Gardens of the Scottish Borders
- Discover some of the most beautiful gardens on this 3-night garden holiday in Scotland.
- Stay in the charming town of Kelso, the gateway to the Scottish Borders.
- Explore a variety of gardens, including Dawyck Botanic Garden, Kailzie Gardens & Carolside Gardens.
- Visit Abbotsford House & Garden, the home of Sir Walter Scott.
- Be accompanied by Iain MacDonald, a qualified and experienced gardener and guide throughout the tour.
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Your Guided Garden Tour of the Scottish Borders
Let's uncover some remarkable scenery in Scotland on this 3-night garden break. Our tour will begin at Dawyck Botanic Garden to see its impressive worldwide tree collection and then we make our way to our base in the market town of Kelso, which is known for its historic architecture. On a tour of Abbotsford House & Garden, we'll learn more about Sir Walter Scott, a renowned Scottish historian, novelist and playwright who lived there from 1812 until his death in 1832 and who even designed the gardens himself. We'll discover Carolside - an 18th century mansion, Harmony Garden which offers wonderful views across Melrose Abbey and Floors Castle & Garden, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. We'll also explore Mertoun House Gardens, which overlooks the River Tweed, and Kailzie Gardens with its array of diverse plants. Travel with us and be inspired by these incredible gardens of Scotland.
Activity Level: Leisurely
Dawyck Botanic Garden & Kelso
Depart Dublin & Dawyck Botanic Garden
Today we meet with our expert gardener Iain MacDonald at Dublin airport for our flight to Edinburgh where we will transfer to Dawyck Botanic Garden. Nestled in the picturesque Scottish Borders, Dawyck is home to one of Scotland’s finest tree collections and to an abundance of plant treasures from Nepal, Chile, China and more.
Later this afternoon we will transfer to our hotel in the market town of Kelso where our tour will be based.
Dine as a group this evening in our hotel.
Abbotsford House & Garden, Carolside Garden and Harmony Garden
Abbotsford House & Garden
Following a leisurely breakfast, we depart our hotel for a visit to Abbotsford House & Garden, the home of Sir Walter Scott. The rooms of this stately home were left just as Scott kept them after his death and are packed full of the fascinating items he collected. The garden, designed by Sir Walter Scott, is distinct in character with a layout forming three outdoor ‘rooms’ designed to offer picturesque settings for the main house. It is a rare surviving example of a Regency garden layout.
Next, we visit Carolside Gardens which has been cultivated for over 200 years and is known for its soft and delicate herbaceous planting, striking Delphinium beds and subtle colour schemes. Its design of rooms include a Secret Garden, Winter Garden, Herb Garden and oval Walled Garden.
Our final visit today is to Harmony Garden at Melrose Abbey with its manicured lawns, scented borders and fruit & vegetable beds spread out from a beautifully proportioned Georgian manor house.
Floors Castle & Garden and Mertoun House Gardens
Floors Castle & Garden
This morning join us on a visit to Scotland’s largest inhabited castle , Floors Castle & Garden. Built between 1721 and 1726 for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe the gardens of this magnificent estate has many highlights including a Walled Garden, Tapestry Garden and formal Millennium Garden.
Mertoun House Gardens
This afternoon we will visit Mertoun House Gardens – a garden full of interesting plants, shrubs and trees overlooking the River Tweed. Highlights include a well preserved, circular dovecot dating to 1567 , ornamental pond, herbaceous borders, arboretum and sweeping lawns.
Kailzie Gardens, Portmore Gardens & Return Home
After checking out of our hotel we will depart for a morning visit to Kailzie Gardens to discover 20 acres of gardens and woodlands laid down by generations of passionate gardeners. All the elements of a classic garden are set off by the magnificent 19th century walled garden featuring one of the oldest surviving Mackenzie and Moncur Glasshouses, herbaceous borders, hedges, immaculate lawns and a formal rose garden.
This afternoon join us on a visit to the old Victorian gardens at Portmore. The 1.5 acre Walled Garden has herbaceous double borders, a potager, rose garden, pleached lime walk and ornamental fruit cages. Other highlights include large Victorian glasshouses with contain an Italianate Grotto.
Return to Dublin
Transfer to Edinburgh airport after a wonderful few days discovering the Gardens of The Scottish Borders.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.