The 18-hole Roxburghe Golf Course (tel. 01573/450-331) is the only championship course in the region. Designed by Dave Thomas, one of Britain's leading golf-course architects, it's 7,111 yards. Guests of The Roxburghe Hotel can most easily get tee times, but the course is open to nonmembers as well. Greens fees are £35 to £80 for 18 holes.
Our favorite countryside spot is the nearby village of Kirk Yeetholm, 11km (6 3/4 miles) southeast of Kelso on B6352. This is the northern terminus of the Pennine Way, a 403km (250-mile) hike that begins down in Yorkshire, England. Today Kirk Yeetholm is filled with tired hikers at the end of the trail, but it was once the Gypsy capital of Scotland -- until 1883, a Gypsy queen was crowned here. You can see (at least from the outside) the "Gypsy palace," really a tiny cottage in the center of the village.
Another place for walking and hiking is around Smailholm Tower (tel. 01573/460-365), on a ridge 13km (8 miles) west of Kelso and 3km (1 3/4 miles) south of Mellerstain, signposted off B6404. A so-called peel tower (fortified tower) from the 1500s, it has been restored and rises 18m (59 ft.) above a loch, providing some of the best views of the Borders. Open October Saturday to Wednesday 9:30am to 4:30pm; November to March Saturday and Sunday 9:30am to 4:30pm. April to September, it's open daily 9:30am to 5:30pm. Admission is £4 for adults, £3 for seniors and students, and £2 for children 5 to 15.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.