The historic royal burgh of Jedburgh is one of the most visited towns in the Scottish Borders. And with good reason, for what this attractive market town lacks in size (present day population 4,000), it more than makes up with an A-list of historic attractions and famous names.
Home to one of the finest Augustinian abbey’s in Scotland - an early type of twinning arrangement organised by King David I in 1138 with a monastic order from Beauvais in France - a Castle Jail that hosts a museum, stages displays and exhibitions and is a now favourite haunt for ghost hunters, and Mary Queen of Scots House where she stayed and almost died in 1566.
At the time it was made a Royal and Ancient Burgh in 1214 - bestowed by King Alexander ll - Jedburgh and the Scottish Borders was a favourite playground for Scotland’s royal family.
Opposite the Abbey in the Glebe Car Par (all car parking in Jedburgh is free) you will find an imposing 40ft long stone structure known as ‘The Eel,’ designed by artist Max Nowell.
It was erected to commemorate the internationally significant studies of 18th century Scottish geologist James Hutton. Unusual rock formations on the banks of the Jed Water, indicating that the earth was much older than previously thought, became internationally famous as ‘Hutton’s Unconformity’ and laid foundations for modern earth sciences.
Jedburgh is the birthplace of Mary Somerville (1780-1872), scientist, polymath, the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society and glass ceiling breaker extraordinaire. She now adorns the Royal Bank of Scotland’s £10 note and Somerville College at Oxford University is named after her.
A gentle stroll into town - the main town centre car park offers charging bays for electric vehicles - you will find cafes, restaurants and takeaways side by side with interesting independent shops.
Jedburgh has the added distinction of having over 140 listed buildings - the highest number for any comparable small town in Scotland.
And if you are planning to stay, Jedburgh has a great selection of accommodation catering for all the family. The town is an increasingly popular choice as a base for those planning to explore the beautiful Scottish Borders region.
Jedburgh has an impressive calendar of special events taking place throughout the year, so there’s plenty of good reasons to plan a return visit.
For a month in July, Jedburgh holds its Callant’s Festival; part of the famous Border Common Ridings. They date back to the 1500’s and involve grand ‘ride-outs’ on horse-back to mark historic town boundaries.
Other headline events include Jedburgh Sevens rugby tournament and the Border Games that take place at Jed-Forest’s Riverside rugby ground.
In October the town hosts a Running Festival that features a weekend of top notch sporting events including the Three Peaks Ultra Marathon, CaniSports race, a half marathon road race, 10k road race and a 10k wheelchair and handbike race.
More about Jedburgh is available at Visit Scotland’s HQ for the Scottish Borders located next to the Town Hall.