Kelso is a market town in the Scottish Borders about 20 miles from Galashiels or an around 50 minutes bus trip through stunning countryside. Kelso lies on the confluence of the river Tweed and Teviot and is known for its large French-style market square, the largest market square in Scotland.
In the 12th century, Kelso Abbey was founded and the town grew alongside with the arrival of the monks.
Standing on the opposite bank of the River Tweed from the now-vanished royal burgh of Roxburgh, Kelso and its sister hamlet of Wester Kelso were linked to the burgh by a ferry at Wester Kelso. A small hamlet existed before the completion of the abbey in 1128 but the settlement started to flourish with the arrival of the monks. (Wikipedia)
The Abbey controlled the life in Kelso, at one point there was even a beer-tax in favour of the parish. After the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century, the power and the wealth of the Abbey declined.
The Kerr family of Cessford took over the barony and many of the abbey’s properties around the town. By the 17th century, they virtually owned Kelso. (Wikipedia)
Sir Walter Scott went to grammar school in Kelso and called “it is the most beautiful if not the most romantic village in Scotland”.
I walked the Cobby Riverside Walk from Kelso Town Center to Floors Castle, it´s about 2 miles and a lovely walk. Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and is home to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe. But it´s more a big country house than a castle, situated within the two rivers, built in 1721 by William Adam, for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe. Before that, there was probably a tower house on the grounds. Opposite Floors Castle are the ruins of Roxburgh Castle, which was destroyed by the Scots in 1460.
The family of the current Duke of Roxburghe still lives in Floors Castle and opened some of the rooms for the public. It´s a beautiful walk through the park and the Victorian walled gardens, but I was a little bit disappointed by the inside. There are just a small handful of rooms able to visit and then you´re in the shop.
But as said the park and gardens are stunning and well worth a visit. Like Abbotsford House Floors Castle is part of the Historic Houses and it would be smart to become a member when you want to visit more than one.