Selkirk is a fascinating town located on the border of South East Scotland. Famous for its historical roots, Selkirk is one of the oldest Royal Burghs in Scotland.

Steeped in traditional Scottish culture, there are a multitude of things to do whilst visiting. With activities ranging from sports, to shopping, to museum tours; there’s something for everyone!

We have put together a list of 6 things to do in Selkirk so you can truly embrace its Celtic past.

1. Bowhill House and Country Estate

Bowhill House and Country Estate is located in the depths of the Scottish Borders. Its historical roots make it one of Selkirk’s most treasured places. The house was built in 1708 by John, Lord Bowhill and is a protected A listed building.

There’s so much to do here that Bowhill House deserves its own blog post!

300 years later, it’s still hugely popular amongst visitors due to the rural bliss which encompasses the estate.

bowhill country estate
Source: Walter Baxter

Colourful Gardens

Set amongst heathery hills, Bowhill is home to impressive gardens and has a vast display of vibrantly coloured flowers. The trees surrounding the estate create an idyllic sanctuary for those looking to embrace the beauty of the land.

You can explore the gardens via any of the five way-marked trails. There is a choice of steep hills for those who want to get their heart pumping, or leisurely strolls for people who want to take a closer look at the scenic views.

Adventure Playground

One of the most popular attractions of Bowhill House is the adventure playground. Children can glide across zip-wires, sink to the bottom of slides or monkey around on a rope bridge.

Fishing

If that isn’t enough, River Ettrick runs through the Estate and is 12 miles long, providing rewarding fishing.

Horse Riding

Furthermore, Bowhill stables offer the Buccleuch Country Ride. Horse riders can hack for 57 miles through the breathtaking views.

It is safe to say that Bowhill House isn’t shy of activities and it can provide you and your family with a jam-packed, fun-filled day out!

2. Lochcarron Mill Tour

Of course, we couldn’t miss our very own
Lochcarron Mill Tour
off the list!

There’s plenty of things to do here. You can relax in our coffee shop, browse our latest collections at our visitor centre and take a tour of our mill.

tartans of lochcarron
Source: Gitta Zahn

Our mill in Selkirk is unique in that we offer our customers the chance to experience first-hand how we create our products. We have over 700 authentic tartans that are woven at our Selkirk mill.

Lochcarron’s very own expert guides will show you how our tartan is made whilst you learn about the process of one of the last working textile mills in Scotland.

Full tours are scheduled from Monday – Thursday, and Friday is by appointment only.

3. Halliwell’s House Museum

Halliwell’s House Museum is another free attraction in Selkirk. This museum tells the story of the Halliwell House, located in Halliwell Close. In the 18th Century, this was a place that weavers, shoemakers and small businesses called home.

It also reveals the history behind the Burgh of Selkirk and its many border battles which commenced.

The Robson Gallery, located in Halliwell House, stages many different exhibitions ranging from contemporary art and craft to local history displays.

4. Bisley at Braidwood

Bisley at Braidwood is Scotland’s largest shooting ground and caters for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned professional. As well as the shooting grounds, there is a simulated shooting game for those looking to get some practice in before taking to the grounds.

bisley at braidwood
Source: Ron Strutt

The working gunroom may also be of interest as it stocks everything ammunition related from rifles to semi-automatics.

Whether a single shooter, or part of a big group, you can learn about one of the fastest growing sports in the country at Braidwood.

5. Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom

Many know Sir Walter Scott for his literary achievements. He has even been recognised as the founder of the genre of the historical novel.

Famous for writing novels such as ‘Waverley’ along with other poems and plays, Scott was a major international literary author in the early nineteenth-century.

However, Sir Walter Scott was also known for his position as magistrate within Selkirk. His courtroom has become a prominent part of Selkirk’s history.

A number of artefacts, portraits and photographs not only shed light on Scott’s professional life, but it also acts as an exhibit of the town of Selkirk’s interesting history.

Best of all, admission is free.


6. Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre

Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre allows you to learn all about the daily habits and life cycle of salmon. The Cauld is a short walk from the Centre, and here you can experience the fascinating process of salmon leaping up out of the water on the final stage of their journey.

Where there is prey, there is a predator. Along the salmon leap walk, there are many different types of birds that can be seen such as buzzards, kestrels, sparrow hawk, peregrine and osprey.

salmon swimming
Source: Walter Baxter

This path follows the Ettrick River, where you can choose to further your walk to a hilltop called the Three Brethren. Here, stunning scenery can be found.

Keep the kids occupied with the Brass Rubbings Trail. The aim of the game is to find ten brass rubbings plaques of wildlife from the area using a map.

As you can see from the list, there is something for all the family in Selkirk. Please stop by our visitor centre and say hello, we’ll be happy to give you more recommendations for things to do in Selkirk.