Discover Bowhill – a national treasure in the Scottish Borders

Legend has it the name Buccleuch came about when a member of the Scott family seized a cornered buck by the antlers and threw it over his shoulder as it charged a royal party.

The incident happened in a ‘cleuch’ or ravine, hence Buck-cleuch and then Buccleuch.

The marriage of James, Duke of Monmouth – son of King Charles II – to the Scott heiress, Anne Countess of Buccleuch in 1673, established the present day titles when they were invested as Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch by royal decree.

Today it is one of the most illustrious names in the UK and pre-eminent in the Scottish Borders where the ancestral home of the Dukes of Buccleuch sits majestically amidst 63,500 acres at Bowhill House and Country Estate near Selkirk.

If you are looking for a great day out visitors to the Borders should put it on their ‘must visit’ list.

The Bowhill estate offers something for all ages, from an exciting woodland adventure playgound to ranger led wildlife and themed walks for young people to more energetic outdoor pursuits such as walking, mountain biking and riding. Bowhill even has a 72-seat theatre.

And then there’s Bowhill house itself – one of the great treasure houses of Scotland. Tours of the building’s richly furnished reception rooms guide visitors past magnificent decorative arts, silver, porcelain and French furniture.

On the walls masterpieces by Canaletto, Ruysdael, Raeburn, Reynolds and Gainsborough compete for attention.

Bowhill provided much inspiration for Sir Walter Scott who was a regular visitor. Respect for Scott’s standing in the Borders is reciprocated with the ‘Sir Walter Scott Room.’

This season Bowhill and Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, have linked up to provide a great discounted summer pass deal for visitors.

In this Explore the Borders section on Bowhill we have prepared a series of features that describe in more detail what’s on offer for the visitor and will be carrying regular news of events taking place there.

More information about Bowhill can be found at

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