What’s on August

The sea and rocks at St Albs

St Abbs by Simon Holding

August is the month for agricultural shows, music, contemplation, lots of walking and perhaps the chance to find more than a few nuggets of gold in the Scottish Borders hills!  The countryside will be looking at it’s very best this month, so make sure you get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Or head for a beach, build some sandcastles and finish with some loverly ice cream. My favourites for golden sands are Coldingham, Eyemouth (where Giacopazzi’s sell fabulous gelato) and Spittal (near Berwick on Tweed where you can stop and take a trip on the new riverboat).

World Gold Panning Championships, 7-12 August, Hope Johnstone Park, Moffat

Whether your interested in competing, spectating, learning about gold panning or just joining in the festival atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.  DG10 9HY.

Ally Bain & Phil Cunningham, 5 August, Tait Hall Kelso

An evening with Aly & Phil is always a memorable one – enchanting music and hysterical stories all night will keep you entertained during their fantastic show.
Doors & Bar Open 6.30pm.  Tickets £16 from www.borderevents.com or call 01750 725480. TD5 7BS


James Hogg Exhibition Ettrick School, Ettrick, Selkirk

Near to Hogg’s birthplace at Ettrick, is open from 25th May to 28th September, three afternoons per week (Wed, Fri & Sun) from 2 – 5 pm.  Ettrick Kirk (with the gravestones of James Hogg and Tibbie Shiels) also has a small exhibition of its history, which you can visit at any time.  TD7 5JA.


Bread Making for Kids Monday & Wednesday 11.30 & 14.30, Heatherslaw Mill, Cornhill on tweed.

Young bakers are invited to come along to Heatherslaw Mill every Monday to Wednesday in August to try their hand at bread-making.  Whilst your bread is proving and baking tour the mill, see the process from grain to flour, watch the giant waterwheel turn and see if you can use the sack hoist. There’s a Junior Miller Quiz and a Mill Mouse Trail, and a Victorian Cottage with dressing up clothes for all ages – so plenty to keep the whole family amused.  Baking sessions at 11.30am and 14.30pm; free with normal admission. Pre-booking recommended although not essential.  TD12 4TJ.


Galloway Country Fair 19-20 August,  Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill

The Fair brings together food and drink, country sports, entertainment, children’s activities and much, much more. It’s a true celebration of everything that countryside living has to offer with something for all ages to enjoy.  DG3 4AG.


Elliot Clan Gathering 24-27 August, Redheugh, Roxburghshire 

Every four years, the Elliot Clan Society holds a gathering of the clans in Scotland. SCOCHA folk band 24 August, Main Gathering Day 25 August, Holm Agricultural Show 26 August.  Check the website for details of events.</div

Stowed Out Music & Arts Festival 25-26 August, Stow Village

Family friendly boutique music and arts festival. It aims  to showcase a high quality diverse line up of music, spoken word and art that is sometimes challenging but always entertaining. In four years the festival has grown from a small village event to a highly respected festival that brings you everything from award winning international acts to up and coming young bands all performing in an intimate setting.  Tickets available through Eventbrite.  TD12QX.  Stow is on the Borders Railway line, so you could take the train.


Old Melrose Monastic Walk first Monday of the month April to October Start at 13.30

Visit the monastic site and the restored summerhouse at Old Melrose; also woodland walks. Park at Old Melrose tearoom, antique and book centre, at the end of a single track road off the A68, just south of Leaderfoot roundabout at end of the Melrose bypass.  Guided ‘Old Melrose Monastic Walks’ take place on the first Monday of the month (April – Oct). Start 1.30pm (2 hours) from Old Melrose tearoom. Information from the Roman Heritage Centre.  For more walks around Melrose check out the Walk Melrose website.  TD6 9DF.


Trimontium Roman Fort Walk Melrose Every Thursday for April to October.  July & August every Tuesday also.

From Melrose to Leaderfoot and back; no need to book beforehand. Includes guide(s), juice/tea and biscuits in Newstead Village Hall. (Illustrated and informative souvenir leaflet available). Leave Melrose at 13.30 hrs and returning around 17.15 hrs. Meet at Trimontium Exhibition in Ormiston, Melrose Square 13.20 hrs. Easy five mile walk although stout shoes are advised. See Melrose Abbey, Prior’s Walk to enjoy Newstead, ‘the oldest inhabited village in Scotland’ (with walled gardens, sundials, ancient stones and Masonic ruin); the Trimontium Stone; the Roman fort and annexes; views of Eildon Hill North and the Tweed Valley from the site; the Roman amphitheatre; the three bridges over Tweed at Leaderfoot from high up on the viaduct level; the leafy lane to Broomhill; views of the Trimontium Stone; Summerhouse at Drygrange (with Scott’s View and Old Melrose in the distance.  Adults £3.00; Concessions £2.50; accompanied schoolchildren free; dogs welcome; Trimontium members free.



Great concerts with the stars of Celtic Music and much more.  Sat 19 Aug, 7:30pm headline concert from the younger generation, combining the talents of local musicians from the Nomad Beat music school in Peebles with professional young musicians, headlined by Siobhan Miller, twice winner of the Scots Singer of the Year at the Trad Music Awards.  At “Live and Local” (Vale Club) see an outstanding range of musical talent over 3 days.  Look out for 2 plays ‘The Ghost of Tommy Atkins’ and the Meadows Mummers performing the ancient  Scottish play ‘Galoshins’.



Fun for the whole family at the Peebleshire Agricultural Society Show, Nether Horsburgh Farm, Cardona.  Agricultural show with all classes of cattle, sheep, ponies, poultry and donkeys. Lots of entertainment in the main ring,  competitions, food and crafts.  EH44 6RE.



Incorporating an agricultural livestock show along with family entertainment, horse events, poultry show, vintage display and dog show, created on a beautiful site next to Duns Castle. There is literally something for all ages, based around community groups and entertainment from farther afield. TD11 3NW.


Returning for 8th year. Brings together broadcasters, writers, thinkers artists, diplomats and politicians to meet talk and exchange ideas with the public about the most pressing issues of our time.  A stimulating weekend of debate. A very unique Festival. EH44 6PW.



A fantastic day for the whole family.  Featuring pipe bands from across the Scottish Borders & Lothians, Highland dancers, Ceilidh band, tractor tours and much more.   Music and dance with a military and forces theme.  100 dancers from MPulsive Dance School for 2 special performances.  Children’s activities include bouncy castle and toddler soft play, face painting and a craft tent with special appearances from Roxy Bear.  Crafters Courtyard and local artisan food stalls.  For foodies,  hot food available from Castle BBQ, Italian Coffee and Crepes and also award winning Giacopazzi’s ice-cream with refreshments for the adults provided by Tempest Brewery.  TD5 7RW.

What’s on July 2017

 Whats on July 2107


 In July we welcome the opening of the new Borders Sculpture Park, lots of outdoor theatre, music, culture and beautiful gardens.  The annual festivals of riding are well underway in the Scottish Borders.  They are a local tradition not to be missed, particularly if you like horses.  With fabulous weather forecast, pack up your picnic and head outdoors.


Antiques Roadshow, Floors Castle, Kelso 6 July, 09:30-16:30

Antiques Roadshow’s well-loved team of experts are visiting Floors Castle.  More than 30 experts will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors, who are invited to raid their attics and bring along their family heirlooms, household treasures and car-boot sale and charity shop finds. TD5 7SF.


Wind in the Willows, Thirlestane Castle, Lauder 12 July, Gates open at 17.00

Join Badger, Ratty and Toad for a perfect summer adventure, in this adaptation of the classic children’s novel.  Alive with music and song this family show is presented in costume and features a woodland parade during the interval for everyone to join in.  Bring a picnic or order one by emailing enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk.  Please bring your own rugs or low backed seating.  Tickets available through www.borderevents.com or call 01750 725480.  Adult £14/child £8/family (2 adults & 2 children) £40.  TD2 6RU


Monteviot House & Gardens, Jedburgh 1 – 29 July 

The present house began as an early-eighteenth century lodge built by the 1st Marquis of Lothian. Ambitious designs by Edward Blore were commissioned for a Jacobean-style mansion in 1832 but never completed, leaving the modest Georgian house and Blore’s elaborate Jacobean-inspired office wing side by side. In 1961 the interior was re-planned to the design of Schomberg Scott. The fine gardens include a rose garden, herbaceous shrub borders, pinetum, a water garden of islands linked by bridges, the Dene Garden, the Garden of Persistent Imagination, the Compass Garden and an arboretum. There are great views over the River Teviot. Gardens 12.00-17.00, House 13.00-17.00  (last entry 16.15).  Free parking & disabled toilets. (Closed Mondays).  TD8 6UQ


Romeo & Juliet Outdoors, Abbotsford House, Morris Garden, Melrose 15 July 19.00-21.30

Three Inch Fool Theatre Company return to Abbostsford to present the tragic story of the star crossed lovers.  Refreshments and BBQ  available, so make sure you arrive early to enjoy a picnic in the gardens (open 17.30).  Adults £14 / Friends £12.60 / Concessions & Under 17s £12 / Joint Ticket Offer: Joint Adult Ticket £24 / Joint Friends Ticket £21.20 / Joint Concessions and Under 17s Ticket £20
Contact Tel: 01896 752043


Borders Sculpture Park, Mellerstain House  Open Friday to Monday, 11.00-17.00

XXX launches Borders Sculpture Park as a new venue for innovative and engaging open-air sculpture. Comprising three remarkable, large-scale temporary installations by acclaimed artist , Steve Messam, this exciting project combines historic features with bold, contemporary sculptural practice on a vast scale. Set within the buildings and landscape, Messam’s inflatable fabric sculptures create a joyful and uplifting visual spectacle. He sets up a lively dialogue between past and present, adding an unexpected new dimension to familiar vistas and architecture. Tickets can be booked on the website £2.50-£5.00.  Hoebridge Cafe for delicious coffee.


Music at Paxton House 14 – 23 July

A 10 day feast of chamber music performed by outstanding musicians.  This year’s programme is bigger than ever, with music spanning the Baroque to the present and featuring some of the great masterpieces of chamber music.  Including Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations, Schumann’s Piano Quintet, and Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ Quartet, alongside more recent works by Sally Beamish, Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt.  Book online: www.hubtickets.co.uk or  0131 473 2000.


Border Union Show, Springwood Park, Kelso, 28 – 29th July

This annual  show includes competition for Horses, Ponies,Cattle, Sheep, Donkeys, Goats, Poultry, Rabbits, Shepherds’ Crooks, Horse Shoeing, Young Farmers Stock Judging and Industrial Arts, with over five hundred open classes. There are over 200 trade stands including farm machinery, crafts and gifts, motor vehicles, clothing, equestrian goods, food outlets and furniture retailers. The Food Fair with 50 stands of Borders and far and wide produce is full, as is the Exhibition and Craft & Gift Halls. As always there is the Children’s Fun Fair, Catering and Bars. These are open on both days and there is Main Ring family entertainment on the Saturday afternoon.  Tickets available online at www.borderunion.eticketme.com.  Adults £9, concession £7, children under 16 free. TD5 8LS