A 16th century fairytale tower is the perfect place for a unique Borders staycation
We're all probably feeling like a much-needed holiday at the moment, given the turbulent last 12 months.
While we’re still being told to ‘stay at home’, with the vaccination programme continuing apace and the roadmap out of lockdown starting to become a reality, we can perhaps start to look forward to breaks again with a little more confidence.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that Scotland will be returning to a system of tiers, meaning that even when holiday accommodation reopens we may not be able to leave our council area.
Aikwood Tower, originally built in the 1540s, offers a unique getaway in the lush heart of Ettrick Forest.
The Tower’s entrance is via an enchanting walled garden and west door, where a spiral staircase leads you into the building with plenty of original features and artefacts from lives lived long ago.
The Great Hall has cosy furniture, a hearty fire and animal coverings on stone flooring, while next door is a reading study with panelled ceiling and books slected by Tower owner Lord Steel.
On the lower floor, the former byre (or cow barn) is the perfect venue for a celebration, with a gallery above offering comfortable seating, wifi, a television and a small bar.
Then there’s the Laich Hall, with lodas of games for all the family – including giant Jenga, table tennis, Monopoly and Twister.
The accommodation comprises five en-suite bedrooms, each bursting with individual character and style, along with four supremely comfy reception rooms.
You can opt for perfectly catered meals, or self-cater using the AGA-equipped kitchen, while the dining room, set in the vaulted ground of the tower, provides a stunning backdrop for serving up banquets.
Outside, the scenic and tranquil south-west facing walled garden is the ideal spot for relaxing, star-gazing or playing croquet on the lawn.
Aikwood Tower sleeps up to 10 people and is available to book at www.hostunusual.com from £1,800 for three nights.