Stay in the heart of ancient Elliot Clan lands for a true Scottish Borders experience
A sensitively restored bothy with fascinating Clan connections and a blissfully isolated rural setting.
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You only discover The Bothy at Redheugh along a private estate road, which skirts the burbling Hermitage Water river before turning into farm track. Set amidst acres of rolling farmland, the ancient stone bothy features a small enclosed garden and delivers a sense of total seclusion.
As you push open the property’s wrought-iron gate, you’ll see that it features a raised fist holding a short sword. This might be your first introduction to the Elliot Clan who have existed as a Clan with a recognized Chief in the territory of Upper Liddesdale since the twelfth Century.
The Eliots of Redheugh were the principal family of the Clan and often held the captaincy of Hermitage Castle, which dates to the eleventh Century and whose foreboding ruins tower over the Hermitage Water upstream from the Bothy. Don’t let the castle’s austere appearance and description as “the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain” put you off: modern-day Newcastleton is a tranquil spot and ideally placed to explore the rugged beauty of the nearby Kielder National Nature Reserve and Northumberland National Park.
The Bothy itself has been sensitively and thoughtfully restored: large south-facing windows and bifold doors to the garden capitalise on the light and sweeping countryside views; ancient, rough-hewn stone walls are painted in fresh white; underfloor heating on the ground floor is complemented by a cosy wood-burning fire in the double-height sitting room; and a ground floor level en-suite bedroom is ideal for families (with adjoining bunk room) or for those guests with limited mobility.
The open-plan, country-style kitchen benefits from a large wraparound work surface, which offers chefs stacks of space and the ability to chat while they work with guests at the dining table and seating area. A mezzanine level above the kitchen, tucked beneath the attractive timber-clad ceiling, serves as a cosy snug – the comfy sofa, oversize bean bags and TV make it the dream escape pad for children.
In addition to the well-appointed kitchen, there’s a utility room with a freezer and laundry appliances, while a boot room accessed from the rear garden keeps muddy outdoor kit contained. A further two bedrooms and a family bathroom are found beneath the eaves upstairs, all continuing the property’s clean, neutral palette and décor.
Situated just a few miles from the England border, Newcastleton (2.5 miles away) is nestled within the valley of Liddesdale, surrounded by rolling hills of Scottish countryside. It is a village steeped in a wild history, illustrated by its many ruins, castles and monuments.
Just a short five-minute drive away, the main street boasts two smaller convenience stores, a local pub, family butcher Thomas Elliot & Sons, post office, and a bank. You’ll also find The Olive Tree, a family-run bakery and café serving freshly baked goods and light meals, as well as Copshaw Kitchen serving meals to eat in or takeaway. You can also dine at either The Liddesdale Hotel or The Grapes Hotel, both of whom serve meals in their bar areas (both dog-friendly) and dining rooms. If you need to top up on fuel before heading off on your many possible adventures, there is an unmanned, card-only station to do so.
Also nearby is Langholm (10 miles), which has further amenities, including a larger supermarket as well as a selection of independent shops. Here, you’ll also find the Buccleuch Centre, which regularly hosts concerts and events, including farmers’ markets and antique fairs.
Slightly further afield in Hawick (20 miles), there is a weekly farmers’ market held on Saturday mornings.