Out and About in Kelso

Kelso is an exceptional market town in the Scottish Borders. The charming cobbled market square is surrounded by high quality, independent shops and a great collection of places to eat, with beautiful countryside, astounding views and the opportunity to partake in many outdoor pursuits such a Fishing, walking, shooting or even a round of golf.

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Floors Castle

Floors Castle, home to the Duke of Roxburgh lies on the opposite river bank to Roxburgh Castle, once the strongest fortress along the former border with England. Floors Castle was built in 1721 for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe. Since then it has gone through many internal and external changes, most notably the roof alterations made by the 2nd Duke and the remodelling between 1837-1847.The 6th Duke invited leading Edinburgh architect William Playfair to create the fairytale castle you see today.In the early part of the 20th Century the 8th Duke of Roxburghe married Mary Goelet, a beautiful young American heiress, who brought to Floors her outstanding collection of fine art. Today, visitors to Floors can enjoy these treasures which include fine porcelain, oriental ceramics and English furniture. In the 1930’s several rooms were altered and redesigned under the direction of Duchess May including the Drawing Room and the Ballroom. A visit to Floors Castle is certainly one not to be missed.

Mellerstain House

There are many famous houses within the local area such as Mellerstain House, one of Scotland’s finest stately homes, and family residence of the 13th Earl of Haddington. In 1725 the build began and finally completed in 1778, this grand stately home has a fascinating history, and is of unique architectural interest as the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Baillie family and famous architects William and Robert Adam.

Kelso Racecourse

Kelso is famous for its Racecourse, it is known to be one of Britain’s friendliest racecourses with its stunning location, fantastic atmosphere there are plenty of race days to entertain the family. See here for more details.

Smailholm Tower

Smailholm Tower which stands on the high point of a hill, between Kelso and St Boswells, Smailholm Tower is visible for miles around. Smailholm Tower was originally built in the 15th century or early 16th century by the Pringle family. Smailholm Tower was designed, in common with all Scottish peel towers, to provide its occupants with protection from sporadic English raids. View more information on Smailholm Tower at Historic-Scotland.gov.uk.

Locharron Mill

Locharron Mill visitors centre, situated in the historic town of Selkirk is another attraction which should not be missed, you can relax with a coffee and some home baking, sample local tartans, tweeds, Scottish jewellery and other great gifts. If you are feeling more adventurous you can take a guided tour of The Mill. These tours have been running for over 30 years and are very popular see www.lochcarron.com for more details.


Abbotsford, situated in the heart of the Scottish borders in Melrose is the home of Sir Walter Scott. Walter Scott was the foremost literary figure of his day. Born in 1771, and outliving by the time of his death in 1832 all the great romanticists except Coleridge and Wordsworth, he was incomparably better known than any of them. The visitors centre is free to visitors and hosts a restaurant, gift shop and Exhibition.

Useful Links

For information about Smailholm Village, and things to do while you’re here, please see Smailholm-Village.org.uk. Other useful links; www.scottishbordersherritage.co.uk and www.visitscottishborders.com or view the map below for a range of activities and attractions further afield. For a comprehensive list of events, see BorderEvents.com.

View Things to do in Smailholm Mains in a larger map