1 Bridge Street, Kelso, Roxburghshire, TD5 7HT
T: +44 (0) 1573 226711
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We are delighted that The Times has named Aikwood Tower amongst the 50 best cottages in Britain.
If you fancy being the pampered princess in the tower for the weekend or the king of your very own castle for the week, the newly-renovated Aikwood Tower near Selkirk will make all your dreams come true. Built in the 1540s Aikwood Tower sits in a lofty position guarding the entrance to the Ettrick Valley, amongst some of the most ruggedly beautiful and unspoiled countryside in the Scottish Borders.
The tower has been lovingly renovated throughout by the current owners to create a unique and fabulously atmospheric home for holidays and special events either on a self-catered or fully-staffed basis. The interior style is one of understated luxury, remaining perfectly in-tune with the ancient building whilst every little detail, from the luxurious designer beds to the wealth of mod-cons available, ensures guests want for nothing. There are quirky features at every turn including vaulted stone ceilings, original oak doors, vast stone fireplaces and the delightful Kerry-handed (left turning) spiral staircase which forms the backbone of the tower.
The surrounding countryside is no less impressive. Aikwood Tower is set within the rolling hills and ancient woodlands of the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys with endless opportunities for walking, mountain biking and riding as well as river kayaking. Keen wildlife watchers and photographers will have no end of possible subjects amongst the abundant local wildlife including the majestic ospreys that have recently returned to the region.
Just 30 minutes away is the 2,500 acre mountain biking Mecca of Glentress Forest - the UK's leading mountain biking centre – offering a wide variety of trails and challenging downhill runs. The fantastic championship golf courses of Roxburghe (woodland course) and Cardrona (woodland/parkland course) are both nearby whilst the famous links courses at Gullane, Muirfield and Dunbar are all within an easy day trip. There are also tennis courts within a five minute drive of the tower.
For country sports enthusiasts, the legendary River Tweed is within easy driving distance and closer still are the Rivers Ettrick and Yarrow which run through magnificent wild moorland and remain very lightly fished. Shooting Times & Country Magazine recently described the River Ettrick as, "one of the best-kept secrets in the fishing world". Pheasant and grouse shooting can be arranged at the neighbouring 46,000 acre Bowhill Estate, with the pheasant shoot a regular in the Shooting Times' Top 10 Shoots list.
Built after James V issued a decree to local lairds to fortify the Scottish Borders “against troublous times,” Aikwood Tower is itself testament to the rich and often bloody history of the region which has given rise to a wealth of historic houses and castles. Explore the majestic Floors Castle at Kelso, elegant country houses such as Abbotsford House, the fairytale home of Sir Walter Scott and the evocative ruins of the abbeys at Melrose and Dryburgh.
Nearby Selkirk is a traditional Border's town famous for its textiles with many of the original woollen mills still in operation today. The beguiling town of Melrose is also nearby, home of rugby 7s and offering some of the best shopping in the Borders with a good selection of unusual, independent shops, boutiques, antique shops and galleries. Further afield, the Georgian grandeur of Edinburgh is an easy day trip.
For those who are looking for a complete break, Aikwood Tower is the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Personal yoga sessions and soothing massages can be arranged at the house for the ultimate in pampering.
Entrance hall with vaulted ceiling and magnificent original doors. This provides an excellent space for storing and drying outdoor clothing.
Lower Laich Hall with table tennis table, large table with benches and French doors into the garden. A spacious room ideal for more formal dining and celebratory dinners. The hall also offers ample function space for drinks receptions, intimate wedding receptions and corporate events.
Double cloakroom with WC and basin.
Kitchen with vaulted ceiling, Aga, hot plate, two fridges, toaster, microwave and espresso machine.
Adjacent dining area with vaulted ceiling, impressive large oak burr table with seating for 10.
The Great Hall with an impressive, large open fire offers a comfortable and cosy area for guests to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner, play games or relax with a good book.
Gallery with large TV and DVD player and books. There is an adjoining area fitted with a bar with basin and desk with laptop.
Harden bedroom with zip and link beds which can be set up as a superking double or twin as preferred.
En suite bathroom with bath with shower over, WC and basin.
The below rooms are accessed by the incredible, original stone, Kerry-handed (left turning) spiral staircase.
Laird’s Study with panelled ceiling and wood burning stove offers peace and quiet to catch up with work or enjoy classic gramophone or mp3 recordings. Wi-Fi is available throughout Aikwood Tower.
Buccleuch bathroom with roll top bath with shower over, WC, basin and original fireplace.
Buccleuch bedroom with zip and link beds which can be set up as a superking double or twin as preferred, large wardrobe, and original fireplace.
Steel bedroom with zip and link beds which can be set up as a superking double or twin as preferred, original fireplace and staircase.
En suite bathroom with bath, WC and basin.
Wet room with large rainforest shower head.
Sir Walter Scott bedroom with king size bed and chest of drawers.
En suite bathroom with roll top bath and handheld shower, WC and basin.
Wizard bedroom with zip and link beds which can be set up as a superking double or twin as preferred and wooden ceiling beams.
En suite shower room with walk in shower, WC and basin.
Luxurious Swedish brand ‘DUX®' beds are provided in all rooms to ensure a good night's sleep. Towels, bathrobes and slippers are provided for each guest. Arran Aromatics toiletries are also provided. A hair dryer is supplied in each bedroom.
Garden and grounds
The front of the tower leads directly to a pretty, south-west facing, walled garden including a sunny terrace for outside dining, croquet lawn and orchard. The garden is fully-enclosed and ideal for children to play. There is a large gravelled parking area to the rear of the tower and additional parking can be made available for events and weddings.
Weddings, drinks receptions and private dining
The Lower Laich Hall is an ideal space for drinks receptions, weddings and private dining. The Cart Hall is also available for functions at an additional cost. The walled-garden is also available for weddings and drinks receptions during the summer months. We can assist with everything from event catering through to arranging something a little different to entertain your guest such as an evening of Scottish reeling, bagpipe lessons or falconry displays. Please contact us for further information about special events at Aikwood Tower.
The peaceful, relaxed surroundings of Aikwood Tower make it an ideal venue for a business retreat. The upper gallery is fully-equipped for corporate events including a screening room, games consoles and hot desks. Wi-Fi is available throughout the tower. The Lower Laich Hall can be transformed into a board room with additional tables provided for breakout workstations and equally provides a spacious and atmospheric venue for drinks receptions and corporate entertaining. During the summer months, there is also space for al fresco entertaining on the terrace. To ensure your event is memorable, we can also assist with organising something a little different for your guests such as Scottish reeling, bagpipe lessons or falconry displays. Fully-serviced corporate golf, fishing or shooting breaks are also available at Aikwood Tower with shooting on the famous Bowhill Estate which neighbours Aikwood Tower and fishing either on the Rivers Ettrick or Tweed which run close by. There are several golf courses in the immediate vicinity including Selkirk, Torwoodlee and Woll as well as the renowned links courses such as Gullane and Muirfield within an easy day trip.
Catering and butler service
Catering at Aikwood Tower is entirely flexible. The house can either be taken on a self-catered basis, part or fully-catered with a cook available for cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners as required.
The housekeeper is available for additional cleaning or linen changes throughout guest's stay at additional cost.
A travel cot and high chair are available on request. An inflatable child bed (suitable for 8/10 year olds) is available free of charge.
Two additional single foldaway beds are available with full linen at a charge of £50 each.
Two well behaved dogs are welcome at Aikwood Tower at a charge of £25. We would ask that they are kept to the downstairs, uncarpeted areas and off the furniture. Dogs must be kept under control when walking on the wider estate.
"Holiday excellent. Aikwood Tower is very well equipped, warm and comfortable, one of the best places we have stayed in." - Watson