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Published on : Saturday, July 11, 2015
The group known as the @Scotlanders visited the Scottish Borders in June to research the region as a travel destination and the ideal place for visitors to enjoy, ahead of the opening of the Borders Railway.
The group consisted of Dougie Baird of Great Travel Images, Kim Kjaerside, Susanne Arbuckle of Adventures Around Scotland, Kay Gillespie of The Chaotic Scot, Nicola Holland of FunkyEllas Travel and Neil Robertson of Locomotion Scotland.
Each of the bloggers visited a number of different attractions in the Scottish Borders on a trip organised by VisitScotland, in partnership with Borders Railway with assistance from European Funding.
Kay Gillespie used local buses to get around and her first stop was to visit Mary Queen of Scots House & Visitor Centre before enjoying a historic and insightful ‘do it yourself trail’ on a circular route developed by the Scottish Borders Council. On Kay’s second day she discovered the ancient remains of Jedburgh Abbey, stopping at the Abbey View Café and Bookshop for lunch, before visiting the Abbey Bridge Tollhouse and then Jedburgh Castle Jail to learn about 19th century prison life.
Kim Kjaerside took a trip to see the region’s fantastic built heritage including a visit to Dryburgh Abbey and later to the Teviot Smokery & Water Gardens to watch traditional methods or smoking fresh fish and taking in one of the area’s most classic scenes at Scott’s View.
Nicola Arbuckle experienced a guided tour at Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere before visiting Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre where she was able to enjoy the beautiful woodland walks as well as the craft and textile outlets. The journalist went on to learn about the ancient craft of glassmaking and watched glass blowing demonstrations at Scottish Borders Glass Art before visiting Kelso Pottery and viewing the hand-building techniques used to create animals, birds and figures. The day was topped off with dinner and a stay at the Horseshoe Restaurant with Rooms.
Dougie Baird experienced independent travel around the new Border Railway stations and checked into Abbotsford’s Hope Scott Wing luxury accommodation to enjoy a special opportunity in the splendour of inspirational surroundings before joining fellow @Scotlanders at Burts Hotel in Melrose to discuss their different Scottish Borders experiences.
Susanne and Neil opted for outdoor activities and got to grips with the Treetop Adventure Experience at GoApe in Glentress, leaping off Tarzan swings and navigating obstacles, before chilling out in Kalzie Gardens Restaurant to enjoy some fresh, local produce. The fifth highest waterfall in the UK, The Grey Mare’s Tail, was their next stop before a visit to Scotland’s oldest inhabited house – Traquair House near Peebles.
All bloggers were given a press pass to visit the Borders Book Festival to get involved with the events and activities taking place over the five day literary celebration. Other attractions included in press trip itineraries were; Floors Castle, Abbotsford House, Melrose Abbey, Harmony Gardens and the new Born in the Borders Visitor Centre.
Tags: @Scotlanders, Borders Railway, Dougie Baird of Great Travel Images, Kay Gillespie of The Chaotic Scot, Kim Kjaerside, Nicola Holland of FunkyEllas Travel and Neil Robertson of Locomotion Scotland., Susanne Arbuckle of Adventures Around Scotland, Travel Destination News