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A few of our favourite...Things to Do

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

From the largest inhabited house in Scotland to the home of Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish Borders has some of the finest attractions in the country.

Not forgetting the first distillery to open in the Borders since 1837 to some of the finest and most interesting gardens in the region. Or you could walk with the alpacas here in Rulewater Valley or enjoy a movie and drink at Heart of Hawick, a converted 1800’s spinning mill which is now home to our local cinema.

Here is a round up of some of our favourite things to do, all of them within half an hour’s drive of Tiny Home Borders. Enjoy!

Walking with Rulewater Alpacas

Go for a walk with Elvis, Frankie, Liquorice, Nougat, Teddy and Delgardo!

These are the boys who will accompany you on your walk, each Alpaca has his own character which makes them charming animals and good companions.

Here in the beautiful Rulewater Valley you can have a unique experience walking with the resident Rulewater Alpacas.These wonderful animals are gentle creatures who are incredibly calming to be around, and are always open to a photo opportunity as they guide you around the breathtaking scenery of Rulewater.

Heart of Hawick

Cosy cinema and café bar in the centre of Hawick.

Built in the early 1800’s as a spinning mill, Heart of Hawick stands proud at the end of Hawick High Street and hints of its heritage and history can be found throughout the building. A special feature of the building is our 14-foot high Victorian waterwheel that previously powered the mill and can be viewed through a unique glass floored area in the café.

Heart of Hawick has been completely transformed into Hawick’s premier entertainment venue. An 111 seat auditorium screens quality crowd-pleasers and family films, foreign language and arthouse showings as well as broadcasts of the latest productions from the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Opera House. They also host some wonderful performances with live music every Monday and a theatre programme throughout the year.

Heart of Hawick also encompasses a popular café bar, the perfect place to sit back and soak up the atmosphere and there’s even a designated dog space in the café for well-behaved dogs and their owners!

Abbotsford House

Abbotsford is the ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century novelist and poet of "Waverley", "Ivanhoe", and "Lady of the Lake".

Abbotsford is one of the most famous houses in the world. Constructed on the ample proceeds of a literary career without parallel, it is an enduring monument to the tastes, talents and achievements of its creator, the ‘Great Scott’ who popularised tartan, saved the Scottish banknote and rediscovered his country’s Crown Jewels.

Wander through Scott’s study, where his books changed the world, marvel at his magnificent library with its richly carved ceiling, and admire his eclectic and world-class collection of arms, armour and curiosities, aided by an audio tour.

Learn about Scott's life in the free exhibition, browse Abbotsford’s gift shop, enjoy seasonal food in Ochiltree’s café or simply relax in Scott’s beautiful Regency Walled Gardens and tranquil woodlands. Watch the children have fun in the Family Play Trail, which includes a wooden fortress with a seven-metre pyramid tower, a mini suspension bridge and a seven-metre tunnel slide.

Dining at Abbotsford

Enjoy stunning views over the Walled Gardens and the historic house at Ochiltree’s café (named after Edie Ochiltree, a character from Scott’s novel The Antiquary). Ochiltrees’ chefs use the best local produce to create a fresh, seasonal menu, with hot and cold beverages, cakes, light bites and snacks, a lunch menu and afternoon tea. Ochiltree’s is open daily and is fully licensed.

Floors Castle

Floors Castle is one of the most iconic country houses in Scotland. This magnificent family seat is the largest inhabited house in Scotland and has been home to eleven generations of the Duke's of Roxburghe.

Visit the Castle and explore the collection of fine art, porcelain, tapestries, grand rooms and superb views over the River Tweed and the Cheviot Hills to the south. Built by leading architect William Adam between 1721-1726 for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe, it has undergone periodic changes to create the dramatic building you see today, notably during the Victorian period through the work of Scottish architect William Playfair.

Enjoy wandering through atmospheric woodland grounds or amble along a trail by the riverside. Garden visits include strolling around the stunning Victorian walled gardens. Children can let off steam in the enclosed adventure playground, there is something for everyone.

Browse round the Apple Shed Gift Shop and Deli for their sought-after selection of preserves and pickles or stay longer and sample tray bakes and delicious lunches in either of the two cafés.

Floors Castle opens Easter weekend through to 30 September daily.

Floors Gardens, Terrace Cafe, Apple Shed Gift Shop and Deli are open daily all year round.

Monteviot House and Gardens

Monteviot Gardens provide an extraordinary foreground to the wonderful background which is the curving and winding River Teviot and the hills beyond.

They consist of a number of distinct gardens each leading to the next designed to display interesting and special plants, great colour, and innovative designs and ideas. They are open to the public every day from 1st April to 31st October. There is a great variety of daffodils in the spring, striking displays of fretilaries, a large collection of interesting and specialist shrubs and trees, and a constant imaginative use of water features to complement the river below. They rank among the most interesting gardens in the Scottish Borders.

Borders Distillery

The first Scotch Whisky Distillery to open in the Scottish Borders since 1837, this new distillery is dedicated to making great whisky, gin and vodka, and to capturing the spirit of the Borders.

The Borders Distillery uses local raw ingredients, including water from a borehole on site and barley grown in The Scottish Borders. This is used to distil a new-make malt spirit which will become both its single malt scotch whisky and its gin, William Kerr’s Borders Gin. An exciting addition, Puffing Billy Steam Vodka is unfiltered malted barley vodka, named for the rare still which plays a key role in its production.

Housed in a carefully restored Victorian industrial site, the distillery retains many original features and is a landmark building in the centre of Hawick, making it both familiar and new.

Tours are available (must be pre-booked) to experience the built heritage of the building and to learn about the distilling process before taking some time to enjoy a wee dram. Alongside the whisky, gin and vodka, the Visitor Centre showcases a range of carefully selected products, including clothing, glassware and books.

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