Aikwood Tower offers a unique stay in the Borders countryside.

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.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:34 pm

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.

So here’s an idea for a stylish staycation without leaving Borders Council boundaries, while ensuring you stick to the Coronavirus restrictions you can find here.

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.

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