A picturesque country town, Kelso lies in a fine setting at the junction of the rivers Tweed and Teviot.
Kelso is full of architectural and historic interest. In 1128 David I granted monks permission to build an abbey across the water from his castle, Roxburgh. Even in its fragmented state, this is a superb piece of architecture. To the west, a grassy mound, deep ditch and a few ruined walls are all that remain of the once mighty Roxburgh Castle. James II was killed during a siege here in 1460, by an exploding cannon.
The spacious Kelso Square claims to be the largest in Scotland. At its centre is still the Bull Ring, a reminder of past market days. The square is now host to many specialist shops. The graceful five-arched bridge over the Tweed, built by John Rennie in 1803, was the model for London's Waterloo Bridge.
Floors Castle, Scotland's largest inhabited house, stands in parkland overlooking the Tweed. It holds outstanding collections of paintings, furniture, porcelain and tapestry.
The lively programme of events in the town reflects the predominantly agricultural community, with the Border Union agricultural show, ram and horse sales, Kelso Races, point-to-point and the Scottish Championship dog show. Kelso Civic Week, held in summer, is the town's annual festival, adopting many of the features of the older Border Common Ridings.