A Historic Site in Scottish Borders
- Scottish Borders
Set in the Scottish Borders at Lauder, Thirlestane Castle has its origins in the 13th century. It was rebuilt as the Maitland family home in 1590 and greatly enhanced by the Duke of Lauderdale in the 1670s. In 1840, it was extended and refurbished with the addition of two new wings. The Maitlands are a famous Scottish family who first came to Britain from France with William the Conqueror. As the seat of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale, the Castle has at times held a central role in the history of Scotland. Now in the care of a Charitable Trust, Thirlestane has been carefully restored to its former splendour.
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This is a region which is drenched in the blood of countless battles with the English, and its many ruined castles and abbeys bear witness to this. It also has inspired the country's greatest poets and writers such as Robert Burns, John Buchan and Sir Walter Scott. The wildest and most spectacular scenery is to be found in the southern part of the region, but it is along the central valley of the River Tweed, between Peebles in the west and Kelso in the east, where you'll find most of the historic attractions. The hill walking and spa-town atmosphere of Peebles is recommended.