The name Lammermuirs evokes Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor – a swashbuckling, gothic romance set in the Lammermuir Hills. Using this dramatic scenery Scott plots out a tragic love affair. Today the rolling moors offer walkers the penultimate stage of the Southern Upland way with sheep and grouse for company. 

The market town of Duns boasts several links to famous historical Scots. Most recently it was the home of double Formula 1 World Champion Jim Clark, who is commemorated with a fine museum. Look out for the statue commemorating the birthplace of Duns Scotus, an influential Franciscan realist philosopher. 

Those coming from England’s Northeast may well choose this area to begin their explorations of the Scottish Borders, via the recently revamped Union Chain Bridge stretching over the River Tweed. From here it is a short journey to the Palladian home built by John and James Adam, Paxton House, with its outstanding collection of Chippendale furniture.  

Coldstream’s Guards have made the town famous and their history is celebrated at the eponymous museum. And its common riding in August is not to be missed, as it attracts riders from many of the other Common Ridings as it commemorates the Battle of Flodden – the last battle of the Middle Ages where 10,000 Scots perished.  Former prime minister Sir Alec Douglas- Home’s family seat is on the Hirsel Estate, which offers lovely estate walks, golf course, farm shop, while their teashop caters for weary explorers.