The Area

The Byres and Ettrick View provide ideal bases from which to get to know the many and varied wonders of the Scottish Borders and the surrounding area.

View Over the Scottish Borders

Explore and Enjoy!

Smailholm Tower Lovely rolling hills, sparkly streams and gently meandering rivers define the Ettrick valley and its neighbour the Yarrow valley, covering a large area from Selkirk to Moffat with some of the finest scenery in Scotland. We are situated right in the heart of this beautiful landscape, 13 miles from Selkirk along the scenic B7009. There are plenty of historic houses, castles and ruined abbeys within reach as well as shopping in pretty Borders towns or you can simply spend your time chilling out. Even though you are only 80 minutes from the City of Edinburgh, such is the remote and tranquil feel of these beautiful valleys, you could be hours from anywhere. Fresh air and wildlife abound here and there is no light pollution, so thousands of stars are visible on a clear night.

Hawick The Newburgh Burn trickles through our small yurt site in summer and is a lovely place for paddling. This flows into the River Ettrick which is securely fenced off but is easily accessed. At certain times of the year this is one of the best rivers for salmon fishing in Scotland and permits for trout and grayling fishing can also be purchased locally.

You can walk the hills close by, or follow one of the several walks of varied difficulty outlined in an excellent guide we have for the valleys.

Melrose If you are keen cyclists then please do bring your bikes as the roads here were made for cycling with several routes mapped out, and are often used by national and local bike races such as the Tour of the Borders.

For off-road biking then the internationally renowned 7 Stanes courses at Glentress and Innerleithen are a great day out where bikes can be hired.

Traquair We have two local pubs, The Gordon Arms and The Cross Keys, 10 and 15 minutes' drive from the site (or a slightly longer cycle). Both are very welcoming and friendly and serve great food and drinks, sometimes with live music. Twenty minutes away, the Southern Upland Way passes close to the beautiful St Mary's Loch. This is a great place to stop off on the way back from a walk at The Grey Mare's Tail waterfall.

Jedburgh Abbey The area is steeped in history. William Wallace was made guardian of the Scottish people in Selkirk and Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mary Queen of Scots, and the Black Douglases have all also played their part in the local history; as well as many plundering reivers and fleeing covenanters. Sir Walter Scott lived and wrote at Abbotsford for many years and his fellow writer James Hogg lived most of his life in the parish of Ettrick.

The Border textile industry of course also played its part in Scottish history. Parts of it are still in operation in local towns with their outlets and visitor centres.

James Hogg Monument For those interested in finding out more about their own family history and links with the Scottish Borders, the Heritage Hub in Hawick has a huge amount of information going back over 750 years.

Also in the area are several attractions in the form of country houses such as Bowhill, Abbotsford and Traquair; castles such as Neidpath, Floors, Hermitage, Smailholm and Thirlestane; the ruined abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso; and pretty Border towns like Peebles, Melrose, and Newton St Boswells with all their shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants.

Edinburgh Castle And then there opportunities for golf, horse riding, kayaking, and many other attractions close enough for a day out, including a trip into Edinburgh.

Slightly further afield, but not too far for a day trip are Rosslyn Chapel south of Edinburgh and Alnwick Castle, now better known to many Harry Potter fans as Hogwarts School.

And of course we are within easy reach of Edinburgh 'the Athens of the North' and one of the world's great cities. Here you will find much to see and do including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Dynamic Earth, the Camera Obscura and Holyrood Palace. Here you can also find many cultural diversions including theatre, cinema, opera, art galleries, musicals, pantomime, and don't forget the Edinburgh Festivals in August and the New Year celebrations. The Borders Railway connects Tweedbank and Galashiels with Edinburgh for those who prefer not to take their cars to the city.

All in all there is plenty to do: though you might just want to enjoy the miles and miles of unspoiled countryside, still wild and inspiring, which makes the Ettrick valley so special and just relax and enjoy the scenery or stargaze.

To find out more about the area please have a look at, and