The colder months are the ideal time to pack your favourite comfy jumpers, plus a few books and a nice bottle of wine, then head off on a cosy getaway.
And it just so happens that the Scottish Borders is one of the cosiest places you can find. That is because it offers the 'three Cs' of an ideal autumn or winter break — in other words, country walks, castles and comfort food.
With this in mind, Airhouses has some great recommendations for all three...
Enjoy stunning country walks
Wandering through dramatic scenery, scarf wrapped around your neck, breathing in the crisp air...bliss. And you will be totally spoiled for choice when it comes to walking trails in the Scottish Borders — in fact, our region has over 150 official routes, taking in forests, valleys, meadows, rivers and lochs.
If you are looking to make a day of it, then why not try out the nine-mile long Rhymer's Route? This walk is enticingly named after the famous 13th century Borders seer who, legend has it, was spirited away to fairyland. You'll start in the town of Melrose, then take a pleasant circular route past farmlands, woodlands, the Eildon Hills and Bowdenmoor Reservoir. You will also stop at the mysterious Rhymer's Stone, which marks the spot where the famous Eildon Tree once stood (and where Thomas first met the Queen of Fairies).
Or you could head to breathtaking Glentress Forest, the gateway to Tweed Valley Forest Park. Needless to say, it is a very popular walking and cycling spot with various trails, ponds and even the odd kissing gate. On the Janet's Brae Trail, you can even see the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, as well as incredible views of the town of Peebles below.
Finally, Harestanes in the Teviot Valley offers plenty of rugged adventures, many of them suitable for children. One of the highlights is the scenic Folly Loch Path, which has aerial views of the Waterloo Monument. You can also drop into the Harestanes visitor centre and cafe (just so you know, you will have to book tickets in advance right now).
Explore romantic castles
Soaring towers wreathed in mist, medieval halls with crackling fireplaces, cosy visitor tearooms...the colder months are the best time to explore the castles of the Scottish Borders. Some are fully intact with manicured gardens and cafes, while others are just atmospheric ruins (during this time, it is best to check which ones are open).
Highlights include the dramatic 14th century Duns Castle, which has 9,000 acres of grounds to explore; the magnificent 16th century Thirlestane Castle, which is set in parklands near Lauder, and the lavish Floors Castle in Kelso with its fairytale turrets, fine furniture and artworks.
If ruins are more your thing then head to Roxburgh Castle, which was once a royal household overlooking the point where the Tweed and Teviot rivers meet. The castle is especially enchanting to visit in autumn, when scattered leaves drift among the stones...
Indulge in Scottish comfort food
And Autumn and winter are the times for indulging in hearty fare filled with the flavours of the season. Freshly caught salmon, aromatic craft cider and rich clootie dumplings are just some of the treats that you can enjoy.
The Scottish Borders offers a wealth of delicious produce, from Eyemouth lobster to to Melrose black pudding to Rutherford Farm berries. When choosing a restaurant, keep your eyes peeled for ones that showcase local produce and artisan suppliers — that way, you will get a true seasonal taste of the Borders. Good choices include Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder, Provender in Melrose and The Seasons at Gattonside.
Traditional Borders comfort food dishes include rumbledethumps (the Scottish bubble & squeak) and Selkirk bannocks (serve warm and spread with local Stichill Jerseys butter).
And don't forget that we have our own Borders Distillery, so why not pick up a bottle of whisky to enjoy back home on chillier evenings?
You don't get much more cosy than a five-star Airhouses lodge with a hot tub. So why not book your stylish autumn escape now?
You might also like:
Six Ways to 'Coorie Doon' in Style.
Why Dogs Love Visiting the Scottish Borders.
Amazing Autumn Nature Spots in the Scottish Borders.
5 Self Catering "5 Star" Luxury Lodges each with their own Hot Tub in Scotland, close to Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders offering you peace, tranquillity and a place to escape to in the heart of beautiful Scotland.