10 More Things for The Kids to do in the Scottish Borders

Summer is upon us and it’s time to think about where to take the kinds when you visit the Scottish Borders.  This is our second post about 10 things to do with the kinds, so please also read 10 Things to do with the Kids in the Scottish Borders.  And if you find any great things to do with the kids please let us know so we can share it with our readers.

Children playing piggyback in the sun

1. Farne Islands

Take a boat trip to the Farne Islands (from Seahouses) and discover the seals, puffins and over 100,000 nesting seabirds that call the Farne Islands home.  Many different birds can be viewed at unbelievabley close range range on the Farnes. Beware of the Arctic Terns who will protect their chicks if you walk too close!  Hat is advised.  A visit to the Farnes can be an awesome experience. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars to help you make the most of the views, the birds and the wildlife.  Famed for providing sanctuary to St Cuthbert in the 7th century, Inner Farne is now renowned as a summer haven for nesting sea birds.  St Cuthbert spent over 10 years living as a hermit on Inner Farne so make sure you visit the Chapel of St Cuthbert, and see its’ fine stained-glass windows.  Phone ahead to make sure boats are sailing on the day you want to go.


2. Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre 

Set in beautiful countryside near Jedburgh and with a great outdoor play park, there’s plenty to do at Harestanes, whatever the weather. From woodland walks to events and exhibitions there’s always something to discover. Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre lies on St Cuthbert’s Way, one of Scotland’s most popular long distance paths.  The café, which was recently refurbished, sells a range of fresh home baking including tray bakes, scones and FairTrade coffee.  The centre is well used by cyclists as the local network of quiet public roads includes the 55-mile ‘Four Abbeys Cycle Route’ which passes through Harestanes.  Open 10am – 5pm daily from Thursday 1st April to 31 October.  Pop across the road and visit Woodside Garden Centre (you can read our blog post here) with amazing plants, wildlife and another fabulous cafe.  Located near Ancrum, Jedburgh TD8 6UQ.


3. Hurly Burly

Large 4 storey frame for big kids (5-10) with slides, cargo nets, rollers, swings, mouse holes, climbing zone and target area.  Basketball and football play are too.  Under 5’s have their own area with climbing ramp and slide, plus soft play equipment.  Large cafe with free wifi.  Open 7 days a week 10am-5pm.  Located one mile from Duns at Puttonmill Fitness Centre,  TD11 3HT


4. Watch a salmon leap

The Philiphaugh Estate, near Selkirk welcomes visitors of all ages.  There is lots to do, from discovering the lifecycle of a salmon, viewing their journey up the river on the underwater cameras at the Salmon Viewing Centre.  There is also a brass rubbing trail, Waterwheel  & Waterwheel Cafe, the site of the Battle of Philiphaugh, and lots of walks (leaflet available at the Waterwheel or salmon viewing centre) and wildlife.  Located at Philiphaugh Old Mill, Selkirk TD7 5LU.


5. Scotland’s Finest Tree Collection

In the depths of the Scottish Borders countryside, Dawyck Botanic Garden has a stunning collection of trees and shrubs.  It’s home to one of Scotland’s finest tree collections including some of Britain’s oldest and tallest trees.   Nestled in the Scottish Borders, Dawyck enjoys a continental climate in which an abundance of plants thrive.  Visit in any season and you will discover treasures from Nepal, Chile and more.  Visitors can enjoy themed trails and follow the adventures of plant explorers such as David Douglas, after whom the Douglas fir is named. The Garden is ideal for all the family and runs events throughout the year including activities for children, guided walks and exhibitions.  For a full events programme call 01721 760254 or click this link to visit their website.  After your visit to the Garden, Dawyck’s award-winning cafe is there to provide you with refreshments or lunch and why not enjoy a browse around the shop to purchase a plant or a special gift as a souvenir?  Located near Stobo on the B712, 8 miles south of Peebles, EH45 9JU.


6. Gunsgreen House 

Situated on the harbourside in Eyemouth, Gunsgreen House has fun for all the family.  Discover the secret hiding places for smuggled goods, or walk the smugglers trail.  Gunsgreen House was built in 1753 by local smuggler John Nisbet.  The architecture includes secret hiding places where smuggled goods were kept. See the amazing ‘tea chute’- the only one of its kind, where smuggled tea was hidden from prying eyes. Discover the history of the house. Kids will love dressing as smugglers, following the smuggling trails inside the house, and becoming a certified smuggler. Located on the Quay in Eyemouth TD14 5SD.


7. Get on your bike

Glentress (near Peebles) offers superb walking, mountain biking, tree-top fun and magnificent views of the beautiful Tweed Valley.  It’s one of the famous 7stanes mountain biking centres, with award-winning trails that attract riders from all over the UK and beyond. Walking at Glentress is great too, with airy views across the famous River Tweed and a chance to tread in the footsteps of Bronze Age and Iron Age people.  After all your hiking and biking efforts you can reward yourself with a coffee and a cake in the distinctive café that’s built from local timber. Take a look at the guide map to the Tweed Valley Forest Park which will help you explore. Located 1.5 miles east of Peebles, just off the A72.


8. See the osprey (From May to September)

The Tweed Valley Osprey Project aims to protect nesting ospreys and encourage them to settle and breed in suitable locations in the area. By doing so, they hope to improve people’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of these spectacular birds. You can get closer to these magnificent birds at the osprey watch centres, catch a glimpse of them on the web cam, and follow news of their adventures on the Tweed Valley Osprey Project blog. There are two osprey watch centres where you can see the birds on live camera feeds:
Wild watch centre at Glentress, 1.5 miles east of Peebles on the A72.
– Osprey watch at Kailzie Gardens, 2.5 miles from Peebles on the B6072.  EH45 9HT


9. Grass Sledging

All year, all weather  sledging, no snow required.  Enjoy 30 minutes of exhilarating sledging on the perfect grass slope at Born in the Borders.  Suitable for children 5 years and over. We would advise that younger children are carefully overseen by parents. Each booking includes the use of a grass sledge, a helmet and other protective gear.  To avoid disappointment, book online.  30 minutes sessions cost just £4.  There’s also a restaurant, brewery, ginnery and lots of lovely walks along the River Teviot.  Born in the Borders, Lanton Mill, Jedburgh TD8 6ST


10. Go to the movies

There are four cinemas (three with theatres) in the Scottish Borders.  Check their websites to see what’s on.
Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Peebles  01721 725777
Pavilion Cinema, Galashiels 01896 752767
Tower Mill Cinema, Heart of Hawick  check out their what’s on page
The Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Berwick on Tweed  01289 330 999



We strongly suggest you check out all the venues before you set off on your family day out.  Check  to make sure they are open and to confirm admission prices.  There is nothing worse than disappointed kids in the back of your car.

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