Autumn inspiration


After a fabulous summer, autumn has now officially arrived … and the action doesn’t let up. Check out our top six things to do during a season when the Tweed Valley is often at its most beautiful

1. Make some furry friends

Gentle, friendly and charismatic, animals don’t come much more endearing than alpacas. And there’s no better place to get up close and personal with these adorable critters than at Velvet Hall Alpacas (pictured) just outside Innerleithen. With a host of trekking experiences available, it’s a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the animals while also enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Trekking with alpacas is one of the area’s most unusual – and delightful – experiences!

2. Enjoy the autumn colours (with a twist!)

What’s the best way to enjoy the Tweed Valley’s glorious autumn colours? From canopy height of course! At Go Ape Glentress, you can do just that as you negotiate your way through a series of aerial obstacles high up in the trees. The exhilarating double zipwire at the end provides not just wind-in-your-hair excitement but also stunning views over the forest and over to the hills beyond.

(For a more sedate experience, check out the wonderful colours at Dawyck Botanic Garden and Kailzie Gardens)

3. Visit the Great Polish Map of Scotland

Nestled in the grounds of Barony Castle by Eddleston is something rather special. A labour of love both in terms of its initial creation – by Polish war veteran Jan Tomasik – and its recent restoration, the Great Polish Map of Scotland is a giant, physical relief map of Scotland, sculpted in concrete. Now ‘flooded’ to display the intricate firths, sea lochs, islands and headlands found around Scotland’s coast, it’s a remarkable feature of the landscape. Don’t forget to also drop in to Barony Castle itself while there.

4. Woodland wonders at the Tweed Valley Forest Festival

An annual celebration of woodland and forest culture, this long running festival (20-28 Oct) is based in and around lovely Tweed Green in Peebles. The festival’s Wood Market, with items made by skilled crafters from around the country, is regarded as one of the best of its kind in Scotland. Meanwhile, the festival also sees a range of demonstrations, including live chainsaw carving, great food and drink, plus the always hotly-disputed Scottish Conker Championships!

5. Get spooked this Halloween

There are ghosts and ghouls aplenty in the Tweed Valley this Halloween, with brilliant events at two of the area’s most historic venues. There’s spooky fun for all ages at Traquair House (Sun 28 Oct) by Innerleithen, plus the inspired Halloween Zombie Jog (Sat 27 Oct) and various ghost walks at Bowhill Estate, near Selkirk.

6. Experience a run like no other

The gorgeous hills and woods in the Tweed Valley are made for running – with a few man-made surprises thrown in for good measure! Starting and finishing in Peebles, this year’s Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run (Sat 20 Oct) includes a choice of three distances: approximately 10km and 20km, plus a new distance of around 4km which is ideal for younger runners. All routes are incredibly scenic and include running through a specially-lit, 600 metre-long Victorian railway tunnel at Neidpath (don’t worry, the trains stopped long ago!). And if you prefer walking to running, this year includes a relaxed 3.5-km walk that also passes through the tunnel.



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