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Things to do in Kelso, Scottish Borders

The picturesque town of Kelso, lies in a fine setting at the junction of the Rivers Tweed and Teviot.

Described by Sir Walter Scott as 'the most beautiful, if not the most romantic village in Scotland'.

The elegant Town House, built in 1816 now houses the Tourist Information Centre, and is situated in the centre of the spacious cobbled square, which is said to be the largest cobbled market square in Scotland.

The graceful five-arched bridge over the Tweed dates from 1803, it was built by John Rennie and was the model for London's old Waterloo Bridge. You can enjoy a scenic walk by the Tweed starting at this bridge, with lovely riverside views.

Kelso Abbey was founded in 1128, this was the greatest border abbey; like others it suffered in the border wars but even in its fragmentary state this is a superb piece of architecture.

Just on the edge of the town is the magnificent Floors Castle. Home to the Duke of Roxburghe and his family, the house is open from May to October for a great day out.

There are two interesting examples of Border Towers near to Kelso:

Greenknowe Tower - lies just outside the village of Gordon on the A6105. A handsome towerhouse in an L plan, built in 1581 and still retaining its own iron gate.

Smailholm Tower - 6 miles west of Kelso on the B6937, on an elevated situation on a rocky outcrop. Smailholm is a simple rectangular tower in a good state of preservation, it was the setting for Sir Walter Scott's ballad 'The Eve of St. John'.

For leisure and recreation in Kelso, you can play golf at the Borders first championship standard golf course, situated in the grounds of The Roxburghe Hotel.

You can play tennis, putting, swingball and table tennis at Shedden Park. Enjoy a swim at Kelso Swimming Pool or enjoy racing at Kelso Racecourse.

Contact the tourist information centre for guides who can take you for a day of first class salmon fishing on the Tweed.

In the winter you can try curling at the Border Ice Rink, just next to the Kelso Racecourse, and under 16s can learn how to ice-skate with the Border Ice Skating Club at the Rink.

Tourist Information (Open Easter-October): Town House, The Square, Kelso Tel: +44 (0) 1573 228 055

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