Now that the cold season is long forgotten and summer is truly upon us, the lure of the countryside with its fresh vibrant greenery, rolling hills and valleys, fascinating wildlife and plentiful of outdoor activities is stronger than ever.
Luckily for us, Floors Castle – part of the Roxburghe Estate and set in the lively town of Kelso in the picturesque Scottish Borders – opens its doors for visitors from May to October allowing an exclusive insight into the lives of the county’s successive royalty and inviting you to enjoy the glorious architecture, stunning landscaped gardens and thrilling outdoor pursuits.
Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and home to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe and his family. Originally built in 1721 for the current owner’s predecessor – 1st Duke of Roxburghe, it was consequently largely extended and remodeled throughout the centuries to the full glory we can see it today.
If you are pressed for time and have other arrangements for local accommodation, you can pay a day visit to the grounds to appreciate the magnificent surroundings and manicured gardens, explore the historic architecture and artifacts of the castle and dine in the Terrace Café. The experience is not to be missed as this relaxing and stylish restaurant was designed by the Dutchess herself and is currently run by a skilled chef with decades of experience and plenty of passion under his belt.
The menu will spoil you – from warm crusty home-baked bread to wholesome soups, fresh crispy salads, mouth-watering steak pies and many more, all made from the best local produce. You can also take some tasty treats home with you, choosing from the restaurant’s Deli counter or Castle Kitchen Produce Shop offering a wide range of home-made pies and quiches, cakes, short-breads pickles and preserves just to name a few.
For those who have an opportunity to spend a few days in this charmed estate there’s The Roxburghe Hotel on site. Perched on the edge of the well-tended woodlands on the bank of the River Teviot, this beautiful country house hotel offers great dining, a championship golf course, fantastic outdoor pursuits and the warmest of Scottish welcomes. Most of the 22 rooms, full of luxury and character were designed by the Dutchess of Roxburghe and house four-poster beds and log fires to help set the mood during your stay.
There is the Library for more informal day-time dining and the hotel’s elegant Dining room offering the finest quality fish, game, meats and local produce cooked to perfection complemented by a wide selection of wine from around the globe as well as some rare and special gems direct from the Duke’s cellar.
Aside from being golfer’s paradise with the Championship Golf Course being just a few steps away, The Roxburghe Estate also offers world-class fishing, and shooting as well as mountain-biking, riding and beauty treatments, some of the best in the country.
Don’t wait for the rains to set in again, make the most of glorious hot summer days by indulging in marvelous fresh air, breathtaking sights and culinary experiences – visit The Roxburghe Estate and have a taste of what the lucky few of this world have grown accustomed to.
By Natasha Godbold