A contribution from Lindsay:
The Scottish Borders is a bit of a hidden gem for tourists. Most visitors to Scotland head straight to Edinburgh and then the Highlands and by-pass this area rich in history and great landscapes. In the western Borders it’s a quiet sparsely populated land of hills and forests – very much the Highlands in small scale. For those who choose to spend a few days here there is much to see and experience.
Hartleap is yet another jewel in the Scottish B&B-crown. A while back I happened to stumble across this near perfect idyll set in the midst of the rolling Border Hills. I was instantly smitten. What a wonderful find this was!
Lindsay Lewis: ”Hartleap is a former shepherd’s cottage built in 1862, which we sensitively renovated and restored when we bought it in 2000. We fell in love with the location and the house and have created a comfortable, stylish home which we enjoy and want to share with guests. Our long careers in the arts are reflected in the pictures and objects we have around the house. To say Hartleap offers an exclusive experience is not an overstatement - there is only one guest room with king size bed and en-suite facilities, a private dining room and sitting room with log fire and comfy sofas. It’s a peaceful place in a rural haven (oh yes it is!). We offer delicious meals using produce from the organic garden wherever possible and we support the Slow Food Movement.
The garden is, in fact, a triumphant effort in the face of pretty adverse conditions.
At 300 metres altitude and often buffeted by strong winds, we created a garden from a rough hillside that has taken devotion, effort and vision. But the results are a testament to the hard work that goes into it and we encourage guests to wander around the one and a half acres to enjoy the wildlife and different areas of the garden”.
Whilst walking and cycling are extremely popular in the area it is also home to castles, grand houses and small towns offering experiences from whisky distilleries, cashmere factories, museums of all kinds, Europe’s largest Buddhist temple and yet only an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Hawick, Moffat, Peebles and Selkirk are all around 30 minutes drive from Hartleap. Robert Smail’s printing press is the oldest working press in Scotland – a fascinating tour of an almost lost craft. Abbotsford, near Selkirk, is the home built by novelist Sir Walter Scott in the nineteenth century, and open to visitors with literary interests. The Southern Upland Way passes within one and a half miles of Hartleap (what a find for bone-weary walkers!).
A peaceful retreat or an active break? Hartleap is an ideal place to stay.
“We will look after you well and you can revel in the unspoilt peace and quiet of an area not overwhelmed by tourists. Many guests return annually and some have been more than five times! More information on our website www.hartleap.co.uk.
Underneath a few more images to wet your appetite: