Out & About
There are numerous things to do and see in the immediate area and of course many more throughout the Scottish Borders. To help you decide, we provide a selection of tourist leaflets at the house and there is also a Tourist Information Centre in Kelso (open Easter – October). Below is just a small selection of ideas:
Ardgowan is a short walk from the highly-regarded Roxburghe Hotel owned by the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. Amenities here include a cosy bar, an award-winning restaurant, a drawing room for delicious afternoon teas, the renowned Roxburghe Championship Golf Course, beauty treatment rooms and clay pigeon shooting facilities.
Five miles away can be found historic Kelso with its picturesque cobbled square, 12th century abbey and imposing Floors Castle. This delightful town has an extensive range of local shops including an award-winning butcher, some quality bakers and an excellent fishmonger. Independent outlets include cashmere shops, country sports retailers and an art gallery together with a good selection of lively pubs and restaurants. Kelso hosts a number of events throughout the year including the ancient custom of the Common Ridings of the town boundaries, regular National Hunt race meetings and Rugby Sevens games.
Places to Eat and Drink
The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Club (www.roxburghe-hotel.net) in Heiton is open to non-residents, including its fine dining Chez Roux restaurant. The Roxburghe serves lunches, traditional afternoon teas and evening meals as well as an extensive selection of wines and malt whiskies.
In Kelso, The Contented Vine (www.contentedvine.co.uk), Oscars Wine Bar & Restaurant (www.oscars-kelso.com), No. 36 Restaurant within The Cross Keys Hotel (www.cross-keys-hotel.co.uk) and The Cobbles Inn (www.thecobblesinn.co.uk) all serve up a range of tasty dishes using local produce.
On the road from Heiton to Jedburgh is The Teviot Smokery & Water Gardens (www.teviotgamefaresmokery.co.uk). This family-run establishment has a restaurant open 7 days a week and a shop selling locally smoked products and gifts.
Not far from Jedburgh, The Caddy Mann (www.caddymann.com) serves delicious lunches. Also open on Friday and Saturday evenings, booking is essential to experience some of the best dining in the area.
In Jedburgh itself, The Clock Tower Bistro (www.clocktowerbistro.co.uk), opposite the 12th century abbey, provides fine dining as well as lighter dishes and cocktails.
The Border Hotel (www.theborderhotel.com) in the nearby village of Yetholm is very popular with locals and visitors alike and features a conservatory area and beer garden.
Just beyond Coldstream, The Collingwood Arms (www.collingwoodarms.com) in the village of Cornhill-On-Tweed, has a bar, beer garden and restaurant specialising in utilising the fantastic local produce on offer.
Activities and Attractions
Ardgowan is an excellent base for golf parties as the Roxburghe Championship course lies virtually on its doorstep. Within a 30 mile radius can be found a further 21 courses providing picturesque links and parkland courses to suit all standards. With the Teviot running close to the house there are several walks alongside this lovely river for guests to enjoy. Further afield there are miles of quiet countryside to walk, ride or cycle with scenery varying from sandy beaches to heather-clad hills. Ardgowan also offers excellent fishing on the nearby Teviot while the Tweed’s Lower and Middle beats are within easy driving distance.
As well as Kelso, there are other ancient towns to explore such as Melrose with its magnificent Abbey ruins and attractive narrow streets together with some of the best shops in the Borders. Pay a visit to The Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre in Jedburgh to learn more of the fascinating story of Scotland’s first queen from her early days in Scotland through to her dramatic death in 1587. A taste of life behind bars in the 1820’s can also be experienced at the town’s Castle Jail and Museum!
The Borders boasts more stately homes than in any other part of Scotland. For instance, Paxton House near Berwick is a fine Georgian house set in 80 acres of spectacular gardens. Spring time sees daffodils blanketing the ground in a glorious spectacle. From here, a short drive will take you to opulent Manderston House featuring the only silver staircase in the world and many rare specimens of rhododendrons and azaleas.
Try to fit in a visit to Abbotsford House, ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott. Combine this with a drive up to Scott's View - commanding the most incredible views of the Tweed and Eildon Hills - to gain an appreciation of the landscape which inspired the creativity of Scotland’s foremost writer and poet.
The magnificent city of Edinburgh with its Castle and world famous Festival and Fringe events is just an hour by car. Easy day trips can also be made to the stunning Northumberland coastline whose endless sandy beaches remain almost deserted even in the summer months.