Tweed Valley Blog

  • Guy & Lesley on the terrace at Glede Knowe

Following a lengthy stint working in corporate jobs down south, Guy and Lesley Wotherspoon returned to Scotland last year to take over the running of Glede Knowe Guest House in beautiful Innerleithen. We caught up with them to find out just why living and working here has proved such a breath of fresh air

You’ve now spent a couple of seasons running Glede Knowe – how has it gone so far?

Our first two seasons have been great fun, and flown by. In the first year, we didn’t really know what to expect in terms of booking patterns, but we were pleased with what we achieved. In November last year, we redesigned the website to better showcase the house and the beauty of the Borders countryside and have seen an increase in bookings as a result.

What do you offer guests to make the Glede Knowe ‘experience’ really stand... Read more

  • One to one: Jess and Kelvin
  • The use of slo-mo video helps pinpoint areas for improvement
  • Colin practicing his take-off ...
  • ... and Kelvin perfecting his landing

 

When one of Scotland’s leading mountain bike tuition companies offered the chance to join other riders on a course to improve technique and boost confidence on jumps and drops, I couldn’t resist a shot. But, as we all discovered, first we had to unlearn a few things …

It’s not often that you have an opportunity to learn from an elite rider, but that’s exactly what is on offer as we gather at Glentress Forest for a ‘Jumpstart’ course run by Tweed Valley-based mountain bike tuition business Ridelines.

And as one of those rather less than elite riders who tend to just hang on and hope when it comes to jumps and drop-offs, I’m desperately in need of some pointers. I’ve always marveled at how better riders seem to ‘pop’ up as they hit jumps, a serene look on their faces as they trace a perfect arc through the... Read more

  • Bowhill House and Country Estate
  • Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott
  • Traquair House
  • Part of the walled garden at Kailzie Gardens

As befits an area with such a rich and varied history, the Tweed Valley is home to a variety of historic houses, often with outstanding grounds and gardens. Here are five houses and gardens that you really must visit this summer

Bowhill House and Country Estate

The Scottish Borders home of the Duke of Buccleuch displays an outstanding art collection, with works by Canaletto, Claude, Raeburn, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Ruysdael, while the wider, heavily-wooded estate offers a variety of peaceful walks for all ages and abilities. And if walking is not enough, visitors can always try the recently upgraded adventure playground, while the Bowhill ranger service also offers a series of fun activities for children and families. Look out too for the attractive Courtyard, which includes everything from a Victorian kitchen to a gift shop, tearoom and soft play for wee ones.  

Abbotsford House

Situated on... Read more

  • Windsor chairs
  • Elm desk
  • Crossover table

 

Visit Tweed Valley is delighted to welcome Colin Semple Furniture Design as its latest local business member. From a studio housed in the old school at Stobo near Peebles, Colin designs and makes an exquisite range of original furniture using locally-sourced Scottish hardwood. We caught up with him to find out more

What do you love most about what you do?

I love the journey from a rough idea that gets refined over time with the client, then designed in detail before selecting wood and making the finished piece. No matter how many times I do it, it is a real thrill to see the final article develop. I also love the variety. No two projects are ever the same.

Tell us about some of the recent items you’ve worked on

There's been a great selection of projects recently. In the last few months, I completed a large-scale kitchen... Read more

  • Osprey family at the nest, Tweed Valley

Ospreys have made quite the comeback in Scotland having been driven to the brink of extinction in the UK a century ago. And the Tweed Valley is one of the best places to view these incredible, fish-eating birds of prey

Like so many of our birds of prey, ospreys were once persecuted heavily by hunters and egg collectors to the point where the species was absent from Scotland for much of the first half of the 20th century. That all changed in 1954 when a pair settled under their own steam at Loch Garten in the Cairngorms. But it wasn’t until 1998 that the first nesting pair returned to the Borders – one of the osprey’s many old stomping grounds around Scotland.  

But with very real fears for their safety – be it from egg collectors or accidental human disturbance – they still needed a helping hand. As such,... Read more

  • Living room with fireplace
  • Quaker-style kitchen with views to the Cuddy
  • Bedroom at 22 Biggiesknowe

Visitors to the Tweed Valley have another characterful self-catering option to choose from following the loving restoration of 22 Biggiesknowe – a delightful cottage-style apartment that sits on a quiet street in the heart of Peebles

Built at the beginning of the 20th century, originally as a weaver's cottage, the apartment has been completely refurbished by owners Lynda and David Murray, and now comprises a light-filled main bedroom, lounge with dining table overlooking Eddleston Water (the Cuddy), a shower room and shaker-style kitchen (also overlooking the river). With wooden flooring throughout and a wealth of traditional features, it’s a quaint and stylish bolt-hole.

“We purchased the property in June 2014 and carried out extensive renovations including a new kitchen and shower room,” explains Lynda. “The property is best suited for couples but there is a small fold-down bed that would suit a child. A travel cot is also available if... Read more

  • Bella Hardy
  • Bella Hardy

 

The Tweed Valley hosts one of traditional music’s most prolific and inventive artists when Bella Hardy plays at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles on 26 March as part of a finale tour for her latest album, With The Dawn. We caught up with Bella to learn more about her music and what audiences can expect from the gig

For those unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe it … folk seems just one part of the picture

Music is such a hard thing to describe, especially your own! I write my own songs and try to encourage people to have a listen and come up with their own ideas. Since a teenager, I've been performing folk music, fiddling and singing, and that comes largely from my love of traditional ballads. I think that will always be present in my music. But everything else I've listened to seeps in too – Tom... Read more

  • The Mighty Deerstalker
  • TweedLove
  • Shakespeare at Traquair
  • Beltane Festival, Peebles

 

We’ve already had a couple of fantastic events in the Tweed Valley this year, with hardy competitors braving the snow and ice in the Bowhill Duathlon Series in January, while hundreds more were inspired and entertained at the recent Peebles Outdoor Film Festival.

And the events just keep on coming in the months ahead. Here are six very good reasons to join us in the Tweed Valley this year:

 

1. The Mighty Deerstalker, 12 March

A wet, muddy and by now infamous romp through the Tweed Valley, starting and finishing at Traquair House. Runners can choose from the 5km route (it’s a bit more than that), or the more extreme 10km route (actually a LOT longer than that, much of it in darkness). Dressing up is encouraged – expect plenty of tweed, fake antlers and deerstalker hats – while the routes feature a range of fiendish obstacles.... Read more

  • Harnesses on ...
  • Learning the ropes with Cani-Fit's Lindsay Johnson
  • Ready for a run ...
  • Full tilt alongside the Tweed

 

The recent Peebles Outdoor Film Festival included a fantastic demonstration of cani-cross at Traquair House, led by North Lanarkshire-based Cani-Fit. For those who’ve not come across it before, cani-cross is an increasingly popular sport that involves running with your dog, attached with a special harness and bungee lead. The really intrepid then tried scootering and cycling with their dogs … great fun had by all as these pictures show! The hope is that we might see some cani-cross events in the valley some time in the future. It's certainly a sport with a growing following elsewhere in Scotland. Watch this space ...  Read more

  • Mark Beaumont headlines the opening night of the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival - Fri, 22 Jan

 

Now very much a household name, global adventurer Mark Beaumont is one of the star turns at this year’s Peebles Outdoor Film Festival. We caught up with Mark ahead of his headline appearance at the festival this coming Friday evening (22 Jan)

 

You are best known for your two-wheel adventures and feats of endurance … why bikes, what got you started riding?

When I was 11 years old, I read in the Courier about a chap who cycled from John O’ Groats to Land’s End. I was inspired and set out to cycle across Scotland. After that, the journeys just got bigger and bigger!

You grew up in rural Perthshire … how important was your home patch in shaping your future life as an adventurer?

I had a rather wild start to life as I was home schooled and spent most of my time working and playing on... Read more

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