but the path will soon start to level out. At the top you will begin to see some of the remains of the Iron Age hill fort and the broch will come into view. 

Approaching the Broch

Edin's Hall Broch

View from Cockburn Law

7. Retrace your steps and return to the car park.


Edin's Hall Broch is a 2nd century broch in the Lammermuir Hills about 8 miles from the market town of Duns and near to the village of Abbey St Bathans. The broch, situated on the northeast slope of Cocklburn Law and surrounded by the remains of an Iron Age hill fort has far reaching views across the hills and down to the river valley of the Whiteadder Water

Edin's Hall Broch is only accessible on foot, either from Abbey St Bathans or walking via the Elba suspension footbridge from the parking area near the A6112. Both routes are about 2,5 miles and involve some uphill hill walking. 

Broch's are more common in Northwest Scotland and only a few have been found in Southern Scotland. Edin's Hall Broch dates from the 2nd century and was built within an old Iron Age hillfort whose remains surround the broch. The circular remains accessed via an entrance passage contain a number of chambers, cells and the remains of a stone stairway.

View from Cocklburn Law

Remains of Iron Age Hill Fort 

Wednesday, 3 July 2019


Mallaig is a picturesque village/fishing port on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. Mallaig is linked to Fort William by the A830 "Road to the Isles", by bus and by rail on the West Highland Railway Line. This traditional fishing port connects to the Isles of Skye, Rum Eigg, Muck and Canna by ferry and is a popular tourist destination. 

The village of Mallaig was founded in 1840 as a fishing village. After the arrival of the railway the population and local economy expanded rapidly boosted by the introduction of ferries between the port  and the islands, becoming the main commercial fishing port on the west coast of Scotland. 

The picturesque village and harbour provides the perfect base to explore the surrounding hills, lochs and islands, 

Near Mallaig


Glen Nevis is a picturesque glen lying at the foot of  Ben Nevis in the Western Scottish Highlands. Not far from from the town of Fort William Glen Nevis is often described as one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland. Flanked by the dramatic peaks of Ben Nevis and other mountains the River Nevis with several spectacular waterfalls runs through the glen on its journey to the sea. 

Glen Nevis is popular with walkers and hikers and is the starting point  for a climb up Ben Nevis. For non-climbers this beautiful glen can be explored by car, bike or on foot, following the many trails to an Iron Age hill fort or enjoying then stunning panoramic views across the glen.


Glen Coe is a glen in the Western Scottish Highlands within the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area. The outstanding beauty of Glen Coe, from high dramatic mountains to woodland makes it a popular destination with hillwalkers and climbers. The Glen is named after the River Coe that runs through it to Loch Leven. The river passes over waterfalls and through Glencoe village before flowing into the sea loch of Loch Leven. 

Loch Leven
On the 13th February 1692 thirty-eight men from the "Clan MacDonald of Glencoe" were killed killed by government forces who were billeted with them in the "Massacre of Glencoe".  It was alleged that the men had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary. In 1835 the Iona cross was erected by a MacDonald in memory of his clansmen. 

This beautiful glen is easily reached by car or by bus from Fort William. The A82 , the main road north runs through the glen and is described as one of the classic Highland journeys. The glen has become a popular tourist destination, particularly with walkers and climbers enjoying the quality of its  winter climbing.


The Scottish Highlands are a mountainous region of northern Scotland, stretching from the Northwest to the Western Highlands in the Southwest to Inverness in the Northeast. From Ben Nevis and Glencoe to Lochness and Aviemore, from snow capped mountains and sparsely inhabited islands to tranquil Lochs the stunning vistas and breathtaking beauty of the region make it a popular destination for many tourists. 

Below are the places that we have visited, including some of of our photographs. You can view All Places or any of the individual places listed below. I have also added some links to other websites. I hope you enjoy visiting them as much as we have.

Fort William

Glen Coe

Glen Nevis



Fort William is a town on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe in the Western Scottish Highlands. Fort William is known as the gateway to Ben Nevis and The Glen Nevis Valley. Its proximity to Ben Nevis and other Munros, Glen Coe and the A830 to Mallaig (Road to the Isles) has led to the towns popularity with walkers and climbers and has become a major tourist centre. Nearby is a downhill mountain bike track and the Great Glen Way ( a walk/cycle way from Fort William to Inverness). 

Prior to the building of a Cromwellian wooden fort in 1654 the area the current town was inhabited by Clan Cameron. The fort was named after William of Orange wh ordered the building of the fort to control the Highland Clans. Maryburgh, the settlement that grew around the fort was named after his wife, Mary II of England. Maryburgh was later renamed Gordonsburgh and then Duncansburgh before eventually being renamed Fort William, after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland. In the Jacobite rising of 1745 Fort William was besieged unsuccessfully for two weeks by the Jacobites. 

Fort William is served by train from Glasgow, Mallaig and London and is the perfect base for exploring the Western Highlands.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019


Whitby Abbey stands on a cliff overlooking the town. This ruinous abbey has been used as a landmark for sailors for many centuries. In 657 King Osway of Northumbria founded the first monastery at Sreanaeshealth (Whitby), appointing Lady Hilda as abbess. It was at the monastery in 664 the "Synod of Whitby" took place. The monastery was a double monastery of Celtic monks and nuns and home to the Northumbrian poet Caedmon. Between 867 and 870 the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders and the site remained desolate for more than 200 years. 

In 1078 William de Percy granted the monastery and land to the monk Reinfred, a former soldier of William the Conqueror to build a new Benedictine monastery. The new Benedictine Abbey continued to thrive for centuries until it was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540 and allowed to fall into ruin. 

This once majestic abbey is only a short walk from the town and a great place to visit.


The small seaside town/fishing port of Whitby in North Yorkshire sits at the mouth of the River Esk about 5 mile north of Robin Hoods Bay. During the 1800's Whitby became popular as a tourist destination, attracting visitors by railway visiting the surrounding moors and coast. At the top of the East Cliff lies the ruins of Whitby Abbey, although dissolved in the mid 16th century the ruins of this once important abbey have been used by sailors as a landmark at the headland. 

The original name for Whity was Streanaeshealh and it was here that in  656 Osway, the Christian King of Northumbria founded a monastery. Although this was destroyed by Viking riaiders another monastery was founded in 1078. At around this time the town became known as Whitby. Whitby flourished as a fishing settlement until the 18th century when t developed as a port and centre for ship building and whaling. In 1540 the town had a population of about 200. In Georgian times the town developed as a spa town attracting visitors to the newly built hotels and "lodging-houses". 

Whitby Abbey
the first monastery in Whitby was founded by King Osway of Northumbria in AD657, a monastery for men and women. Between 867 and 870 the monastery was destroyed by Viking Raiders and the site remained desolate for more that 200 years. In 1078 William de Percy donated the land to found a Benedictine monastery dedicated to St Peter and St Hilda. In 1540 the abbey was destroyed and allowed to fall into ruin. 

Whitby is a fascinating place to visit with a wealth of maritime history. The port, sandy beaches, ruined abbey and surrounding countryside makes it a wonderful place to visit.