Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

© VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

7 Days in the South of Scotland

Spend seven days in the south of Scotland, and you'll enjoy a relaxing break with days spent exploring historic attractions and out amongst the wonderful countryside. Made up of Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, there's plenty of things to do in southern Scotland. Follow this south of Scotland itinerary for great ideas on what to pick on your week-long break.

Start / Finish
St Abbs / Stranraer
  • Days
  • Distance

  • Transport
  • Main theme
Open countryside
Historic homes
Beautiful landscapes
Areas covered

Day 1Scottish Borders


Head south down the road from Edinburgh, or up from the north and across the border, and you'll soon be amongst the rolling hills and lush green beauty of the Scottish Borders. For the next three days you're spoilt for choice in terms of where to stay - all of the main towns and villages are centrally located. So you can book your ideal accommodation in the Scottish Borders, and make day trips to see the adventures this region has to offer.

This first day sees you head east to the coast, to St Abbs and Eyemouth.

  • St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve St Abbs

    St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve

    Explore this coastal haven for birdwatchers, nature lovers and walkers. See thousands of seabirds and be awed by the dramatic cliffs overlooking crystal-clear waters.

    Find out more about St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve
    St Abbs,St Abbs,TD14 5QF
    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  • St Abbs Visitor Centre Eyemouth

    The St Abbs Visitor Centre

    St Abbs itself is a small but picturesque fishing village with an important landscape, supporting wildlife both above and below the waves. Situated in the old village hall, the visitor centre tells the story of St Abbs' past and present with a main exhibition, but will also fill you in on the wonders of the geology and wildlife of the area.

    Don't miss the high-powered telescope for a closer look at the cliffs and wildlife, and the local photographs, artwork and crafts on display around the centre.

    Find out more about St Abbs Visitor Centre
    Coldingham Road,St Abbs,Eyemouth,TD14 5PL
    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • On Public Transport Route
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
  • Eyemouth Rib Trip Eyemouth

    Eyemouth Rib Trips

    Complete your seaside trip with the third magical way of seeing this cliff-side landscape - heading out on a powerboat experience! Running from the nearby town of Eyemouth, the experienced skipper will take you around the cliffs and coves to see the seabirds and seals.

    There's even a choice to suit your pace - the Fast Blast for those wanting the thrill of wind, spray and speed, and the Coastal Exploration, which is a more leisurely sea safari and scenic trip.

    Once you're back on dry land, look out for a little van where you can pick up some seafood to feed the seals that bob around Eyemouth harbour!

    Find out more about Eyemouth Rib Trips
    Dundee House,Harbour Road,Eyemouth,TD14 5JB

Day 2Melrose


Not only is this an area filled with history - it's an area which is lucky enough to still have many examples of that history, so you can experience it for yourself and get a good picture of what life was like hundreds of years ago.

Today we'll visit one of four abbeys, and one of the many historic houses in the Scottish Borders. There are plenty of other houses well worth a visit, either on this trip or your next.

  • Abbotsford House Melrose

    Abbotsford's historic house exterior view.

    Scotland has produced many great literary figures throughout the years, from Robert Burns to Val McDermid. No matter what your favourite genre is, there is lots of Scottish literature waiting to be added to your reading list. Today we're here to shine a spotlight on another of the country's finest writers, Sir Walter Scott.

    Helping to capture the imaginations from readers around the world, step inside his home and see where it all began! You'll stumble across shelves upon shelves of books in his personal study, a grand library and lots of artefacts on display relating back to some of his most famous works. Outside, adults can enjoy the peaceful setting of the Regency Walled Gardens while the fun awaits at the Play Trail for younger visitors, complete with a wooden fortress and seven-metre tunnel slide.

    Find out more about Abbotsford House
    Abbotsford,Melrose,TD6 9BQ
    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Hearing Loop
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Level Access
    • Accessible toilets
    • WiFi
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  • Melrose Abbey Melrose

    Melrose Abbey

    We're very lucky to share with you wonderful stories of Scotland's historic past, and Melrose Abbey is no exception. Originally founded by David I in 1136 for the Cistercian Order, the abbey is believed to be the final resting place of Robert the Bruce's heart. Although largely destroyed by Richard II's English army in 1385, you can take an audio tour around the site and see its striking architectural details up close. A few significant features to spot include hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and even a bagpipe playing pig. The question is, can you find them all?

    Why visit one Borders abbey when you can visit another three, you're on holiday after all! Discover the magnificent ruined abbeys of Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso along The Borders Abbeys Way. This 103 km walk takes you on a colourful journey through history dating back to the 12th century. Admire the picturesque scenery as you stop off to explore the pretty towns and villages or if you're looking to catch a bite, head to the River Tweed and River Teviot for a bit of morning fishing.

    Find out more about Melrose Abbey
    Abbey Street,Melrose,TD6 9LG
  • Scott's View St Boswells

    Scott's View, overlooking the valley of the River Tweed and the Eildon Hill (centre), which is reputed to be one of the favourite views of Sir Walter

    © Kenny Lam, VisitScotland. All rights reserved.

    Enjoy the beautiful rolling Eildon Hills and twisitng River Tweed at this view made famous by Sir Walter Scott. 

    Find out more about Scott's View
    St Boswell's,St Boswells

Day 3Peebles

Day 4Dumfries & Galloway

Day 5Dumfries

Day 6Galloway

Day 7Heading West

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