Summer in Scotland brings with it lush green landscapes, breathtaking days out by the seaside and so much more. In Midlothian and the Borders, summer invites us to enjoy the vast rolling hills, vibrant gardens and gentle murmur of our rivers. Along the coast, sandy beaches, the freshest seafood and hidden depths await exploration. So whether you’re looking to spend a lazy day soaking up the warm rays or head off on an adventure in the hills, this is the place to be!
Read on for all of the reasons why South Scotland should be the destination for your next summer day out and take in the signs of summer in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders with our Instagram picks.
Please note: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety are of paramount importance. Stay safe and adhere to current government guidance. If you are going for walks or exercise, always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Closures and access restrictions may apply and will be lifted in line with government guidance. Always check with places directly and prebook where possible.
1. Discover secret gardens.
Summer sees many private gardens open to visitors for special events. And with stunning places like Preston Hall, it’s an unmissable opportunity to explore hidden gems.
2. Explore grand estates.
With blue skies and sunny days, spend time outside exploring the vast estates, paths and woodlands of stunning places like Floors Castle.
3. Lose yourself in floral dreamscapes.
This is the time of year when gardens explode with colour and enchanting scents. From wild flower meadows to roses, Abbotsford is just one of the places with a dreamy atmosphere in its gardens.
4. Savour the pick of the season.
Bring the whole family and head out to Border Berries. Not only can you pick your own strawberries and raspberries, there’s also many cosy cafés serving the freshest local produce.
5. Head out to our lochs and rivers for a day of exploration.
If you’re looking to get active, St Mary’s Loch calls. From kayaking to paddle boarding, the gentle lochs as well as rivers of Midlothian and the Borders promise a great day out.
6. Stunning sandy beaches invite you to linger.
When the sun sends out its warm rays, the award-winning beaches and clear blue waters of South Scotland should be top of your list.
7. And our harbours are equally as enchanting.
With stunning coastlines come quaint harbour towns. Eyemouth offers much more than just fantastic views, with fresh seafood, playful seals and smuggling stories from days gone by.
8. Indulge with freshly made treats.
Put Italy on ice and instead enjoy creamy delights on the Berwickshire Coast with the award-winning, homemade ice cream at Giacopazzi’s.
9. Or enjoy a romantic outdoor dinner.
Summer is the time for al fresco dining after all. Make the most of it by heading to one of the many restaurants, inns and pubs in Midlothian and the Borders.
10. Join the local celebrations.
Everyone knows summertime is festival time in Scotland! So head out and get swept away by the energy of the colourful events happening all across South Scotland, such as Kelso Civic Week.
11. And immerse yourself in our traditions.
You can even head out onto our hills and catch the celebrations of the historic Common Ridings.
12. Lush green takes over every corner…
Enjoy a spot of forest bathing in the breathtaking arboretum at Dawyck Botanic Garden. Leave the hustle and bustle behind as you rest in the shade of the giant redwood trees.
13. … and frames every view.
There are numerous walking routs to suit short and long legs alike. And with views like the ones in Dalkeith Country Park, explorers of all ages will love our countryside.
14. While purple claims the slopes…
Few things go together like summer in Scotland and heather. The delicate flowers thrive in exposed areas such as the Pentland Hills and add stunning shades of purple to the landscape.
15. … and the peaks.
The rolling hills of the Scottish Borders offer an especially dramatic view of the heather at its peak. Its colours truly stand out against the patchwork backdrop of fields and farmland.
16. Colourful sights await in secret corners…
But there’s no need to travel far or climb hills to make the most of the season. Switch off with a coffee or G&T among the fragrant plants of the Secret Herb Garden.
17. …along the coast …
And why head to Cornwall when blue waters and colourful beach huts await on the Berwickshire Coast?
18. …and even underwater!
Our waters are special, not only because of their colour but because of their inhabitants. Dive in and say hello to the wildlife in our local marine reserve.
19. With so much to discover, who wouldn’t head to the hills…
And if you do, bring your mountain bike for rides you’ll never forget!
20. …or take a dive.
From land to sea, you can be sure of a friendly welcome by the locals.
21. And with these views, you’ll never want to leave.
In fact, if you feel inspired by Midlothian and the Borders, you’ll find yourself in good company: From writers to artists, many of Britain’s greats fell in love with our landscapes.