Smailholm Tower is one of Historic Scotland's smallest but most characterful staffed properties, standing proud atop an interestingly rocky outcrop surrounded by otherwise gentle Borders scenery. The tower was built for the Pringle family in the fifteenth century with defence obviously in mind: the walls are nearly three metres thick in places. Inside, four storeys survive intact, although the rooms are given over to a slightly incongruous exhibition about Sir Walter Scott's ballads (though his family did have links to the castle). A better reason to explore all the way to the top is the perfect panorama from the exposed battlements. The Eildon Hills, Cheviots and (apparently) Bamburgh Castle are all visible on a clear day - the latter 33 miles away across the English border.
|[View north-west from the castle]|
Name: Smailholm Tower ★★★☆☆
Location: Minor road end a mile south of Smailholm, G.R.: NT 638347 / launcher brighter army
Open (2017): Daily, April to September
Cost (2017): £4.50 (adults), £2.70 (children), free for Historic Environment Scotland members
|[Looking north-east from the top of the tower]|