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Kelso Travel Guide - Scotland

Kelso, a picturesque agricultural market town in a fine setting at the junction of the Rivers Tweed and Teviot and abounds with architectural and historic interest that can be explored by following the Town Trail. Kelso Abbey, founded in 1128, was one of the most prosperous of its time. The main bridge over the River Tweed, dated 1803, built by John Rennie who reputedly used it as the model for Waterloo Bridge, London. Floors castle, (home of the Duke of Roxburghe) and Scotland's largest inhabited house was built in 1721 by William Adam and remodelled 100 years later by W H Playfair. The house has an outstanding collection of paintings, furniture, porcelain and tapestry while the grounds provide delightful walks by the River Tweed.

Activities/Facilities: An 18–hole golf course, horse riding, cinema, ice–rink, skittle alley and swimming pool.

On the outskirts of the town is the ancient site of Roxburgh Castle, which badly suffered from the rigours of cross–border warfare finally, being destroyed in the late 15th century. To the North of Kelso, is the magnificent Adam mansion of Mellerstain (seat of the Earl of Haddington): Smailholm (Sir Walter Scott's grandparents lived on Smailholm Farm nearby); and Greenknowe dating back to the 16th century.

Teviot Water Gardens 6 miles to the West of the town, offers riverside walks. To the South of Kelso and nestling in the foothills of the Cheviots are the twin villages of Yetholm and Kirk Yetholm (pop 612). Once the headquarters of Gypsies, the Palace of the last Queen of the Gypsies is situated in Kirk Yetholm. Drovers rested their sheep here while moving them between Scottish and English mark.

River Tweed
Cross Keys Hotel in Kelso