The phrase “get away from it all” is often overused in travel journalism, but at The Roxburghe Hotel, you really do feel like you’ve left everything behind once you enter the grounds of this most spectacular of country estates.
Nestled in a perfect position for fishing and shooting in a breathtakingly beautiful corner of the Scottish Borders, the hotel combines old world charm with 21st Century sensibilities in a most pleasing of way.
The imposing building is awash with open fires, comfortable sofas and curios to peruse. Despite being a grand old residence, and the property of a Duke, you feel instantly at home in this unpretentious and relaxed atmosphere.
An incredibly knowledgeable and friendly staff operate “at arms length”, always there when you need them, but allowing you to feel like you have “the run of the house” when you are enjoying the property.
The rooms are spacious, light and extremely comfortable. I stayed in a room with a small balcony overlooking the lush green estate, it had a four poster bed, open fire and large luxurious bathroom. There were also modern touches like an iPod dock and flatscreen television, but they were effortlessly blended into the fabric of the room, and at no point disturbed to overall feeling of historic elegance and luxury.
There are a number of activities available on the estate, including clay pigeon shooting with the estate’s wonderful shooting tutor Alistair Ferguson. No matter whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro, you are guaranteed a good time out on the traps with this friendly, fun and very entertaining teacher. He even managed to get me hitting some clays!
Golfers will be pleased to know there’s a very well respected 18 hole Championship Golf Course on the estate, designed by none other than Ryder Cup star Dave Thomas in 1995.
And of course there’s the brilliant fishing which is one of the main attractions for many of the other guests you meet at the hotel. With several very well positioned beats to choose from, the salmon fishing is as much a part of the estate as the trees and rolling hills themselves.
For those wishing to stay out of the elements, there’s plenty to keep those looking for a pampering busy with at the Health and Beauty Suite, connected to the main hotel building. From anti-ageing treatment, to Elemis products for both men and women – this is a place to indulge yourself and forget about the world.
Surrounded by brilliant walking and cycling terrain – and not far from the pretty town of Kelso, The Roxburghe is without a doubt a hotel you should experience if you’re visiting the Scottish Borders.
Eating and drinking
Unsurprisingly for such a fantastic hotel, The Roxburghe has first class dining facilities to match the brilliant service and fantastic surroundings. Offering a menu of locally sourced fresh seasonal fayre (with a nod towards the birds and fish that bring so many to the area) the restaurant is a joyous culinary experience at every turn. With an impressive and not unreasonably priced wine list to accompany – you will feel like a Duke after enjoying a few dinners in this place. Breakfast and lunch are also served in the main restaurant and are similarly indulgent affairs with attention to detail the key.
The hotel also has a beautiful library bar at the front of the property where you can relax with a whisky (from the enormous menu) or perhaps something a little softer by the fire and enjoy the tranquillity of the location.
You can also enjoy an afternoon tea of scones, cakes and tea in the reception rooms – a must for a lazy afternoon in.
The hotel offers private dining facilities and in-room dining on request and are extremely accommodating to any special requirements you may have. We stayed with a small baby, and the staff were very attentive to both our (and her) needs at all times.
Hotel address: The Roxburge Estate, Kelso, Scotland TD5 7SF