If you stand on the bridge at Kelso, look upstream, you can see Floors Castle situated on a higher ground , it looks rather like a fairy tale castle. As you get closer to it, you can see why it looks so magical, its pale stonework with hints of gold which glisten in the sunshine, its towers, turrets and stonework carvings add to the magic.
Floors castle was built by the first Duke of Roxburgh in 1721. Today it is known as the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and is home to the 10th Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe and their family.
The castle is well signposted from the town of Kelso, it is just on the outskirts of the town..
There are good car parking facilities in the castle grounds including disabled parking. A short walk from the car park takes you to the castle where lift access is available for wheelchair users or those less mobile.
The entrance fee is £8.50 for adults, £7.50 for senor citizens with reductions for children. The entrance fee also entitles visitors to access to the castle's amazing grounds and walks.
Our guide took us around many rooms. Sadly photography is not allowed inside the castle and we were not allowed in every room, this is because the castle is a family home to the Duke and Duchess and this is their permanent residence.
We saw collections of china and silver as well as some grand antique furniture, excellent art collections and delicate, beautiful tapestries. There were many historical photographs alongside recent family photographs and family belongings.
Our Guide was informative on the history of the castle as well as local history. We looked out of a window to see the most breath taking view of the Cheviot Hills, the River Tweed, over to the English Border, this area of land being where many battles between the English and Scots were fought. The guide pointed to a tree, where King James ll of Scotland was killed in a battle in 1460.
The grounds are truly magnificent. A riverside walk through the grounds along the River Tweed takes you along one of the best Salmon and Trout fishing areas in the area. The woodland walks take you by mature oak, lime and sweet chestnut trees. There is a variety of bird and animal life and if you are lucky you may see a red squirrel.
There is a formal Millennium Garden created to celebrate the new century. There is a Walled garden which gives a sensory treat as well as a perfect example of a working kitchen garden.
For refreshments there is the Courtyard Restaurant and Terrace Café where ultra fresh produce are used, most originating from the estate.
Produce is sold in the Castle Kitchen Shop. There is a well stocked gift shop and a Plant centre with knowledgeable staff.
For children there is an adventure playground.
The castle is closed in Winter months. However, the Walled Garden, Plant Centre and Terrace Café are open all year round and have a separate access. I have written separate reviews on the Walled Garden and Terrace Café for those wanting further information.
For those wishing to stay longer. The fabulous Roxburgh Hotel on the estate is not far away.
Nearby the town of Kelso has a variety of restaurants and shops as well as its famous Abbey.