September 13, 2023

Unique Holiday Cottage in the Scottish Borders

The Folly, on the Old Melrose Estate, is one of the most unique and magical holiday cottages in the Scottish Borders.


It regularly lets for 51 weeks of the year and the guest reviews rave about its woodland setting on a promontory overlooking the River Tweed. Centrally located only two miles from Melrose it is tucked away on the Old Melrose Estate surrounded by nature and stunning woodlands.

The Folly is a perfect retreat for couples and has a king size bed reached by a spiral staircase. The bathroom has a large shower and the living area has a comfortable kitchen area with a bar table for meals. High Speed Wifi and an interactive TV make relaxing in front of the wood burning stove an enjoyable experience in itself. The wonderful decking outside overlooks the River Tweed and many an afternoon can be spent watching the herons and kingfishers on the River.

The Folly offers a wonderful place to retreat from the stress of the modern world and reconnect with nature. Each season offers a wonderful array of wildlife and nature to be watched from the windows. In winter, the snow lies on the ground and crackles underfoot. In spring the early snowdrops and primroses come to life as the trees wake up and begin to sprout their leaves. Summer is a time for the new born from the ducklings on the river to the Otter pups playing on the riverbank. Everything seems so much more magical as the Oyster Catchers, Kingfishers, Roe Deer, Ospreys and many more birds and animals start to produce and nurture their offspring. Autumn brings a change in season and as the leaves die back the most wonderful array of colours can be seen on the trees that line the riverbank.

The Folly was build in 1800 as a Summerhouse where the local Laird could spend his time gazing down at the River Tweed below whilst keeping warm with a huge log fire. In the early 1900s the Victorians gentrified the building adding stained glass windows and a wonderful tiled floor. Much of the Oak panelling has been lost but the Ornate Fireplace with the initials of Sir Henry Fairfax who commissioned the renovations remains. Up until the 1980s the building was still used as a place for the Younger family to come and have afternoon tea after a day spent fishing for Salmon on the River below.

When we decided to convert the Summerhouse into a holiday cottage the decision was made to rename it as the Folly and the architect was tasked with converting it into a warm and cosy cottage that retained as much of its heritage as possible whilst also creating a truly unique space for guests to stay. A mezzanine floor was put in with a spiral staircase connecting it to the living area. Electricity and water were piped nearly a mile down the track. The building was re-roofed using old Scottish slates so as to keep it as original as possible. We were lucky to have photographs from 1900 and so craftsmen were able to fashion a new door to match the original and new windows and downpipes were made in the same style as the originals. From the outside the building looks as it did in 1800 but inside it is now a warm and comfortable place to stay.