This fortnight: Traquair House, Innerleithen
What is it?
Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, dating back to 1107, so we’ll thank you to be a little more respectful in your tone.
Sorry. Pray tell, what manner of house is it?
One of the last bastions of the Royal Stuart line, Traquair has hosted 27 visiting kings and queens of Scotland. While the historically restored house is undoubtedly impressive, the grounds, stretching well over 100 acres, are absolutely magical. The woodlands and walled gardens are studded with hidden sculptures and tunnels, while the back garden contains one of Scotland’s largest mazes.
Amazing. What are the best bits?
Weren’t you listening? There’s a maze. An actual maze. There’s also a hidden ‘priest hole’ in the house itself, used to hide Catholic fugitives during the Reformation.
Anything else happening there?
The grounds are entertaining enough by themselves, but also play host to a huge number of events throughout Spring and Summer. Look out for the all-action Mighty Deerstalker competition this fortnight (Sat 21 Mar), followed by the annual April Easter Egg Hunt in the maze, and the Medieval Festival in May.
How much will it cost?
£7 (£4) for entry to house and grounds, £3.50 (£2.50) for grounds only, from Fri 10 Apr. If you’re feeling flush, they also do bed and breakfast in the house itself.
Is there a café?
Yes, a very nice one. In the summertime, you eat alongside strutting peacocks.
How do I get there?
From Edinburgh, take the A7 to Galashiels, then the A72 to Innerleithen. From Glasgow, turn off the M74 for Lanark, then switch to the A72. Pedestrians can hop on the 62 bus from Edinburgh.
Innerleithen, Peeblesshire EH44 6PW, 01896 830323, www.traquair.co.uk