Jedburgh – Scottish Borders gem – The historic royal burgh of Jedburgh, gateway to the Scottish Borders, is one of the most visited towns in the borders region – and with good reason.
What Jedburgh lacks in size it more than makes up with an A-list of historic attractions.
Jedburgh’s 12th century Abbey offers a breathtaking welcome for those arriving in the town from the south and when you add its Castle Jail and museum and Mary Queen of Scots House to the list, visitor appeal is obvious.
The Abbey remains an imposing building despite the ravages of Henry the Eighth’s armies in the 1540s, a time that became known as the ‘rough wooing’ and the result of the Scots refusal to ratify the betrothal of the infant Mary Queen of Scots to his son Edward, then at the tender age of seven.
Opposite the Abbey in the Glebe car park you’ll find a fascinating 40ft stone sculpture known as The Eel (above). Designed by artist Max Nowell it was constructed to commemorate the investigations of Scottish geologist James Hutton in 1787 who found unusual rock formations indicating that the earth was much older than previously thought. His discovery became know as Huttons Unconformity.
Mary Queen of Scots was later to become permanently linked to the town when she took up residence for a while, using her time to preside at local courts and visit her lover (later husband) the Earl of Bothwell at Hermitage Castle.
The house where she stayed in Queen Street is now a museum.
A short walk from the Abbey is Jedburgh Castle Jail, built in 1820 on the site of a motte and bailey. It was a model prison in its time but a visit to one of the cells tells a different story.
History has produced many heroes from the Scottish Borders and Jedburgh lays claim to one of the most significant.
On a wall in the British Legion Club in Jedburgh High Street, neatly positioned between two Victoria Cross memorials, sits a third commemorative display, this one containing a George Cross.
The remarkable story attached to this George Cross, awarded posthumously to First Lieutenant Tony Fasson RN, changed the course of the Second World War.
Car parking is free – there’s a charging point for electric vehicles in the main car park – and a gentle stroll into town offers interesting shops and excellent cafes and eating stops.
Set amid spectacular countryside there’s also plenty for anyone looking for outdoor pursuits such as walking, riding, cycling and golfing.
It has a choice of excellent B&Bs, hotels and self-catering properties that make Jedburgh a great base to explore the borders.
And for those looking for a convenient stopover Jedburgh’s Camping and Caravanning Club site, a mile outside the town at Elliott Park, is ideal.
Call in at the Visit Scotland Tourism Information Office, next to the Town Hall, and pick up Jedburgh’s Blue Plaque Trail booklet and town leaflet to discover more about the town.