The historic core of Peebles - the Old Town - lies to the west of the junction of the River Tweed and Eddleston Water. In the reign of King David I of Scotland(1124-1153), Peebles was created a Royal Burgh. King William I of Scotland(1165-1214) "The Lion", confirmed that the two chief courts of justice were to be held annually either in Edinburgh or Peebles.
During the wars of Independence, King Edward I of England visited Peebles in 1301 and 1306. Edward appointed his man - William de Dureme - sheriff in place of Sir Simon Fraser of Neidpath, who had joined with William Wallace in his attempt to free Scotland.
In the 15th and 16th centuries many visits were made to the town by the monarchy,King James III in particular was a frequent visitor. Peebles survived relatively untouched by the conflicts - both internal and external - that characterised life in the Borders at that time. There were however three major events in the 16th century. In late 1549, Peebles was almost completely razed by the English. In April 1585 the population of the Borders was directed by King James VI of Scotland to meet at Peebles in May in an attempt to halt the"crimes committed on the borders" by cross border raids. From 1650-1651, Cromwell's Army occupied the town.
The 18th century was not a good time for Peebles as poverty and hunger were common in the Burgh. In 1741, 1774 and again in 1783 the council found it necessary to purchase food for the inhabitants. The Industrial Revolution did not immediately affect Peebles and recovery from these dark years was slow.
The 19th century was a time of progress from a poor start when the town was described in 1801 as being "stagnant and almost lifeless", due in no small way to the privations of the previous century. The arrival of the Railway in 1855 brought an increase in trade and the growth of industry brought a deal of prosperity and expansion. In the 20th century, the increased ownership of the motor car after Second World War, led to an improved road network and the railway lines were closed in 1962.
Today, Peebles is the third largest town in the Borders and occupies both banks of the River Tweed. The road network enables people to travel easily to Edinburgh or elsewhere in the Borders. Through all the changes of recent years, Peebles still retains its historic layout.
Robert Smail’s Printing Works - is a fully functional Victorian era letterpress printing works. It is now preserved by The National Trust for Scotland as an Industrial Heritage museum showing visitors the operation of a local printer around 1900 while still carrying out orders for printing and stationery. The firm was established in 1866, carrying out print jobs for the local community as well as operating a stationer's shop, and between 1893 and 1916 published a weekly newspaper. Visitors are given a one-hour tour showing the various stages of the process as well as a chance to try hand typesetting and at certain times the opportunity to print their own work
St. Ronan’s Wells - St. Ronan’s Wells is a pavilion overlooking the Leithen valley, originally constructed by the Earl of Traquair as a retreat for visitors to the spa. The visitor centre hosts temporary exhibitions as well as exploring the history of the local area. The literary connections of the town to James Hogg and Sir Walter Scott are explained in the permanent exhibition; Scott frequented the spa as a boy and wrote a novel about the town called St Ronan’s Well, in 1824. The adjoining gardens provide a lovely setting to relax in, with sculptures, picnic areas and plants for sale. Hundreds of visitors still come each year to sample the spring water, which we have “on tap”!
Traquair House - Scotland’s Oldest Inhabited House. Visited by 27 Scottish Kings and Queens. Traquair dates back to 1107 and has been lived in by the Stuart family since 1491. Originally a royal hunting lodge, Traquair played host to Mary Queen of Scots and later as staunch Catholics they supported the Jacobite cause without counting the cost. Today, Traquair welcomes visitors from all over the world. Enjoy the extraordinary history of this lived in family home. Visit the house, grounds, maze, craft workshops, Garden Cafe and the world famous Traquair House Brewery situated in one of the wings of the house.
Neidpath Castle - Neidpath Castle sits in a commanding position above the River Tweed. It is an unspoilt 14th century Keep, last modernised in the 1600s. Equipped with a dungeon, well, long-drops and fireplaces large enough to roast an ox, there are also a set of exquisite 20th century batiks, telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots, who stayed at the castle. Tours and teas are available all year, by appointment.
Kailzie Gardens - Located about 2.5 miles from Peebles town centre in the Scottish Borders, provide a rich variety of colour and charm throughout the year for both the keen gardener, and for the visitor who just wants to enjoy a beautiful garden in peaceful surroundings. The gardens are a lovely place to go for a stroll in beautiful surroundings, the large walls covered in a variety of climbing plants to spot, plus a load of different shrubs. There is also a large greenhouse to explore, with a large old wisteria in the centre to marvel at, plus a number of interesting conservatory plants. Apart from the gardens, there are a number of principal attractions for a full family day out, including live viewing of the Tweed Valley ospreys, a gift shop, tearoom, licensed restaurant, Children's Corner, putting green, bait and fly fishing ponds, a private 2.5 mile stretch on the River Tweed for fly fishing, and a picnic area.
Golf - Innerleithen’s golf course - scenic views, easy walking and challenging golf. The perfect combination! Established in 1886 and designed by 3 times Open champion Willie Park Jnr, Innerleithen golf course is a 9 hole course located in the Scottish Borders, 32 miles south of Edinburgh and 6 miles from Peebles. If you are playing 18 holes, varying tee positions on some of the 'back' 9 holes provide a new set of challenges on your way inward. This attractive course set in one of three valleys enjoys magnificent surroundings.
Cardrona Golf Course - is a championship golf course only 11 miles away from Dignity and Time. It rests in a very unique setting amongst the beautiful Borders Hills, skirted by the famous River Tweed. World-renowned course architect Dave Thomas designed the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel championship golf course, creating a challenging test of golfing skill for the expert golfer, but also remaining an enjoyable course for the recreational player. Designed in 2001, the golf course has matured quickly in rank and reputation; hosting the 2004 and 2007 Euro Pro Tour and the 2007 European Challenge Tour, returning once again in 2008. Cardrona's status as one of Scotland's finest courses has grown over the years, so much so that golfers visit from all over the world to compete.
Peebles Golf Club - Founded in 1892, set amid the beautiful rolling hills of the Borders overlooking the town of popular Peebles, 6,138-yard Harry Colt designed golf course presents an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all abilities, affording great views from every hole and excellent greens in great condition.
Velvet Hall Alpacas - An opportunity to walk with an Alpaca in the beautiful Tweed Valley countryside. They offer any trekking experience to meet all your requirements. Alpacas are adorable and love going out trekking. They amble along taking it all in their stride with a playful, inquisitive nature; children and adults of all ages will fall in love with them.
Haughhead Stables – sables proud of the high standard of their ponies and horses. They offer all types of equine experiences including 30 minute pony rides, hacks of various duration and picnic experiences. They have ponies and horses suitable for all experiences and ages.
Go Ape - Located in the grounds of the magnificent Glentress Forest, a 25 minute car journey from Dignity and Time, the Treetop Challenge is made up of all the classic Go Ape features, like wobbly rope ladders, toe-curling Tarzan swings and loads more. The high ropes course will take around two to three hours to complete, that is after a full safety briefing. What makes this course an adrenaline junkie’s dream are the zip wires, the longest of which is a whopping 325 metres long!
Eastgate Arts Theatre - in the heart of Peeblesis a vibrant, busy, well-loved hub for live performances, films, classes and exhibitions. A key venue for established acts and emerging talent, the theatre's year round performance programme ranges across music, drama, dance, comedy, talks and family shows.
Cardrona Spa and Leisure Hotel - Located in over 200 acres of private grounds, the spa is a tranquil retreat from the stresses of daily life. If you're solely looking for relaxation - then look no further than our spa for a range of luxurious treatments from our expert staff, designed to loosen you up during your visit.
Coltman's Delicatessen Kitchen & Bar - Quality products, excellent customer service and attention to detail are at the very heart of Coltman’s. The combination of delicatessen, restaurant and bar is the culmination of Kenny and Karen Coltman’s dream to bring an exciting new eating & drinking experience to the Scottish Borders. Relax and enjoy an intimate dining experience in the Peebles restaurant overlooking the River Tweed and the stunning Tweed Valley beyond. Brunch and lunch are served all day and the chef creates the dinner menu each evening, based on seasonal produce fresh from the markets that day.
Traquair Arms Hotel Restaurant - the restaurant and bar area are open for lunches from 12-2pm and in the evenings from 5pm, serving food until 9pm. Food is served all day on a Saturday and a Sunday. The Traquair evening menu is packed with dishes made using locally sourced ingredients and the large specials board changes every few days offering a section of globally inspired dishes! Choose to eat outdoors in their much-loved beer garden, loved by all who visit and is well known for its tranquil beauty. The Traquair Arms won the best beer garden in 2008. They offer guests a cosy and traditional bar to relax in and play host to a large selection of locally brewed ales including Tempest and Traquair Brewery, located only 1 mile from the hotel. They also have an impressive whisky shelf, running the length of the bar, offering whisky from all over Scotland and Ireland.
Sutherland Restaurant - Cringletie House - With recent awards including 2 AA Rosettes and The Hotel Awards “Hotel Dining Experience of the Year 2019” The Sutherland Restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily featuring locally sourced produce. The kitchen brigade is under the direction of Head Chef Iain Gourlay and the front of house team are led by Restaurant Manager Victoria Palmer. Menus are seasonal and you can expect a relaxed and enjoyable experience with a fine-dining feel, sensibly sized portions and beautifully presented dishes.
Osso - Osso is a contemporary café and restaurant in Peebles. Winner of the Michelin Bib Gourmand for 2011, 2012 & 2013 and listed in the Good Food Guide 2012, 2013 & 2014, Osso (which opened in December 2007) is a showcase of seasonal local food with the techniques mastered whilst working alongside some of Britain’s greatest chefs. During the day Osso offers a comfortable venue for organic coffees and teas to be enjoyed with a selection of fresh homebaking. The all day menu features soups, risottos, burgers, pastas and tapas. In the evenings from 6pm the restaurant transforms, offering a superb A la carte menu expressing available seasonal produce.
Saffron Restaurant - Saffron restaurant opened in 2012 and has quickly made a name for itself as one of the top restaurants and takeaways in the area. Belayet, the owner has a passion for food and insists on only the finest quality ingredients. The small and friendly restaurant is run by a welcoming front of house team and they cater for most dietary requirements. At Saffron Restaurant and Take Away 100% attention is paid to the preparation of your food and only the best ingredients are used.
Cocoa Black Chocolate Boutique - From their Chocolate and Pastry School to a confectionery-focused shop and café serving chocolate afternoon teas, Cocoa Black are living up to their strapline 'everything chocolate'. Founder and UK World Chocolate Master 2013 Ruth Hinks runs classes for everyone from Bake-Off enthusiasts to professional chocolatiers above the Boutique, and the Peebles shop she and husband David opened in 2010 sells the award-winning handmade chocolate range, cakes and patisserie. The menu takes in wraps, sandwiches and scones, but it’s the chocolate and patisserie numbers that steal the show.
The Tweed Walk to Lynne – A good circular thatmainly follows the banks of the River Tweed and passes Neidpath Castle andBarns Tower, part of the Benson and Wemyss Estate. You will pass NeidpathViaduct, Manor Brig and Old Manor Brig on your journey, each offers a short cutroute back to Peebles town should you not want to continue to Lynne footbridgeat the head of the route. This 7 mile route has mostly good paths, althoughsome stretches can be muddy after wet weather.
John Buchan Way – A long linear route between Peebles and Broughton through the hills and valleys of Tweeddale. Although this route is sign – posted it is advisable to take an ordnance survey map as well. The most prominent hills are near Stobo Hope Head – Penvalla and Hammer Head. John Buchan is one of Tweeddale’s most famous sons and you can also learn about his story in the small museum dedicated to his life on Peebles High Street.
Around Cademuir Forestand Forts– Starting on the John Buchan Way as it heads out of Peebles you will take a short circular through Cademuir Forest with the option of adding on Cademuir Hill’s ridge and an exploration of her forts. The forts are worth visiting but beware of surprisingly steep and slippy sections; on a clear day the views to the Manor Hills from this wee rocky hill are excellent.
Hamilton Hill And Standalane –A short circular that climbs from Hay Lodge Park up to Hamilton Hill where you can look out over Peebles town; returns along The Cuddy (Eddleston Water). Hay Loge Park was acquired by the Council for the enjoyment of locals and visitors to the town. The Park is popular with a friendly atmosphere including the almost tame herons.
7stanes Glentress - A mountain biking Mecca nestled deep within the neighbouring stunning Tweed Valley; Both and Glentress forest are part of the 7stanes world-class mountain biking centres that span the south of Scotland. Their award-winning trails offer some of the best mountain biking in the country and attract riders from all over the UK and beyond. 7stanes Glentress offers mountain biking trails with a wide range of gentle to exhilarating rides and with a Visitors Centre, Wild Watch Room, Cafe and Bike Hire on site. Situated in the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders, Glentress has a massive reputation for providing some of the best mountain biking in the UK. 7stanes offers biking trails for everyone, no matter what their level of skill or ability and they aim to provide a great day out for all the family. There's also some serious cross-country action on the challenging red graded Innerleithen XC trail.
Traquair House - This route heads east from Peebles and follows the River Tweed as it makes its way along to Traquair which is well worth a visit. Alternatively you can visit Innerleithen for some refreshments before returning on the outward route back to Peebles.
Tweed Valley Railway Path - The Tweed Valley Railway Path is 5 miles long and links the towns of Innerleithen and Peebles passing through the village of Cardrona on quiet roads. The tarmac path follows the picturesque River Tweed for much of the way and links to the mountain biking facilities at Glentress and Innerleithen. This is an excellent route for families and recreational cyclists. The route passes the village store in Cardrona which is currently a small cafe. The link to Glentress will also take you to the Peel Cafe. There are bike shops in Innerleithen, Glentress and Peebles. The route will also take you past a pump and jump track at Cardrona. The route is fully signposted all the way. The access to the route from Innerleithen is off Traquair Road. The access to the route from Cardrona is by the Cardrona Village Store and from Peebles is on the east side of Peebles, off Innerleithen Road, just after the Hydro Hotel.
Dreva and Dawyck - This route heads west from Peebles, climbing up to The Glack before opening out and the Tweed Valley comes into view. The route then heads down towards Lyne Station. Continue on to Stobo and then towards Dreva which runs high above the Tweed Valley. It then drops down to Rachan before returning north. Visit Dawyck Botanic Garden for some refreshments before heading back to Peebles.
Although the River Tweed is most associated with internationally famous salmon and trout fishing, there is a wide choice of fishing available, such as perch, grayling,pike and roach fishing. River fishing is Britain's biggest participation sport and The Scottish Borders has everything for the angler. The Tweeds' 97 miles of fishing regularly produces in the region of 10,000 fish per year to the rod angler. There is a disabled fishing platform on the Tweed in Peebles about halfway between the Tweed bridge and Fotheringham Bridgeen-route to Hay Lodge Park on the south side of the river. The Tweed boasts one of the longest seasons of any Salmon River in Great Britain. The season begins on the 1st of February and runs right through to the 30th of November, with fishing available from Monday through to Saturday (no Sunday fishing). However, the Upper Tweed (Peebles region) is best in the Autumn,September to November. Beats close to Peebles include Dawyck, Glenormiston, Traquair and Lower Caberston.
The main shopping areas in Peebles are the High Street, the Old Town, the Eastgate,the Northgate and School Brae though there are of course shops and businesses located in other parts of the town. The vibrant town of Peebles offers a great selection of independent shops and eateries. Every Saturday in Pennels Close from 9am until 3pm, you can buy locally sourced bread, eggs, cakes and much more at the local market.
Tweed Love Bike Festival– Tweed Love Bike Festival is a ten-day festival of bike-riding and good times in the Tweed Valley - the best place in the UK for cycling, with countless miles of the country's best trails, tracks and roads, perfect for all kinds of biking. The festival has over 40 different bike events around the Tweed Valley.
Peebles Highland Games -See some of the country's best athletes compete for centre stage in an age old traditional Highland Games. The show features a Pipe Band contest, Highland Dancing and Traditional Heavy Events. There are also trade stands, craft stands and, of course, a beer tent! Held in September Peebles Highland Games date bake to 1972 when the Peeblesshire Tourist Association held the first local Pipe Band Contest. Over the years, Highland Dancing and Heavy Events have been added to give us today's Peebles Highland Games.
Peebles Beltane Festival– Every June this week long festival attracts hundreds of visitors. The program of events for the week include a primary school disco on Monday, children’s sports day at Hay Lodge park on Tuesday, the installation of the cornet, riding of the Marches, Neidpath Ceremony, Beltane Bell and Cornets Reel on Wednesday, the Beltan Concert on Thursday, Fancy Dress Parade on Wednesday. The ceremonies begin with a proclamation at the mercat cross followed by a procession by the primary school children infancy dress who march to the Parish Church steps via the Northgate and the High Street lined with people. This procession is led by the towns new Cornet, his Lass and helpers, a host of horses and a fine collection of Pipe and Silver Bands, often a Samba band and always with a large collection of imaginatively dressed individuals. On Saturday night the towns clubs, pubs and bars are filled to bursting point with revellers until the early hours. The official ceremonies close with the Beating Of The Retreat.
Peebles Agricultural Show- Peeblesshire Agricultural Show attracts farmers and visitors from all over Scotland and is an excellent showcase for the impressive livestock bred in the area. It also offers a wide range of family entertainment.
Dignity and Time are a 25 minute drive from Peebles or a 30 minute bus journey. Peebles is 23 miles south of Edinburgh on A703. Border Bus X62 runs every 30 min from Edinburgh bus station via Glencorse and Penicuik to Peebles, taking 70 min. It then runs east along A72, the Tweed valley, via Cardrona, Innerleithen, Galashiels Interchange and Tweedbank railway station to Melrose.