Set in the heart of the Ettrick Forest - the ancient hunting ground of Scottish royalty up to the reign of Mary Queen of Scots - Aikwood Tower's authentic history and understated luxury provide the amiable surroundings for a magical stay.
Set in the heart of the Ettrick Forest - the ancient hunting ground of Scottish royalty up to the reign of Mary Queen of Scots - Aikwood Tower's authentic history and understated luxury provide the amiable surroundings for a magical stay in the Scottish Borders.
The exceptional Border peel tower, built in the 1530s, has undergone extensive refurbishment and been lovingly renovated to accommodate ten (+ 2) overnight guests in authentic, relaxing and comfortable surroundings.
Located just an hour's drive from Edinburgh and a similar distance from Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle train stations, the former home of Lord Steel of Aikwood is the the ideal base to explore the Scottish Borders, enjoy its spectacular scenery and try out any one of the amiable activities on offer. It really is the perfect antidote to the hubbub of modern living.
Whether you are looking for peace, calm and to be left alone to enjoy your stay under self-catered terms or wish to be waited upon with fine food and drink, the courteous staff of Aikwood Tower will meet your needs with upmost discretion and efficiency.
For camaraderie or comfort
Aikwood Tower is different to most castles and country houses in Scotland - its charm lies in its intimacy. Entering the original oak front door, Aikwood Tower's endearing quirks of architecture and craftsmanship are immediately apparent as the Kerry-handed (left turning) spiral staircase lies before you.
The Great Hall, with roaring fire and luxurious furnishings, provides a comfortable and informal atmosphere for guests to relax. Meal time conversations swirl around the vaulted ceiling of the dining room and kitchen. A small reading study with panelled ceiling offers tranquillity and a place to enjoy classic gramophone recordings.
A good night's rest is an important wellbeing ingredient, which is why all Aikwood Tower bedrooms contain the most technologically advanced beds in the world. The hand-made DUX beds, from Sweden will ensure you have an exceptional night's sleep, walking up refreshed and alert for a new day of exploring the wonderful countryside.
There are four double bedrooms in the main tower, with the Master Bedroom the highlight, and a fifth in the extended wing. All rooms bar one can be presented as twins, with the room in the extended wing able to accommodate two z-beds, for family purposes.
The lower floor of the open-plan byre provides ample function space for small wedding receptions, business meetings, celebratory dinners and other activities. The upper floor is where modern-day excesses can be found - screening room, games consoles, business facilities.
The south-west facing walled garden is a true delight. Whether soaking up the sun on the terrace, playing croquet on the lawn or picking apples from the orchard trees, the garden is a magical place to enjoy. It is also a secure environment for little ones to experience camping out under the stars.
Ambling or action
Aikwood Tower is truly blessed by its location. With Shooting Times mgazine regularly listing the neighbouring Bowhill Estate pheasant shoot as one of the country's Top 10 and the River Tweed with its legendary salmon, grayling and trout fishing flowing nearby, country sports enthusiasts will be in their element.
The rolling hills and woodland trails of the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys are perfect for walking, mountain biking or horse riding, and their rivers ideal for kayaking. Maps and suggested trails are available for you to navigate around the countryside, as are local guides who can point out the rich diversity of flora, fauna and wildlife, including the majestic ospreys that have recently returned to the region.
Just 30 minutes away is the is the mountain biking Mecca of Glentress Forest - the UK's leading mountain biking centre - with its wide variety of trails and challenging downhill runs.
The fantastic championship golf courses of Roxburghe (woodland course) and Cardrona (woodland/parkland course) are both nearby while tennis courts are just a 5 minute drive away.
If you would like a personal yoga session or soothing massage to ease away the day's exertions, local practitioners are available to come to Aikwood Tower to meet your needs.
Rich and varied in its history and culture, the Scottish Borders has much to explore from Melrose Abbey to Samye Ling Bhuddist temple, and the local towns' summer common riding festivities to rugby sevens tournaments. With Edinburgh just an hour's drive away, a formidable array of city delights is within easy striking distance.