The difference between England and Scotland is apparent as soon as you cross the border. The scenery becomes more dramatic, the accent is completely different, and even the houses change as you drive on.
The route is picturesque and mostly rural. Jedburgh was the first larger settlement we stumbled upon, a pretty market town 10 miles north of the border, Jedburgh is the historic gateway to Scotland. There is evidence of Jedburgh’s colourful past all over this settlement, but most imposing is Jedburgh Abbey. Founded in the 12th Century by King David I, this mix of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture boasts an array of fascinating artefacts that are on display in the visitor centre.
After a nosy around Jedburgh we decided we must get to our hotel (near Kelso) as we had spent much of the day driving, the thought of a comfy bed was very tempting…
On arrival we were blown away, built in a grandeur style, it was obvious a magnificent property such as this was owned by someone important. The Roxburghe Hotel, along with much of the land in and around Kelso, is owned by the Duke of Roxburghe himself, who has invested much of his time and money into the town and environment to encourage tourism and help the local economy.
We were greeted with a smile and promptly handed the key to our room, a breath-taking Junior Suite with its own balcony overlooking the immaculate gardens that surround this luxury hotel. Of course I had to get a few undisturbed shots of the four poster bed, I had not stayed in one of these in a long time! Circled by tasteful, traditional decor, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. This hotel welcomes many repeat guests due to the popular championship golf course, and staff will try and assign guests to a different suite each visit.
We took a shower and chilled out before dinner, in a hotel where each of the public rooms has a roaring fire, there is no shortage of places to relax!
Dinner was taken downstairs in the hotel restaurant, Chez Roux, after canapés and drinks in the library. We enjoyed a three course meal of wonderful, tasty food. The service was some of the most attentive I have encountered, and each dish was delicious. After all that food and a glass of wine I was looking forward to getting some sleep, so we retired to our room where we slept soundly until 8 o’clock in the morning.
Breakfast was another delicious affair. With a choice of a la carte dishes, as well as a small buffet, Alex and I both thoroughly enjoyed our morning meal…
Unfortunately it was time to leave this beautiful residence, but not before a quick tour of the grounds. We had a sneak peak at the golf course, the 5th top inland course in Scotland and set amongst 200 acres. We hopped in a golf buggy and took a drive around the grounds, before circling back and enjoying a stroll through the landscaped gardens.
After saying our goodbyes to the staff, we set off towards Floors Castle, overlooking the town of Kelso. Floors Castle remains the family home of the Duke of Roxburghe, and has been the seat of the Dukes since 1721 when this grand house was built.
Snippets of past times gone can be found all over this beautiful home, with many trinkets and furnishings on display that shows the evolution of fashion throughout the years. Oh, and the great thing is, if you get hungry throughout your tour, don’t worry, the castle boasts two onsite restaurants.
Sadly our time was up in the borders and of we went to the Cairngorms, our next stop, along a very scenic road with rolling green hills and more sheep than you could ever count!
If you are interested in staying at the Roxburghe Hotel, please click here.