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  • Aikwood Tower
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  • Aikwood Tower
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    Aikwood Tower

    Don't forget, we guarantee you won't find a cheaper price elsewhere

    Property ref: S59549

    • Bedrooms 5

    • Sleeps 10

    • Baths 6

    • Pets Yes

    • Wifi Yes

    • Reviews (7)

    About this property

    Aikwood Tower is different than most castles and country houses in Scotland. Its charm lies in its intimacy. Entering via the walled garden and west door, guests will see Aikwood Tower’s endearing quirks of architecture and craftsmanship, as the Kerry-handed (left turning) spiral staircase lies before them. 
    The Great Hall, with a roaring fire and luxurious furnishings, provides a comfortable and informal atmosphere for guests to relax. Meal time conversations swirl around the vaulted ceiling of the dining room and kitchen. A small reading study with panelled ceiling offers tranquillity and a peaceful space to read.
    A good night's rest is important, so all Aikwood Tower bedrooms have Duxiana beds, the most technologically advanced sleep system in the world.  There are four double bedrooms in the main tower, with the Master Bedroom as the highlight, and a fifth in the extending byre.

    The lower floor of the open-plan byre provides ample function space for small wedding receptions, business meetings, celebratory dinners and other activities.  The upper floor is where modern-day conveniences can be found: TV, DVD player, and business facilities with relaxing lounge seating. Complimentary internet access is available throughout Aikwood Tower.

    The southwest facing walled garden is a true delight. Whether soaking up the sun on the terrace, playing croquet on the lawn or picking apples from the orchards trees, the garden is a magical place to enjoy. It is also a secure environment for little ones to experience camping out under the stars.

    Aikwood Tower is located 40 miles south of Edinburgh in the heart of the Ettrick Forest and offers some of the finest shooting and fishing in Scotland, among many other leisure activities.

    Aikwood Tower is truly blessed by its location. With Shooting Times regularly listing the neighbouring Bowhill Estate pheasant shoot as one of the country’s Top 10, and the River Tweed with its legendary salmon fishing flowing nearby, country sports enthusiasts will be in their element.

    The rolling hills and woodland trails of the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys are perfect for walking, mountain biking or horse riding, and their rivers are ideal for kayaking. Maps and suggested trails are available to help guests navigate around the countryside, as are local guides who can point out the rich diversity of flora, fauna and wildlife, including the majestic ospreys that have recently returned to the region.

    Just 30 minutes away is the mountain biking Mecca of Glentress Forest, the UK's leading mountain biking centre with its wide variety of trails and challenging downhill runs.

    The fantastic championship golf courses of Roxburghe, a woodland course, and Cardrona, a woodland/parkland course, are both nearby. Tennis courts are just a 5 minute drive away as well.

    If guests want a personal yoga session or soothing massage to ease away the day's exertions, local practitioners are available to come to Aikwood Tower and can be arranged if required.

    Rich and varied in its history and culture, the Scottish borders have much to explore, from Melrose Abbey to Samye Ling Bhuddist temple and the local towns' summer common festivities, from riding to rugby tournaments. With Edinburgh just an hour drive away, a large array of city delights is within easy striking distance.

    Accommodation

    The exceptional sixteenth century Aikwood Tower has been lovingly renovated to accommodate up to ten guests in authentic, relaxing and comfortable surroundings.

    Every castle has its own Great Hall, and while Aikwood Tower is modest in size, it is as warm and beautiful as any in the land. Dominated by its rare jogged lintel fireplace with unusual stonemason's markings, the Great Hall is the central room for converging with other guests and whittling away a fine evening of laughter, storytelling and debate.

    With exquisite furnishings, plush textures, animal skins on the stone floor and a large basket of logs to keep the fire going, guests are thrust into a magical space to enjoy lively nights and create new memories.

    While fellow guests may be busying themselves in the Great Hall, kitchen, garden or elsewhere, the Laird's Study provides the perfect space for enjoying a good book. The library of political biographies has been personally chosen by Lord Steel as examples of inspiring thinking and focus upon leaders of great will and determination.

    Whether it’s your day’s catch or fine beef from the local award-winning butcher, Aikwood Tower’s fully equipped kitchen and dining room is a fabulous place to prepare and enjoy the finest ingredients from the Larder of Britain.

    An array of cookbooks is available for guests to create fantastic meals.  A few classic recipes of Mrs Gladys Prickle, who entertained almost every day in this room, are certainly worth consideration.

    The gallery situated above the laich hall is housed in the old byre extension to the main tower building. Thought to be almost as old as the tower itself, it is where the trappings of modern living can be found ensuring everyone’s entertained, no matter the weather.

    With digital TV, DVD player and comfortable furniture to laze around on, kicking back to watch a late night film after a day in the great outdoors is a great way to unwind. There is also a desk, with laptop, for anyone needing to succumb to the necessities of modern day life. The gallery also houses a small bar for the mixologists among guests to shake up a fine martini or pour a warming dram.

    The Laich Hall is named after the ancient Scots word for lower hall provides fun and games aplenty for houseguests and an inspiring function space for other events. From giant jenga to table tennis and monopoly to twister there is a mix of delightful pastimes to keep even the most competitive of guests busy.  Pianists are welcome to jump on the ivory keys of the upright piano and keep the household entertained.

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    Local amenities

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    • Shell
      3.5 miles
    • Abbotsford House
      7.5 miles
    • The Co-operative Food
      7.5 miles
    • Costa Coffee
      7.5 miles
    • Marks and Spencer
      7.5 miles
    • Pavilion Cinema
      7.5 miles
    • Traquair House
      8 miles
    • McColl's
      8.5 miles
    • Lidl
      8.5 miles
    • Subway
      9 miles

    Reviews (7)

    Nigel ‐ 8 Nov 2018
    "Stayed at Aikwood Tower for a couple of days to celebrate a birthday with friends. Forget any idea of cold, damp or threadbare! This is a beautifully restored, high spec, luxuriously warm, spacious, delightful escape in the "wilderness" of the Scottish borders. Plenty to do in the surrounding area - walks, houses and gardens to visit, eatieries, or simply chilling out. Plus an interesting history, both from the days of the border raiding parties and more recently as the life long down time project of Sir David Steele and his family. Thoroughly recommend it!"
    Robin ‐ 22 Aug 2018
    "Our group had been planning a castle stay in the UK for around 10 years, and Aikwood did not in any way disappoint. This place is more amazing than any picture can describe, and Vicki and her family have done an beautiful job on it. We recommend lawn Jenga to anyone visiting the castle. We spent most of our time in the great hall, as it was so warm and inviting, and our family is always cooking something or other. The lounge areas are large and comfortable, rooms were clean and luxurious, and the bath tubs were the best bath tubs I have ever bathed within. If you want to pretend you live in a fairy tale, Aikwood tower is the place to make believe."
    Scott ‐ 14 Aug 2018
    "We got married here a couple of weeks ago. Aikwood Tower is a beautiful and unique locational to get married. Not only that - Vicki was so wonderful to work with and she worked so hard to make sure we were able to get what we wanted and for our wedding day to run smoothly. I had a stress-free wedding day as a result and an enjoyable stay at Aikwood. We had one of the best weekends of our lives and our friends kept saying to us how it was one of the best weddings they had ever been to. We were able to have a wedding that was bespoke and so personal and Aikwood will always be special to us. We can't thank Vicki enough and hope we can stay again!"
    Dave ‐ 27 Apr 2018
    "No words can describe this.... but I will try. Aikwood Tower, is the most amazing place I have ever stayed. I have always wanted to stay in a Scottish Castle with my family and with my 60th birthday to celebrate with my twin sister, I started searching. We were there for 3 nights and lived like landed gentry. We were in awe of this wonderful property, the history and the location. Vicki, who owns the tower, was so helpful and an absolute pleasure to deal with. All ten of my family didn't want to leave. If it wasn't for the pressure of returning to work, Vicki would have had to drag us out by our feet as we held on to the door frames! Beautifully and tastefully restored, with sympathetic contemporary touches, it is no wonder they have received architectural awards for the restoration. I can only say, you must visit - then you will appreciate what I can't out down in words. My father now wants to return for his 80th birthday - we will be back. And hopefully for a longer stay. It was an honour to experience Aikwood Tower."
    Ken ‐ 17 Apr 2018
    "Aikwood Tower in the glorious border region is an absolute gem of a place for a family gathering. It is a historic and impressive building by anyone's standards, but also wonderfully well equipped, with every comfort for visitors. It’s also, as you can imagine, a very robust setting for families. You are not walking on eggshells or over worried about the décor or arriving back from walks with muddy wellies etc. so ideal for our big group, plus the two dogs. The gardens are lovely as is all of the surrounding countryside. Cycling opportunities are many and varied from the front door - the borders really are one of the best areas of GB for cycling both on and off road. Little traffic and courteous drivers - the local people were very friendly and Selkirk has some excellent shops and sufficient supermarkets. An excellent butcher too. We went to a concert at Haining House Selkirk and it was obviously set up and organised by a local group who are helping with the hall and grounds - again, really nice people taking a pride in their community. The train from Tweed Bank to Edinburgh was well used by some of our guests and what good value it is on a lovely stretch of line. Edinburgh is less than an hour away and its far easier and cheaper than driving for a day return. There are lots of other attractions in the area but we had a lot of fun just staying in and around our stronghold! Everything was really well prepared and Tina was most welcoming on arrival. Vicki was so helpful also and we felt as if they wanted us to have a nice time and weren't listing rules and regulations. We had lovely flowers and Easter eggs and chocolates all round. Plus, some fantastic local bacon and sausage. We really enjoyed our stay despite the weather but then again, the hills looked lovely in the snow!"
    Jill ‐ 20 Mar 2018
    "Beautiful castle stay, surprisingly affordable yet still felt wonderfully decadent. Would highly recommend Oliver's Travels and will be booking again."
    Claudia
    "I'm not typically given to hyperbole, but I am having a hard time finding words that do justice to Aikwood Tower. It is simply gorgeous. The tower has been lovingly restored in a way that blends the charm of its history with the comforts of five star luxury accommodation. The gardens are beautiful, the views spectacular -- many times I stopped on my way to fetching a jacket or a book from one of the rooms to gaze out the window at a stunning vista and was so mesmerized that I completely forgot what I had originally been after. Owner Vicki is lovely and supremely helpful, and my energetic family -- three teenagers, and eight year old, my husband and myself -- felt welcome and very much at home. My young son had the adventure of his life exploring the many interesting nooks and corners of the tower and the delights of the gardens, including a play house in the orchard. Our stay was all too short, we were there a mere three nights but we filled the days hiking the hilly trails at Bowhill House and exploring the nearby villages. We are all in agreement that we cannot wait to return for a longer stay! Thank you, Vicki and family, for sharing this gem of a home with us and others."

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