Tweed Valley Blog

 

Niall Watson joined Peebles Golf Club as part of a new management team in 2017. He is excited about adding to the history of a famous old club that has already been around for 125 years

Tell us more about your role and what you have looked to bring to the club since joining as manager

I am responsible for the day to day running of the golf club. Overseeing the greens team and bar team while working with our club franchises, the pro shop and catering team. Golf is a very traditional sport with each club having its own individual story to tell. I have looked to enhance the corporate identity of the club to ensure there are another 125 years of history to be proud of.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? 

The fact no one day is the same – there... Read more

  • The exquisite dining room at Bowhill House

 

As Visitor Services & Marketing Manager at Bowhill House near Selkirk, Sarah Richardson has an incredibly varied role. We caught up with her to find out about life at one of Scotland’s most impressive country homes and visitor attractions

How’s the summer been so far … nice and busy (and hot!)?

It’s been interesting! To go from snow at Easter to heatwaves in June/July and at the start of the school holidays has been fantastic.

Tell us more about your role at Bowhill

I’ve been here for 10 years now. My current role includes some of the day-to-day running of the attraction, including organising activities and events, weddings, purchasing for the shop and overseeing the tearoom. I’ve also just started doing the marketing for Bowhill, Drumlanrig Castle (near Dumfries) and Boughton House (in Northamptonshire).

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

The variety! One day I could... Read more

 

Jennifer Allerhand runs Cosaig – a delightful self-catering cottage overlooking Victoria Park in Innerleithen. We caught up with her to talk local attractions, catering for different needs and her love of greyhounds!

How would you describe Cosaig self-catering cottage in three words?

Ideally-located, cosy and well-equipped (ok, I cheated using hyphens!)

And in a few more words, paint a picture of Innerleithen and the surrounding area

Innerleithen is a small, vibrant and friendly town. There is plenty to keep you busy here without the need for a car. You can head into the surrounding hills for walking and mountain biking, or enjoy a more leisurely trip along the Tweed Valley Railway Path (a level, multi-purpose path suitable for wheelchairs). Elsewhere, there is a beautiful, 9-hole golf course on the edge of town, an alpaca trekking centre, plus some fascinating historical sites and houses. The town itself has a... Read more

  • Graham Adcock, Cleikum Mill Lodge

 

Graham Adcock is in his second season of running the already award-winning Cleikum Mill Lodge – a wonderful old building in Innerleithen that offers self-catering accommodation for outdoorsy visitors. We caught up with Graham to find out more

This is your second season running Cleikum Mill Lodge. What’s the experience been like so far?

Feedback from guests has been really encouraging, and it’s been great meeting so many like-minded people from near and far. There’s a fantastic community spirit locally, with lots of small businesses working hard and all so proud of the area. The buzz in Innerleithen on a weekend is fantastic. It’s great to see so many visitors enjoying it too.

What did you do before?

I was a site engineer in the construction industry working locally on projects such as the Edinburgh trams, Borders Railway, and the Selkirk flood scheme. I come from a... Read more

  • Hope Scott Wing, Abbotsford
  • One of the bedrooms in the wing
  • Sitting room in the Hope Scott Wing
  • The sumptuous kitchen

 

It’s not often that you get a chance to experience the splendour that inspired one of Scotland’s greatest writers, but that’s exactly what’s on offer for lucky guests staying in a special wing of Sir Walter Scott’s fantastical Abbotsford House near Melrose.

Originally a family residence, the Hope Scott Wing was home to Scott’s descendents who lived there until 2004, having kept the historic rooms of the main house open to the public since a few months after Scott’s death in 1833. By all accounts, Scott’s great, great granddaughters, the last of the family to live in the wing, were colourful characters who brought a warmth to the wing that can still be felt today.

When the wing was refurbished in 2013, a host of original features were retained as well as family belongings including original artworks and furniture. Now designed to accommodate groups of up to... Read more

  • John Matthews, Chef/Joint patron, Windlestraw
  • Windlestraw views

 

John and Sylvia Matthews are now in their third season of running Windlestraw – a magnificent Edwardian manor in Walkerburn that they have already turned into something very special. We spoke with John to find out more about their experience so far

You came to Windlestraw from Dubai, which is quite a change. What appealed to you about taking on this wonderful old building?

I’d like to say it was the weather that appealed to us! But no, having lived in Scotland years ago, returning here felt natural. We fell in love with Windlestraw. It’s a beautiful building and being a Ballantyne house has historical significance to Walkerburn and the wider area. We saw the potential of combining a wonderful home with a unique hospitality experience.

Tell us about your past experience in the kitchen

I trained first in Dublin and later in London. It was back in... Read more

  • Iain Ronaldson, Go Ape
  • Out on the course

 

The Go Ape Peebles aerial adventure course at Glentress has proved hugely popular since opening a few years ago. We caught up with Site Manager Iain Ronaldson to find out more about life in the trees

So, what’s a typical day like for you?

Open up the cabin; prep paperwork for the day ahead; oversee opening of the course; oversee all health and safety for both customers and staff; see the staff get fed; and repeat!

Why do you think people love Go Ape so much?

It’s just not something people do in their everyday lives. Families & friends can play together equally.

Go Ape has a variety of courses around the country, but how would you describe the one at Glentress … any special characteristics?

We have the highest zip line in the company – it’s 150ft above the small reservoir below, with amazing views across the... Read more

  • 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... 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

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