Today’s tour started by collecting Peter, Andrea, Greta and Maya from Samyé Ling Tibetan Centre. When our visitors booked their private tour of the Scottish Borders with us, they specifically requested that we visit a church, castle, loch, see beautiful scenery and have lunch – we agreed that this could be easily done.
Leaving Samye Ling, we travelled from Eskdalemuir to the Ettrick Valley. Our first stop was at Ettrick Kirk where they were amazed at how plain the structure and interior of the church was compared to elaborate city and continental churches. Ettrick Kirkyard is fascinating as it contains headstones for James Hogg ‘the Ettrick Shepherd, Thomas Boston, Tibbie Shiel and William Laidlaw ‘Will O’Phaup’ (James Hogg’s grandfather). The church also has a exhibition outlining the history of parish and the people who lived there; if you have a family connection to Ettrick then it’s well worth a visit. We travelled further down the valley before crossing over into the Yarrow Valley.
The beautiful Yarrow Valley is famous for its stunning scenery, St. Mary’s Loch, Loch of the Lowes, Tibbie Shiels Inn and James Hogg ‘the Ettrick Shepherd’ statue. We had a lovely lunch at Tibbie Shiels before walking down to St. Mary’s Loch to marvel at its beauty and take photographs. Once a year above the banks of St. Mary’s Loch in the Churchyard of St. Mary’s Church you can witness the Blanket Preaching, this is an annual open-air church service to commemorate the days of the Covenanters.
We travelled back down the Yarrow Valley then over ‘Paddy Slacks’ to the Tweed Valley and Traquair House. Traquair House is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland and home to the Bear Gates which were reputedly locked behind Bonnie Prince Charlie when he left Traquair in 1745 on his way south to regain the throne. The gates will remain locked until a Stuart is restored to the throne. Following an interesting tour of the house and brewery there was still time to explore the walled garden, woodland walks and maze.
By the end of the day we achieved what our visitors had requested:
Church – Ettrick Kirk
Castle – Not quite a castle however Traquair House is older and has more history attached to it than many local castles
Loch – St. Marys Loch and Loch of the Lowes
Lunch – Tibbie Shiels Inn
Beautiful scenery – everywhere we travelled!
We very much enjoyed sharing the beauty and history of the Scottish Borders with our visitors today and look forward to welcoming them on another tour next week.
More photographs can be found on Borders Journeys’Facebook
Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.