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Fairnington East Wing

Kelso, Scottish Borders

Rural living and rich, rancorous history combine at this elegant Borders home beside a working farm — one whose upside-down living arrangement entails spectacular views.

Fairnington East Wing

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Fairnington East Wing

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Overview

Rural living and rich, rancorous history combine at this elegant Borders home beside a working farm — one whose upside-down living arrangement entails spectacular views.

After days spent exploring, return to light-filled living areas and the comfort of a four-poster bed

In 1777, Robert Rutherford — of the Borders’ longstanding Clan Rutherford – was declared a Baron of the Russian Empire by Catherine the Great, and bestowed with wealth. Soon returning home to Scotland, he purchased the 1,400-acre estate of Fairnington and set about becoming a liberal landlord. That tradition continues today, as the current owners have opened their private eastern wing to guests.

First erected in the early 1500s as a bastel house – a typical, fortified farm designed to repel plundering Border Reivers – Fairnington’s first incarnation was mostly destroyed in 1544 during the ‘Rough Wooing’, when English garrisons repeatedly raided Scottish territory to try and enforce Prince Edward’s marriage to an infant Mary Queen of Scots. It was rebuilt and extended amid the 17th and 20th centuries.

Part of the main house — but not overlooked and boasting its own entrance — Fairnington East Wing contains two ground-floor bedrooms. A vast, richly-designed main suite utilises the old master’s office, with original wood panelling (and a very solid safe) surrounding porcelain vases and a mahogany four-poster bed. The second, smaller bedroom’s own king-sized bed can split into two singles if necessary. A large, shared bathroom has a tub and walk-in rainfall shower.

Beside a framed, first-edition Ordnance Survey map of the area, stairs ascend to an open-plan living space whose many windows and elevated position ensure much light. One corner contains the kitchen, where speckled white-granite counters top navy-coloured cabinetry and built-in Siemens appliances. Counter stools enable casual chats, while a dining table awaits opposite. Beyond that beckon two sofas. There’s also a TV hidden inside a vibrant watercolour portraying the estate, and glorious views over rolling hills into England.

Below is your private portion of garden, from which hares, deer, owls, buzzards, woodpeckers and even a resident hedgehog are sometimes spied – along with the Milky Way at night. Just beyond, several piles of stones are all that remain of a former chapel or hospital conferred by Pope Urban III in 1186. Fairnington’s estate also contains the hilltop Baron’s Folly, an eye-catching octagonal tower ordered by Robert Rutherford.

Walkers are well placed: the long-distance St Cuthbert’s Way and Borders Abbeys Way pass nearby as the Presidents Route circular memorably includes an avenue of giant sequoias. Anglers might cast into the Tweed or Teviot for salmon. Kelso’s ruined abbey – and splendid market square – is eight miles away, with the Waterloo Monument, commemorating the Battle of Waterloo, closer still (and indeed visible from the property). For a donation, visitors can borrow the key and climb its many steps for more fabulous vistas.

Property details

GROUND FLOOR

Access door into hallway with bench seat and hanging space.

Bathroom with large walk-in shower with rainforest head and separate mixer, bath with shower/tap mixer, heated towel rail, basin and WC.

Bedroom one (one step up from hallway) with king size four poster bed, side tables, closet with hanging rail (not full height), window seat and decorative fireplace.

Bedroom two with zip and link beds which can be configured to a 5’2” king size or 2’6” twin, side tables, wardrobe with hanging space and separate drawer.

FIRST FLOOR

Three-quarter turn staircase to first floor – no handrail.

Open plan living space comprising:

Kitchen with large fridge/freezer, induction hob, electric oven, full size dishwasher, microwave. Note – there is a washing machine on the ground floor.

Dining space with seating for four. The table is extendable and can accommodate up to six guests for dining if required.

Sitting room with two large sofas, Smart TV (please note Wi-fi limitations at this time – this can be used for streaming if only one device is used).

OUTSIDE

Rear courtyard (shared with the owners) with parking. Bench seat. No barbecue.

Outside storage can be made available for bikes, fishing rods and outdoor kit.

To the side of the property is a lawned area with picnic bench and rural views.

PARKING

Parking for two to three cars in the rear courtyard.

BABIES & CHILDREN

Babies and children are welcome. A travel cot and high chair are available on request. Should guests require any other equipment for babies or children, the owners would be pleased to try and assist.

DOGS

Sorry, dogs are not permitted at Fairnington East Wing.

GUEST AMENITIES

Bed linen and towels are provided, along with hand soaps and shower wash. The duvets are feather and down. Pillows are feather filled (hypoallergenic alternatives provided upon request). A hairdryer is provided in each bedroom.

WI-FI & MOBILE COVERAGE

Wi-Fi speed is very limited. Generally this is suitable for emails and internet browsing, however basic streaming is possible if using one device at a time only. Fibre broadband will be available in 2023. Mobile reception is generally good with 4G.

HEATING

Heating is via a ground source heat pump. Heating can be thermostatically controlled throughout the property.

GUEST PRIVACY

It is important to note that the East Wing directly adjoins Fairnington House which is occupied by the owners. While the owners are on hand to help guests with any aspect of their stay, they are very respectful of guest privacy. 

Location

Fairnington is just five miles from St Boswells, this pretty village boasts the fabulous, award-winning Mainstreet Trading bookshop, café, deli and antiques shop and the excellent Blue Coo Bistro at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel for eating out. There is also a good butchers, small Co-op supermarket and the highly regarded Border Gunroom for those essential country supplies.

A further 4.6 miles drive from St Boswells takes you to the town of Melrose where you will find some of the best independent shopping in the area with Melrose Abbey as the stunning backdrop. Melrose is also home of the famous Borders Rugby 7s game.

Eight miles in the other direction is the bustling market town of Kelso described by Sir Walter Scott as "the most beautiful, if not the most romantic village in Scotland." Today it retains much of its original charm with an interesting range of independent shops including an excellent deli, butchers and fishmonger, a monthly farmer's market and a good selection of lively pubs and restaurants. Floors Castle, the majestic home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe is well worth a visit. Kelso plays host to a number of events throughout the year including regular National Hunt race meets at the famous race course and the ancient custom of the Common Ridings of the town boundaries.

You will also find the historic market town of Jedburgh 6.4 miles from Fairnington, home to a good selection of independent shops, galleries, pubs and cafes. Steeped in history, Jedburgh boasts the magnificent remains of a 12th century Augustinian Abbey, the imposing Castle Jail, the only existing example of its kind in Scotland and the 16th Century home of Mary Queen of Scots, a visit to which reveals the fascinating but tragic story of her life.

Nearby Ancrum village (3 miles) can offer you the main essentials with a pub and local shop and post office.

Activities

A short 3.2 mile drive will take you to Harestanes Visitor Centre which features a busy events programme, art exhibitions, a craft centre and coffee shop, as well as lovely selection of woodland walks and cycling trails from relaxed ambles to more energetic climbs.

There are four walks which start and finish at the centre including access to St Cuthbert's Way, the stunning long-distance walking route which follows the legend of St. Cuthbert on his journey from Melrose to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne; or for amazing panoramic vistas across the Border heartlands, walkers can take a hike to Penielheugh to the fantastic 150 foot Waterloo Monument built to commemorate the battle of Waterloo. A key can be hired by contacting Lothian Estate Office prior to visiting which gives access to a wonderful viewing platform at the top.

A little further down the road, the grounds and gardens of Monteviot House sit on the banks of the River Teviot where gardening enthusiasts will delight at the arboretum, rose garden, herbaceous shrub borders and water garden. The Woodside Garden Centre sits nearby which has a demonstration and kitchen garden, a super RSPB wildlife garden, as well as a shop and cafe for a coffee and cake stop.

The area has cycling trails for everyone from the family friendly routes at Bowmont Forest and Harestanes, to the scenic waymarked trails of the Bordeloop4, Coast & Castles Route & Tweed Cycle Way. If you prefer to swap two wheels for four hooves, the Nenthorn Equestrian Centre is a well-established school offering riding for all ages and abilities and is based 12 miles from the property.

A short drive (5.4 miles) will take you to ‘Born in the Borders’, a super visitor centre with shop, cafe/ restaurant, riverside walks and micro-brewery bringing together the very best of all things produced and created here, while grass sledging, Osprey watching and fishing are just some of the activities on offer to keep all members of the family entertained.

Kelso sits right on the confluence of the Rivers Tweed and Teviot and is a much loved destination for salmon anglers who come to experience world-class fishing on the prolific Middle Tweed salmon beats around this area - Rutherford, Makerstoun, Upper and Lower Floors, Junction and Hendersyde are all within a few miles of the property. Fishing can be booked through FishTweed, while Fin and Game based in the centre of Kelso offers a wealth of advice on river levels, latest catches, permits, tackle and all things fishing and country.

For golf enthusiasts, Kelso Golf Club is an attractive parkland course resting on the edge of the town, or you can experience a fantastic day-out playing the Roxburghe Championship Course (11 miles), recently voted 6th best course in Scotland by readers of the country’s best selling golf title. There is a pro-shop and PGA golf academy here for those who are new to the game or wish to refine their swing, or perhaps sharpen up your eye popping a few clays at the nearby shooting school.

For sightseeing, the grand stately homes and castles of Floors, Mellerstain, Manderston, Abbotsford and Thirlestane are all within a short half hour drive where the beautiful artworks, rich architectural detailing and scenic grounds and gardens are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Children and families

Children and families

Here at Crabtree & Crabtree, we like to think we’ve pulled together some rather nifty ideas to keep tots to teens happy and entertained during your stay.

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Fishing

Fishing

Welcome to the realm of the king of fish, the mighty River Tweed. Every year thousands of Atlantic Salmon make their way up river, an annual odyssey that is one of nature's miracles.

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Historic houses and castles

Historic houses and castles

With more stately homes, castles and historic sites here than you can shake a proverbial stick at, visitors are quite simply spoilt for choice.

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Golf

Golf

There are 40 golf courses in Northumberland, and another 21 in the Scottish Borders offering visitors an incredibly wide and varied range of golfing options.

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Walking

Walking

From the lush green uplands to shimmering sea, the area boasts a hugely diverse and enticing landscape that is perfect for exploring on foot. From gentle rambles to long-distance hikes, there are a vast array of trails and waymarked routes for newbie walkers or experienced alike.

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Wildlife

Wildlife

Our region is home to outstanding scenery which boasts emerald forests, pristine lochs and rivers, heathery hillsides, sweeping moorlands as well as a picture perfect coastline.

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Classes at your holiday home

Classes at your holiday home

Enjoy art, cookery, photography, flower or chocolate classes or whisky tasting in the comfort of your own holiday home...

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Cycling & mountain biking

Cycling & mountain biking

Whether you ride fast or slow, on-road or off-road, there is something uniquely special about enjoying some outdoor time on two wheels. Here in the region we have something for everyone from high-energy mountain biking blasts to gentle forest paths the whole family can enjoy.

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Horse riding

Horse riding

Horse riding is intrinsically linked to the history and heritage of the area and goes right back to the 13th and 14th centuries where townspeople would ride the clan’s boundaries to protect their common lands. Thankfully our riding pursuits today are not quite so dramatic!

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Shopping, arts and crafts

Shopping, arts and crafts

We are extremely fortunate to have a region where independent shops are king, and to have an area flowing with creativity through its talents in arts, crafts and textiles.

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Spas and beauty treatments

Spas and beauty treatments

Everyone needs a little time-out to relax and for many that may involve a little pampering, the chance to experience new therapies, or simply some dedicated ‘me time’ to enjoy or practise disciplines which bring a sense of well-being and good health.

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Museums, galleries and culture

Museums, galleries and culture

Our museums tell the story of Borders people and provide a unique insight into our region’s heritage and culture, such as the turbulent past of the Border Reivers or the tragic tale of exiled Mary Queen of Scots.

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Ancestral history research

Ancestral history research

Crabtree & Crabtree know that tracing the history of your family can be a wonderful journey of discovery. Here are our top tips for starting your family tree.

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Shooting

Shooting

For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.

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Adventure Sports

Adventure Sports

If you love a challenge or just crave a little excitement away from the day-to-day bustle of working life, we have lots to offer - whether it be watery pursuits, muddy blasts or thrill seeking, adrenaline-charged adventures.

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Services

Cooks and chefs

Cooks and chefs

Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cook

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Dog sitting

Dog sitting

Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.

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Additional housekeeping

Additional housekeeping

Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.

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Babysitting and nannies

Babysitting and nannies

Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring one of our fully qualified registered and experienced nannies or babysitters to come to your house.

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Beauty and spa treatments

Beauty and spa treatments

Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.

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Wine delivery

Wine delivery

Crabtree & Crabtree have teamed up with Corney & Barrow one of the longest established independent Wine Merchants in the UK to offer a bespoke service.

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Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers

Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.

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Holiday photography

Holiday photography

Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.

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Reviews

Location Rural - 8 miles from Kelso.
Dogs
  • Sorry, dogs are not allowed.
Arrival / Departure
  • Typical arrival day: Friday
  • Arrival time: 4pm
  • Departure time: 10am
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Large windows in the sitting room of Fairnington East Wing.
THE LITTLE THINGS WE LOVE…
"Through triple windows by the living area’s sofas, you can see all the way to Northumberland’s heather-covered Cheviot Hills."
Tommy, owner of Fairnington East Wing
email us or give us a call on 01573 226711 for details.

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