A pleasant market town with specialist shops and upscale places to eat and drink, Pebbles has long been a favourite for day trips. Here's a few of our favourite places to visit.


Although there is much debate around the origin of the name of Peebles, the most likely answer comes from the Cumbric term ‘pebyl’ meaning a place where tents are pitched. During the reign of King David I of Scotland, Peebles was made a royal burgh.

During the conflicts of the 15th and 16th centuries Peebles managed to survive relatively untouched. However, it wasn’t all rosy and in late 1549, Peebles was almost completely destroyed by the English. Even after this destruction, Peebles remained a town favoured by royalty and Neidpath Castle, originally built in 1302, is still intact to this day thanks to numerous renovations. Neidpath Castle is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who died of despair, having been told by her father that she could not marry the castle’s laird.

Poverty and hunger were common in the Burgh during much of the 18th century until 1855 and the arrival of the railway. The railway brought with it an increase in trade and industry leading to a great deal of prosperity and expansion for Peebles. Increased ownership of motor cars after the Second World War led to an improved road network, and the railway was closed in 1962.

Peebles’ claim to fame could come from as long ago as 1650 when it is said to have held out against Oliver Cromwell’s English forces longer than any other town south of the Forth.

Things to do

Visiting in January? Peebles hosts their own outdoor film festival, boasting a selection of films from around the world. They put together a ‘carefully curated programme of around 30 short and feature length films’ which cover a variety of interests.

Tweeddale Museum and Gallery – dating back to the 16th century, the historic building is home to various exhibitions and events all year round including the Chambers Room (commissioned by Peebles-born publisher William Chambers).

Kailzie Equestrian Centre: Peebles is full of interesting tracks to discover which can be travelled on foot, bike or on horseback. Kailzie equestrian centre provides ponies and horses for children and adults of all ages and have a wide range of horses to cater to all abilities. Offering riding tuition, treks (for beginners) and hacks (for those more advanced).

The John Buchan Story: Well-known author and writer of The 39 Steps, John Buchan hailed from Peebles. With the John Buchan story you can explore his life and legacy. The museum features loads of interesting pieces including: a signed first edition of The 39 Steps and letters to John Buchan from Rudyard Kipling.

Peebles golf club sits among the rolling hills of the Borders. With stunning views from every hole and excellent greens in great condition, it’s a must visit for golf lovers.

The Chocolate and Pastry School: Almost everyone loves a bar of chocolate or a slice of cake, but who has the time or energy to try their hand at making it? This is what the chocolate and pastry school at Cocoa Black in Peebles gives you the chance to do. Offering half day classes which are perfect for those with little or no experience working with chocolate or pastry (which, let’s be honest, is probably most of us).

Tweed Fishing Instructor: With great views and plenty of peace and quiet, Peebles is the perfect place to cast a line. Tweed fishing instructor provides a variety of options including full day fishing to one hour casting lessons.

Neidpath Castle: Founded towards the end of the 12th century, in 1810 it was passed on to the Wemyss family who still own it to this day. The Great Hall, the walls of which are lined with tapestries, features display cabinets holding artefacts relating to the castle. One of which is a letter from Mary Queen of Scots dating back to the 16th century.

Tweed Valley Railway Path is five miles long and follows the River Tweed for much of the way, providing walkers and riders with great views.

Kailzie Gardens: The wild garden is best visited in the spring, after the snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells have flowered, bringing a carpet of colour to the garden. Kailzie Gardens also lay claim to the oldest Larch in Scotland (according to tree surgeons).


A short car journey takes you to Stobo, home to the renowned Dawyck Botanic Gardens with plants from all over the world. Many of the plants found at Dawyck are the first examples of those plants brought to Scotland and the garden is a sanctuary for endangered plants where they can be both studied and admired. The Azalea terrace is bursting with colour in June after the Azaleas bloom and well worth the visit.

On the other side of Peebles sits the town of Innerleithen with the Traquair House Brewery, in the basement of Traquair House. The brewery dates to the early 1700s but became disused in the early 1800s. In the early 1960s it was rediscovered by Peter Maxwell Stuart who began brewing again. They have six of their own ales which they serve and sell online. The most notable being the Tranquair Jacobite Ale – spiced with coriander to give it a fresh aftertaste. Although initially only brewed to celebrate the anniversary of 1735 Jacobite Rebellion, it was so popular it became a permanent addition to their range.

Slightly further afield (about 40 minutes in the car) in the village of Tweedbank is Abbotsford House, the former home of Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott. The house features a variety of fascinating objects which inspired Scott’s poems and novels. The library is definitely the room to check out. Planned by Scott as money continued to pour in from his writing, which ultimately led to the house that can be seen today rather than Scott’s original plan to keep the farmhouse and only add a few more rooms to give his family more space.

Where to eat

Osso Restaurant: The only restaurant in the Borders to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand. They use seasonal produce, and so the menu may vary. Known for their sausage rolls which come in a variety of flavours from classic pork and chicken and bacon, to more out-there flavours including vegetarian haggis and lamb tajine.

Coltman’s: A restaurant, deli and bar, Coltman’s is housed in a building dating back to 1711, with views of the River Tweed and countryside. The deli offers sandwiches, soups and ready meals which can be enjoyed in-house or on-the-go.

Crown Hotel Peebles: Rated by locals, this family-run hotel is only a short walk from Peebles Golf Club and the River Tweed. The restaurant and bar, which is lively and busy, serves top quality, freshly prepared food at reasonable prices. In the summer, their garden patio is a great place to enjoy a drink.

Where to stay

Windlestraw Hotel: previously an Edwardian manor, owners John and Sylvia restored the house in 2015, transforming it into a hotel. A five-star gold accommodation and winner of the Independent Scottish Hotel of the Year 2017, Windlestraw has six unique bedrooms.

Peebles Hydro: There are rooms for up to six people, making it perfect for families. Some rooms have views over the Tweed Valley and dogs are welcome – with the expansive grounds of the hotel there will be plenty to tire them out.

Winkston Farmhouse: Guests have the option of staying in their B&B or in one of the self-catering cottages. All accommodation at Winkston is less than five minutes from the town centre and the buses for Edinburgh and the rest of the Borders are close by.

Glenternie House: A Victorian Grade B listed house turned B&B, only four minutes away from the town centre. Guests are able to use the drawing room and evening meals are available by arrangement. The only downside is that there are only two bedrooms.

Neidpath Barmkin: This cottage for six is next to the Neidpath Castle. The cottage is close to the river and only a short walk away from the town centre and is in a great position for mountain biking at Glentress.

Cringletie House Hotel: Guests can stay in the luxury castle hotel or in the converted cottage in the grounds of the hotel. The castle has 28 acres of garden with a river, waterfall, outdoor sculptures and croquet lawn. Dogs are also welcome. Cringletie also has its own dining room where guests can enjoy lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.