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How to spend 48 hours in the Scottish Borders

By Angie Aspinall

There’s a good reason why the Scottish Borders was named Scotland’s best short-break destination. Not only is there a little something for everyone but the journey between each adventure usually consists of breathtaking scenery.

Day one

A great place to start your 48 hours in the Borders is the Tweed Valley. At Glentress you have a choice of excitement – from the tree-tops adventure centre and award-winning mountain biking trails to brisk walks around the waymarked routes. It’s a great place to work off the breakfast calories.

Neighbouring Peebles provides the perfect place for a spot of refuelling. The Oven Door, Osso and Coltman’s Kitchen all serve up mouth-watering light lunches. Following lunch head towards the scenic Stobo Valley, just six miles to the west, for a few hours of relaxation and winding down.

For her, an afternoon of pampering can await at the luxurious Stobo Castle Health Spa. For him, just along the road is Dawyck Botanic Garden. Stobo’s award-winning health resort offers lazy afternoon packages, which allows you unlimited use of the spa’s facilities, including a crystal steam room, aroma rooms and hydrospa.

Just a few hundred yards away is Dawyck with its magical collection of azaleas, trees and shrubs from around the world. Scotland’s greatest plant collector, David Douglas, is celebrated at this offshoot of the Edinburgh Botanical Garden.

After such a relaxing afternoon, head to the small village of Eddleston for evening dinner – just five miles outside Peebles on the A703. The Horseshoe Inn is a delightful bistro. They pride themselves on quality and creativity – and you won’t be disappointed. Less than a mile away is Cringletie House. Set in beautiful gardens this grand country hotel offers splendid menus in its award-winning Sutherland Restaurant.

Just a few hundred yards away is Dawyck Botanic Garden with its magical collection of azaleas, trees and shrubs from around the world

Day two

Where better to start your second day in the Borders than Hawick to find some of those wonderful textiles bargains? Pick up sweaters, cardigans and scarves at factory outlets from the likes of Pringle, Lyle & Scott and Hawico for a fraction of the price you’ll pay in the world’s leading stores.

After a morning’s shopping, head along the A7 to Melrose for a light lunch. Marmions, the Townhouse and Burts all offer wonderful lunch menus with comfortable surroundings in this picturesque market town. After lunch it’s time to get those walking boots on and head up the Eildons. These former volcanoes feature in countless legends and myths, and they also offer some of the finest views you could imagine.

If the weather isn’t too kind, take a short drive to find Scott’s View as an alternative – Sir Walter Scott often rode to this spot to gather inspiration for his novels. In the evening, follow the path of the Tweed just a few miles closer to the ocean where you will find the enchanting Dryburgh Abbey Hotel. Set in ten spectacular acres on the banks of the River Tweed, with a 12th-century abbey next door, this luxurious retreat is highly regarded for its traditional Scots fare. This is fine dining in the finest of settings, with a cosy lounge for retiring to with a nightcap.

Read more about the Scottish Borders

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Image credits: ©Ammentorp Photography/;; VisitScotland/Ian Rutherford/Kenny Lam/Paul Tomkins

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