Today I am visiting Floors Castle in Kelso near Melrose. It is currently home to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe. It was built in the 1720s for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe and then remodeled and enhanced in the 1830s to its current appearance. The castle still operates as a private home to the Duke and his family so I was not allowed to take photos inside the castle. Walking through the home, I was greeted by very friendly docents that took time to tell the stories of the family and give explanations of the items in each room. Photos of the current family are displayed the same way that many of us do in our own homes - on a mantle, on the piano, etc. This really humanized the royals and allowed us to get a different perspective of the family. The castle itself is grand in scale and design but with a warm interior. Each room holds artifacts acquired over several hundred years - each item from the rugs to the tapestries, from the furniture to a pen on a table, all have an incredible history and story to tell. French tapestries from the 1600s, original paintings by Henri Matisse, Queen Anne chairs, and so much more.
The Roxburghe Estate is a large sprawling property outlined by a wall said to have been built by Napoleonic war prisoners and surrounds the entire estate (I believe the docent said it goes 7 miles around the property. On the estate there are over 250 properties for let, along with sprawling farms, manicured gardens, walled garden, kitchen garden, sawmill, stables, restaurant, plant center and more. The estate is well loved by the local community as it employs over 170 staff members to run and maintain the property. It costs about 500 GBP per day to run the house, so they rely on commercializing the property (renting properties, boarding horses, letting out farmland) as well as the admissions from visitors.
To end my afternoon, I drove to the top of Scott's View which overlooks the deep valleys and hillsides of the southern Border Country of Scotland.