little swinton cottages

Out and About

Our location near Coldstream, Duns, Kelso and Berwick upon Tweed make us perfectly positioned in this beautiful and relatively undiscovered area. Come and explore the beautiful Elizabethan fortifications in Berwick and the famous Border Abbeys in Kelso, Dryburgh, Melrose and Jedburgh. Take your time to meander around the numerous castles and stately homes. You really don’t have to travel far from Little Swinton to stumble upon an imposing building of great history and architecture.

A little further from Little Swinton and over the English Border, Lindisfarne, known locally as Holy Island was originally built in the 16th century for defence against the Scots. The causeway to the island can be crossed when the tide is out, but beware, the crossing times change daily, and motorists have been known to get stuck on the island for the night, or mid crossing by the quickly rising tide!

Lindisfarne Castle website.

Bamburgh Castle is recognised as being one of the most important Anglo Saxon archaeological sites in the world. This imposing building stands guard 150 feet above the beautiful Northumbrian coastline. Visitors can explore14 public areas and sample some Northumberland produce in the Clock Tower Tea Rooms. Bamburgh Castle website.

The historic home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and the much famed location for numerous films, including Harry Potter. Alnwick Castle is internationally renowned for its Alnwick Garden project and the multiplicity of things to do and events held within the castle and its extensive grounds. Alnwick Castle website.

Sporting Activities

golfFor the sports enthusiast the region has many delights: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the discounted rates available on many of the great courses in the Borders through the ‘Freedom of the Fairways’ scheme.

Visit Scotland golfing website (freedom of the fairways).

Cyclists taking on hills or simply eating up the miles of empty country roads are sure to relish the stunning country views. Pony trekking across the hills and beaches of the region gives a special insight to the past where you can see the world as a Border Reiver may have done. FishPal.com regularly features the Tweed in online articles and states, the Tweed, “now ranks among the very top salmon rivers in the world.” Dive in the crystal clear cold waters off St Abbs in the summer months and you’ll be surrounded by clouds of fish! For those that enjoy watching rather than participating in the sports events why not attend a ‘Day at the Races.’ Kelso Races are a National Hunt Racecourse staging jumps races from October through until the end of May. Known as Britain’s Friendliest Course there are many restaurants and bistros to choose from to complete your racecourse experience. Kelso Races website.

Walks

Whether following in the footsteps of Rob Roy, St. Cuthbert, or choosing to go your own way you are guaranteed splendour. All in all, there is so much to see and do in the Borders region that you may need several holidays here to appreciate it. Here are some links to a few more points of interest for the discerning guest:

walkingWith approximately 32miles of fantastic coastline the Scottish Borders has many award winning beaches, small coves and natural harbours. Sporting both harbour and sandy beach amongst many other tourist attractions is Eyemouth, the only town on the Scottish Borders coast. Many beautiful villages along this stretch of coastline await discovery. Coldingham Bay a Blue Flag award winning beach in 2010 has a wide expanse of sand, it is sheltered and is very popular with both surfers and body boarders alike. Near Coldingham, is the protected nature reserve of St Abbs, set upon a spectacular and rugged landscape it is well known for its crystal clear waters. Using the many coastal pathways and bridleways allows you access to some stunning coastal scenery on both sides of the Scottish/English Border. On the English side of the border you will find the magnificent Northumbrian Coast, approximately 39miles of coastline designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’ With dramatic views, and mile after mile of clean sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and clear water it is little wonder so many visitors return to this unspoilt and stunning area. Explore the golden sands or rocky shores of Spittal, Cocklawburn or Goswick beaches in Berwick upon Tweed or, Bamburgh, Seahouses, Beadnell, Alnmouth and Embleton beaches a little further south but definitely worth the journey.

Local Attractions

The Hirsel and Homestead Museum, beautiful Estate and Homestead Museum on the edge of Coldstream with a variety of walks by lakeside, river and through the grounds of the Hirsel Estate.

The Hirsel website.

Coldstream Museum houses several permanent displays including the history of the parish, burgh and its people. The birthplace of the Coldstream Guards, Guards Gallery features artifacts on loan from the Provost’s Robes, Chain of Office and the Coldstream Guards and tells the story of the Coldstream Guards from the 17th Century to date. Coldstream Museum website

A museum celebrating the life of Jim Clark, the world famous and quite possibly, best motor racing champion ever, is in the town of Duns and is free to one and all. Town of Duns website.

Three Hills Heritage Centre, Melrose, houses the Trimontium Museum which opens between April and October each year and enables you to “Walk the Roman Way” with an audio-guide for a small fee. Alternatively take a look through the amazing artifacts and gems of a Roman Frontier Post and its people.

Castles & Historic Houses

While staying at Little Swinton why not visit some of the area’s Castle’s & historic houses.
Floors Castle in Kelso which was built for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe in 1721.

Abbotsford House in Melrose, the home of Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s most fascinating places. Created almost 200 years ago on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. Abbotsford was the culmination of Scott’s creative ambition as a writer & the fount of his inspiration.

Mellerstain House in Gordon one of Scotland’s finest stately homes set in acres of parkland & formal gardens, with breath taking views over the lawns and ornamental lake to the Cheviot Hills. Lakeside & Woodland walks, play area, courtyard coffee shop, picnic spots, wildlife, Highland cattle and Hebridean sheep.

Thirlestane Castle in Lauder, a magnificent 16th century Castle set in a quiet meadow landscape. Family home of the Duke of Lauderdale, Thirlestane castle is one of the oldest & finest castles in Scotland.

Jedburgh Castle Jail & Museum was built in 1823 & is an impressive building with stunning views across the Town. The jail gives visitors the chance to experience what life was like in a 1820s prison.

Battle of Flodden

The Battle of Flodden Field was undoubtedly the most famous battle ever fought on Northumbrian soil between the English & the Scots. It took place eight miles north west of Wooler near the villiage of Branxton on the 9th September 1513 during the reign of Henry VIII.

Scotland’s Open Garden Scheme

This scheme enables members of the public access to mainly private gardens. These gardens usually inaccessible to the public, open their ‘gates’ as a means to raise money for various charities. A handbook is produced annually to give details of the 400 plus gardens across Scotland, now participating in this scheme. Open Garden Scheme website.

All in all, there is so much to see and do in the Borders region that you may need several holidays here to appreciate it. Here are just a few of the many attractions:

Explore Berwick Berwick Elizabethan Fortifications Pot-a-Doodle Do
Lindisfarne Priory River Tweed Salmon and Trout Fishing Berwick Barracks
Lindisfarne Castle Paxton House Coldstream Museum
Horse Riding Holy Island Etal Castle Duns, The Town Web Site
Ford and Etal Estates