Rural living and rich, rancorous history combine at this elegant Borders home beside a working farm — one whose upside-down living arrangement entails spectacular views.
After days spent exploring, return to light-filled living areas and the comfort of a four-poster bed
In 1777, Robert Rutherford — of the Borders’ longstanding Clan Rutherford – was declared a Baron of the Russian Empire by Catherine the Great, and bestowed with wealth. Soon returning home to Scotland, he purchased the 1,400-acre estate of Fairnington and set about becoming a liberal landlord. That tradition continues today, as the current owners have opened their private eastern wing to guests.
First erected in the early 1500s as a bastel house – a typical, fortified farm designed to repel plundering Border Reivers – Fairnington’s first incarnation was mostly destroyed in 1544 during the ‘Rough Wooing’, when English garrisons repeatedly raided Scottish territory to try and enforce Prince Edward’s marriage to an infant Mary Queen of Scots. It was rebuilt and extended amid the 17th and 20th centuries.
Part of the main house — but not overlooked and boasting its own entrance — Fairnington East Wing contains two ground-floor bedrooms. A vast, richly-designed main suite utilises the old master’s office, with original wood panelling (and a very solid safe) surrounding porcelain vases and a mahogany four-poster bed. The second, smaller bedroom’s own king-sized bed can split into two singles if necessary. A large, shared bathroom has a tub and walk-in rainfall shower.
Beside a framed, first-edition Ordnance Survey map of the area, stairs ascend to an open-plan living space whose many windows and elevated position ensure much light. One corner contains the kitchen, where speckled white-granite counters top navy-coloured cabinetry and built-in Siemens appliances. Counter stools enable casual chats, while a dining table awaits opposite. Beyond that beckon two sofas. There’s also a TV hidden inside a vibrant watercolour portraying the estate, and glorious views over rolling hills into England.
Below is your private portion of garden, from which hares, deer, owls, buzzards, woodpeckers and even a resident hedgehog are sometimes spied – along with the Milky Way at night. Just beyond, several piles of stones are all that remain of a former chapel or hospital conferred by Pope Urban III in 1186. Fairnington’s estate also contains the hilltop Baron’s Folly, an eye-catching octagonal tower ordered by Robert Rutherford.
Walkers are well placed: the long-distance St Cuthbert’s Way and Borders Abbeys Way pass nearby as the Presidents Route circular memorably includes an avenue of giant sequoias. Anglers might cast into the Tweed or Teviot for salmon. Kelso’s ruined abbey – and splendid market square – is eight miles away, with the Waterloo Monument, commemorating the Battle of Waterloo, closer still (and indeed visible from the property). For a donation, visitors can borrow the key and climb its many steps for more fabulous vistas.
Access door into hallway with bench seat and hanging space.
Bathroom with large walk-in shower with rainforest head and separate mixer, bath with shower/tap mixer, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Bedroom one (one step up from hallway) with king size four poster bed, side tables, closet with hanging rail (not full height), window seat and decorative fireplace.
Bedroom two with zip and link beds which can be configured to a 5’2” king size or 2’6” twin, side tables, wardrobe with hanging space and separate drawer.
Three-quarter turn staircase to first floor – no handrail.
Open plan living space comprising:
Kitchen with large fridge/freezer, induction hob, electric oven, full size dishwasher, microwave. Note – there is a washing machine on the ground floor.
Dining space with seating for four. The table is extendable and can accommodate up to six guests for dining if required.
Sitting room with two large sofas, Smart TV (please note Wi-fi limitations at this time – this can be used for streaming if only one device is used).
Rear courtyard (shared with the owners) with parking. Bench seat. No barbecue.
Outside storage can be made available for bikes, fishing rods and outdoor kit.
To the side of the property is a lawned area with picnic bench and rural views.
Parking for two to three cars in the rear courtyard.
BABIES & CHILDREN
Babies and children are welcome. A travel cot and high chair are available on request. Should guests require any other equipment for babies or children, the owners would be pleased to try and assist.
Sorry, dogs are not permitted at Fairnington East Wing.
Bed linen and towels are provided, along with hand soaps and shower wash. The duvets are feather and down. Pillows are feather filled (hypoallergenic alternatives provided upon request). A hairdryer is provided in each bedroom.
WI-FI & MOBILE COVERAGE
Wi-Fi speed is very limited. Generally this is suitable for emails and internet browsing, however basic streaming is possible if using one device at a time only. Fibre broadband will be available in 2023. Mobile reception is generally good with 4G.
Heating is via a ground source heat pump. Heating can be thermostatically controlled throughout the property.
It is important to note that the East Wing directly adjoins Fairnington House which is occupied by the owners. While the owners are on hand to help guests with any aspect of their stay, they are very respectful of guest privacy.
Transport and Parking
No Pets Allowed
|£575 Per unit per week|
Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
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