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Top 10 things we love

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With so much to do on our doorstep, we’ve handpicked our top 10 favourites for you to explore in and around Peebles.

1. John Buchan Way

For the man who gave us The Thirty Nine Steps, there’s now a long-distance walk that will take you considerably more steps than that. It’s a 13 mile walk through the best of Tweeddale, beginning in Peebles. The route winds through the landscapes that inspired the writer – and ends at the John Buchan Centre in Broughton, where you can learn more about his life.

Along the way you’ll find picturesque views and rolling hills. Start at the west end of Peebles High Street, and follow the waymarked signs all the way. If you make it all the way to Broughton and don’t fancy the hike back, catch the bus to Peebles and you’ll be home in time for a bite to eat.

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2. Dawyck Botanic Gardens


Part of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh, Dawyck is one of the world’s finest arboreta, with trees and plants from across the world gathered – it’s bursting with seasonal colour.


Don’t miss the fresh cakes in the café, including a really good selection of gluten free options. The gardens are open from 1 February to 30 November, and it’s just eight miles south of the hotel. To get there, follow the A72 west, through Peebles town, and turn left on to the B712 after about four miles. The gardens are further down that road on your left.


Adults are £6. Children go free!

3. Traquair House

We’ve been around since 1881. Traquair House goes back just a little further – all the way to 1107. A former hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland, it’s Scotland’s oldest inhabited house – and there’s plenty to do here. Visit the brewery underneath the chapel, set the kids loose in the adventure playground, or take a tour of the house and gardens. Have lunch in the old walled garden at the 1745 Cottage Restaurant, then hunt through the grounds for some of Scotland’s oldest yew trees.


Open from 25 March to 31 October, Traquair House makes a brilliant day out from Peebles Hydro – and it’s only 15 minutes by car. To get there, take the A72 to Innerleithen and turn right into Traquair Road. The house is on your left at the end of the road.


Family tickets are £24 for entrance to the house and gardens.

4. Butterfly World

Walk among hundreds of free-flying exotic butterflies – and ogle at a whole host of other animals including reptiles, snakes and spiders. There are daily handling sessions for the braver kids, and snake feeding every Saturday at 4pm. Just outside Edinburgh, it’s a 20 minute drive from the hotel. EH18 1AZ for satnav. Families from £26.50.

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5. Peebles High Street

Shopping in PeeblesPeebles High Street is a short walk from the hotel – and it’s the heart of our thriving market town. Try the route along the banks of the Tweed if you feel like combining shopping with a nature walk – and keep an eye out for the markets that fill the vennels, just off the high street.

There are lots of local shops, and some well-known ones too. If you’re looking for gifts or things for the home, try Time & Tide, Tiger Lily, and Breeze. Pop in to Castle Warehouse in the old town and visit its fabulous cookshop.

For a bit more culture there are plenty of galleries to visit – as well as Eastgate Theatre for live music, plays, and comedy. And for a bit of respite, Peebles has no shortage of coffee shops to relax in – try the fresh croissants at The Park Bakery.

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6. Peebles Golf Club

A hidden gem of a golf course with gorgeous views over Peebles and the Borders countryside. The 6,138 yard, par 70 course has plenty of challenges for novices and weekend pros alike. You’ll get a discount on the usual green fee – and the clubhouse is family-friendly too. It’s just a mile from the hotel — drive through the town and turn right at Young Street then left at Kirkland Street.

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7. Glentress

One of Scotland’s best mountain bike trail centres is practically on our doorstep.  And with graded trails to suit everyone, there’s enough here to keep you free-wheeling for days.

Stock up on supplies at the Picnic Shop in the main corridor – you don’t want to run out of energy half-way round!  And no ride would be complete without a coffee stop:  head to the Peel Café for as much coffee and cake as you can manage.

The trails are open year-round, and it’s a short (car-free) spin from the hotel – just head over the hill next to Janet’s Brae.  If you’re driving, take a left at the hotel exit and head towards Cardrona.  The Glentress entrance is just a mile or so down the road on your left.

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8. Abbotsford House

Sir Walter Scott’s house sits on the banks of the River Tweed, full of the objects and artefacts that inspired a literary giant. You’ll find Rob Roy’s gun among the papers and letters in the house, and the formal gardens are beautiful.

Three miles east of Melrose you’ll find Scott’s View – where Scott would stop every time he passed on his way home. The three peaks of the Eildon Hills dominate the landscape, and it’s easy to see why he found inspiration here. Melrose is a 30 minute drive from the hotel – but you can walk there too. The walking route is 25 miles, and follows the Southern Upland Way; set aside a full day, and grab a packed lunch from the Picnic Shop.

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9. Go Ape

You’ll find Go Ape’s highest zip wire at Glentress Forest – harness up and sail over a reservoir, with a brilliant view, if you can handle the height. The tree top adventure course is a challenging exercise in problem-solving – with plenty of zip wires, rope bridges, and Tarzan swings. Expect lots of squeals and smiles.

And the best bit? Peebles Hydro guests get a 15% discount, Sunday to Friday.

From the hotel exit head towards Cardrona. The entrance is just a mile or so down the road on your left.

10. John Buchan Museum

Novelist. Historian. Journalist. Diplomat. John Buchan was many things – and this museum on Peebles High Street brings his varied life to light. From the thrill of his novels to his adventures in Canada, the museum gives a full picture of the man behind The Thirty Nine Steps. It’s open from Easter weekend to 31 October, Monday to Saturday. Adults £2, children free!