Floors Castle Garden
Wandering round a garden on a sunny afternoon might not quite meet the criteria of "outdoor adventure", but Floors Castle Garden has such a wow factor that I really had to write about it.
The walled garden at Floors Castle was a regular favourite during the 1990s when my sister ran the garden centre and the children loved the play area and the chocolate cake in the coffee shop.
The garden centre is no longer there (my sister now owns Woodside Garden Centre up the road), but the playpark and coffee shop remain. Our visit was once again with the family: our daughter, her boyfriend, their dog and Peter's brother, Mike. We entered the park using the main drive from Kelso, giving you easy access to the grounds and castle, with a walk through to the walled garden.
It really is the walled garden which you want to visit - so if time is limited head straight for there. The walled garden is stunning, particularly in high summer. From the agapanthus border in front of the coffee shop terrace the path sweeps round to the spectacular hot bed. You then turn right-handed in to another long double herbaceous border. This takes you past the vegetable garden, which did look rather sad - perhaps due to the heat and lack of water, but a notice did mention rabbits too.
We then looked at a border full of alstomeria, part of a trial and then enjoyed the glasshouses, with soft fruit and spectacular delicate plants.
Finally we explored the new tapestry garden, which I loved - no straight lines, just plenty of floaty beds planted up to encourage pollinators, who were happily taking up the offer. It was buzzing with bees and hoverflies and some butterflies. This 4 acre walled garden is an absolute joy and whilst it is large there was plenty of ideas for planting up my much more modest patio garden.
Adjacent to the walled garden is the Millennium Garden, a formal garden set up in a French-style parterre. Not to my taste, but it did give plenty of space for the many families enjoying the Fairytale Family Trail.
It was well worth the £8 ground entry fee (concessions £7) just for the walled garden, but if you have time I would recommend taking the trails around the estate, one of which takes you down to the famous Junction Pool on the River Tweed.
Find out more about visiting Floors Castle here