Fantastically-christened Fatlips Castle sits atop Minto Craigs a few miles from the peaceful Borders village of Denholm, Teviotdale, and about a mile from the nearest road. Built in the 1500s by the Turnbull family of Border reivers (raiders), the tower was beautifully restored from a poor state in 2013. The setting and the name were already reason enough for a visit, but you can now pick up the key for the front door (information below) and safely explore inside too. All four storeys (albeit floorless ones) and 56 feet are viewable by a spiral staircase which extends all the way up to the parapet walk, with fantastic views along Teviotdale, north to the Eildon Hills and southeast to the English border. And the name? Theories range from a goat called Fatlips which bleated loudly at the sight of approaching English forces, to the castle occupants' fondness for kissing visiting guests, and several other stories in between.
|[View east along Teviotdale]|
📌 Fatlips Castle ★★☆☆☆
Location: 1 mile off minor road, 2 miles east of Denholm, G.R.: NT 582209 ///care.ambused.surviving
Open (2019): Always, but interior accessed by key (see below)
Cost (2019): £5 to collect the key for the interior (see below); Exterior: Free
Anything else? Space for parking on track at G.R.: NT 585207 ///crypt.vital.intervals - from here it's a 1 mile / 25-min walk (each way) to the castle, unsignposted and uphill on the outward leg. Follow the track uphill until a junction; here, take the wide path ahead, bending right and continuing to ascend. Remain in the trees as it curves back left, always taking the highest option until you reach the castle on top of the crags. The castle interior can be accessed by collecting the key from Thos. B. Oliver Garage in Denholm, at G.R.: NT 569186 ///basically.zebra.edgy during opening hours.
|[View from the west side]|
|[Path to the castle]|
|[First view from the approach path]|