It’s time to turn the spotlight onto one of the most beautiful – and underrated – parts of Scotland: the south. Whether you desire a return to nature on your Scottish holiday, or a bit of history, South Scotland is a captivating place to explore. And for those who wish to indulge, there is also the promise of fabulous luxury.
To help you plan your trip, we have hand-picked some of the best luxury accommodation and experiences in the south. Of course, you don’t have to stay in five-star accommodation to experience luxury. You can always weave some extravagance into your trip by enjoying a meal at a top restaurant, taking a tour of a stately home or booking an inspirational experience.
Stay in the lap of luxury
Expect high standards and attention to detail when you stay at one of the following places.
1. Schloss Roxburghe, Scottish Borders
Set in stunning Scottish Borders countryside, Schloss Roxburghe is the perfect luxury getaway destination. A championship golf course and a full range of sporting pursuits add to this charming hotel’s allure.
2. Windlestraw, Scottish Borders
A lovely boutique hotel near Innerleithen, Windlestraw is a grand Edwardian manor house with gorgeous views of the Tweed Valley. The house offers luxurious accommodation in six bedrooms, an intimate bar and sun lounge and a fine dining restaurant.
3. Thirlestane Apartments, Scottish Borders
Nothing says luxury quite like staying in a castle. Follow in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie and stay at Thirlestane Castle in one of five luxury apartments. The tranquil, parkland setting of this beautiful building will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.
4. Knockinaam Lodge, Dumfries & Galloway
Enjoy a delightful and intimate atmosphere at this award-winning boutique hotel in Dumfries & Galloway. Knockinaam Lodge warmly welcomes its guests with personalised service and excellent dining. It even has its own private beach!
5. Nithbank Country Estate, Dumfries & Galloway
Stay in a secluded and elegant country house and discover the perfect place to relax and unwind. Nithbank Country Estate offers the personal service of a luxury hotel with the freedom and privacy of home. A lovely place to reconnect with nature.
6. GG’s Yard Sea View Snugs, Dumfries & Galloway
Enjoy a taste of luxury at GG’s Sea View Snugs. Overlooking the idyllic Solway Coast, each glass-fronted snug has a master bedroom with a king-size bed and en suite shower room. Look forward to endless starry skies and range of outdoor activities.
Taste mouth-watering food and drink
South Scotland has an enviable natural larder. Try something delicious on your trip!
7. The Hoebridge, Scottish Borders
With an ever-evolving menu and wine list, you’re sure to find something special at The Hoebridge near Melrose. Based in a former farm building, it was recently renovated to create a fresh, modern and inviting look.
8. Osso, Scottish Borders
This award-winning contemporary café and restaurant has a focus on fresh and seasonal produce. Relaxed and comfortable, Osso has become something of a Peebles institution since it was opened in 2007. Bon appétit!
9. Provender, Scottish Borders
A convivial haven for modern Scottish, British and French cuisine, Provender source their produce from local, seasonal, ethical and sustainable suppliers. Relax with friends and family in the heart of the Scottish Borders.
10. The Limetree Restaurant, Dumfries & Galloway
Hearty food with an emphasis on the best ingredients is what you’ll find at this popular restaurant in the south west. The Limetree caters for vegetarians and other dietary requirements.
11. Mr Pook’s Kitchen, Dumfries & Galloway
A relatively new addition to the culinary scene in Dumfries & Galloway, Mr Pook’s Kitchen in Castle Douglas showcases some of the best produce from the region. Whether it’s a light lunch or a grand evening meal, you’ll find creative cooking and great flavours here.
12. The Boathouse Glencaple, Dumfries & Galloway
Gorgeous riverside views compliment the delicious menu at The Boathouse Glencaple. Brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are all on offer at this stunning restaurant. The historic Glencaple Quay is a lovely place to go for a walk after your meal.
Enjoy top quality experiences
History and culture, food and drink, or the wild outdoors? The choice is yours in the south.
13. The Borders Distillery, Scottish Borders
Located in the town of Hawick, The Borders Distillery is housed in wonderfully restored Victorian industrial buildings. Take a guided tour and find out how they preserved these remarkable buildings, how they make the whisky, finishing with a dram in the distillery bar!
14. Cocoa Black, Scottish Borders
What could be more indulgent than handmade gourmet chocolates? Each morning Ruth Hinks and her team of chocolatiers at Cocoa Black start work at 5am preparing these delectable treats. Customers can visit the boutique and try a hot chocolate, before taking away some lovely gifts.
15. Johnstons of Elgin, Scottish Borders
Johnstons of Elgin has been creating the finest woollen and cashmere cloth, clothing and accessories since 1797. Take a free guided tour around their Hawick mill to experience the time-honoured production process and browse the shop afterwards for stunning fabrics.
16. Floors Castle, Scottish Borders
Built for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe in 1721, Floors Castle is a stunning Borders attraction. Inside you’ll find grand rooms filled with fine art, porcelain and tapestries. Outside you’ll find woodland and riverside walks and wonderful gardens. The perfect family day out.
17. Threave Garden and Estate, Dumfries & Galloway
On the outskirts of Castle Douglas, discover a spectacular garden at Threave Estate with all kinds of features to explore. As well as the secret garden, rockery and walled garden, you can take a tour around the impressive Threave House.
18. Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway
Set in the 120,000 acre Queensberry Estate, this important Renaissance building is packed to the rafters with inspiring collections of silver, porcelain, French furniture and art – including a Rembrandt. Drumlanrig Castle is certainly one of Scotland’s most romantic stately homes.
19. Galloway Activity Centre, Dumfries & Galloway
One of the best ways to see South Scotland is to try outdoor pursuits. Galloway Activity Centre gives you the chance to try everything from kayaking to archery, all in the magnificent surroundings of Loch Ken and the Galloway Hills. Prior booking is essential.
For a luxury holiday with definite wow factor, South Scotland has so much going for it. As we have seen, there is scope to take a long, luxurious holiday here, but even on a shorter break, a tour of a stately home like Manderston or Mellerstain House would make a great day trip.