Skirling House - Outdoor activities


There are a large number of local walks that we can recommend requiring various levels of fitness.  You can circle from Skirling House through our woods and back over the hill without ever leaving our land in a leisurely 45minutes.   Again from the house you can walk over the hills the 3 miles to the village of Broughton.  If you time it right you could have coffee, lunch, a pint or all three in the Laurelbank Café and Bistro and catch a bus back home if you are too tired to walk.   Alternatively you could keep going up Broughton Heights, which forms part of the John Buchan Way.  Other local walks take you up Tinto Hill, giving a 360-degree view of Lanarkshire (on a good day!), or you can climb Culter Fell, the highest point in the Culter Hills east of the River Clyde and south of Biggar.  Another walk with cracking views is White Coomb and the Grey Mare’s Tail, a spectacular waterfall.   There is a steep but relatively easy path up the side of the waterfall to a lochan at the top, but the going is pretty rough beyond this point.   The road across by the reservoir is worth the drive and St Mary’s Loch and the long established Tibbieshiels Inn are worth the trip on their own if the climb sounds too daunting.   A flatter but just as attractive walk can be taken along the banks of The Tweed near Peebles past ancient Niedpath Castle.   There are many walking maps and books to borrow at Skirling House

Visit the official Walking site of Scotland


Scotland is of course famous for its golf, and there are excellent courses attached to essentially every town in the area.  There are ten courses within about 15 miles including a championship course at Lanark, often used for qualifying rounds when the Open Championship is held in Scotland.    There are good 18 hole town courses that welcome visitors at West Linton, Peebles, Innerleithen (9 holes), Carluke and Carnwath.   Kames Country Club near Lanark, The McDonald Hotel at Cardrona just east of Peebles and Rutherford Castle Course near West Linton are other options.   Even Biggar has its own 18-hole golf course where Ryder Cup player Paul Lawrie holds the course record of 63.    If you are prepared to travel a bit further the links courses of East Lothian are about an hour and a quarter by car and the Ayrshire courses on the West Coast take only a little longer to reach.

Visit the official Golf site for Scotland



A great sport in the Borders, and the one for which it is internationally famous, is fishing. The Tweed, one of the great salmon rivers, rises just near Skirling House, although most of the good fishing is further to the East where the Tweed is rather fuller.    You can arrange a day’s fishing at FishScotland near Kelso or at TweedGuide near Melrose. There is some more ‘everyday river fishing’ available closer to hand and the Leadburn Manor Fly-fishing centre is about a half hour’s drive towards Edinburgh on the A701.

Visit the official Fishing site for Scotland


Mountain Biking

The Borders region offers plenty of opportunities to pursue a full range of less traditional outdoor activities. The internationally recognised Glentress Mountain Bike Centre near Peebles offers some of the best mountain biking in the United Kingdom.

Visit the official Mountain Biking site for Scotland


The Borders is famous horse country, and riders are welcome at Dryden Riding Centre near Selkirk, at the Kailzie Equestrian Centre and the Peebles Hydro Stables, both near Peebles. or at Pentland Hills Icelandics on the A701 near Carlops

Visit the official riding site for Scotland

For the more adventurous

The Rock UK Whithaugh Park Adventure Centre is rather distant, near Newcastleton but offers a comprehensive range of outdoor activities, from abseiling through kayaking, climbing and fencing to high ropes and orienteering. One can learn clay pigeon shooting at Braidwood Sporting Clays near Selkirk or at the Roxburghe Estates Shooting School near Kelso. Off-road drivers can sharpen their skills at Farx4 near Hawick or at the Ronnie Dale 4x4 Driving and Quad Bike Centre near Cockburnspath. A more relaxed way to see the country is to view it from above, and Scotair Balloons, just down the road, offers an exhilarating way of exploring the area.

Spa Days, Gyms & Swimming

Not so weather dependant is the Lifestyle leisure centre in Lanark with swimming pool, gym and a whole variety of fitness activities. If you are looking for a bit more pampering, the internationally famous Stobo Castle Spa is just a few miles away. Nestled in the Glen above the River Tweed, Stobo Castle offers a deeply personal haven, or an experience for sharing with a partner or friends.  As a day visitor, their range of over 80 different face and body treatments provide everything your senses could desire.