What to Do when you visit?
The bonnie Borders region is rich in heritage and full of stuff to do. You will find beautiful countryside, exhilarating hikes, bustling market towns, historic ruins, stately homes and charming pubs.
Major local attractions include, Fatlips Castle, Jedburgh Abbey, St Boswells Donkey Sanctuary, the Borders Distillery and the Borders Abbey Way. However, our location also makes us the perfect gateway for you to experience the wonders of the wider Borders region, the Lothians and the North of England. Just to name a few reachable attractions: Melrose, Kelso, and Dryburgh Abbeys, Kielder Forest, and Hermitage Castle are less than a half an hour drive away; Edinburgh, Duns Castle, St Mary’s Loch and Hadrian's Wall an hour away; and Holy Island, North Berwick, Alnwick, Bamburgh and the Lake District reachable in approximately an hour and a half.
There is clearly a lot to do but here at Westcote we are all about attention to detail and giving you the best experience, therefore talk to us about what you want out of your visit and we will give you tailored recommendations.
WALKING AND HIKING
We have 13 scenic walks in the immediate area for you to explore in addition to the renowned Borders Abbey Way, the St Cuthberts' Way, the Roman Heritage Way and Sir Walter Scott Way. So if walking is your thing Westcote is the place for you!
We are also dog and horse friendly so feel free to bring your pets to explore the beautiful terrain. Recent visitors have taken their dogs as far as the end of the St Cuthberts' Way: the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
The Borders additionally hosts the annual Scottish Borders Walking Festival which is the longest established event of its kind in Scotland. 2019 is Selkirk and the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys turn to host (7th-14th September 2019). So come along if you wish to meet like-minded people and visit different trails.
Another three classic Scottish outdoor pursuits can be enjoyed on our doorstep: golf, fishing and rugby.
Golfers are spoilt with Minto golf course to the north and Hawick golf club to the south, both of which welcome non-members to play. The latter is the oldest in the borders established 1877 which has Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomery and Tony Jacklin as honorary members.
Whilst, the famous River Tweed which graces the valleys of the Borders is home to plenty trout and salmon, offering fantastic fishing.
Rugby-wise the Borders is the birthplace of the abbreviated code of the sevens invented in Melrose in 1883. Therefore, Westcote's location offers you not just the option to watch international games in the excellent local pubs, but every April, May and August you can watch the various Borders sevens teams compete in the games birthplace.
Our region is revered for its textiles industry. Within the Borders' 30 miles you will find a multitude of textile companies, factory outlets, visitor centres and museums along Visit Scotland's ‘textile trail’. In fact Hawick, our nearest town, is the region's “cashmere capital.” Therefore, whether you want to look at the weaving and knitwear heritage at the local Borders Textile Towerhouse museum (perfect rainy day activity) or pick yourself up a cashmere jumper, do visit.
HORSES AND HERITAGE
The horse is an integral part of life in the Scottish Borders. From the International Horse Trials at Floors Castle annually in May to the annual Common Ridings festivities across the region from May to August.
The Hawick Common-Riding, our closest event, is the first of the Border Common Ridings commencing in May and ending in this year with the main ceremonial weekend in early June (this year the 6th, 7th and 8th). This wonderful display of horsemanship celebrates both the capture of an English Flag in 1514 by the youth of Hawick at a place called Hornshole and the ancient custom of riding the marches or boundaries of the common land.
Westcote is, therefore, the place to be if you are horse-mad; we even offer stabling facilities. Nonetheless, the Common Riding is also just one of the ways you can explore Borders' heritage: the annual Hawick Reivers Festival in late March, Scottish Borders Heritage Festival (1-30 September) and Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival in early July, are some of the other ways those who are proud to be Scottish or interested in history can spend their time at Westcote.