Horses in the Borders
National hunt racing takes place on a regular basis from October to May. There is also point to point racing in the Spring. Kelso is listed as 'Britain's Friendliest Racecourse', personal experience upholds this.
There are horse trials at Floors and Thirlstane and in the Summer every town has it's traditional common ridings involving massed horse rides to various destinations.
There are seabird sancturaries at St Abbs Head and the Farne Islands. Wildlife abounds throughout the borders, there are otters, ospreys and much more!
Fishing for trout and salmon is hugely important to our local economy and is justified by the fact that the river Tweed is the most productive river in Europe for salmon angling. All of the salmon fishing is privately owned (and most of the trout fishing) and is normally accessed directly through the owners, their agents or clubs or syndicates who lease the fishing. Outside Duncan House there is free fishing for brown trout and grayling from 'The Cobby' in Kelso.
We have plenty of tackle for guests to borrow and a range of Sonik fishing tackle available for test and trial. Generally tackle is readily available from Tweedside Tackle and Orvis in Kelso. Borders Gun Room in St Boswell's has a comprehensive tackle supply despite the name.
Orvis and Tweedside Tackle both hire fishing tackle.
Salmon, trout and grayling fishing on many beats can be arranged via Fishtweed. Their web site contains much valuable information about the river and is a useful resource. We have access to a number of beats that do not operate via Fishtweed and can often arrange fishing direct with the owners.
Locally operated Tweedguide offer a comprehensive package of guiding and tuition in the area. They also provide tackle if required.
Eoin Fairgreive (www.speycast.co.uk) is a superb casting instructor and guides parties of anglers to exotic destinations such as Argentina.
The Four Abbeys Way cycling route is best started and finished at Duncan House. Totalling 88km (55 miles) this circular cycling route is a popular excursion and is normally done as a two day trip. Starting from Duncan House you stay overnight in Melrose before returning to Kelso and a celebration.
For those wishing for a fully organised trip we will arrange all accomodation and carriage of your luggage while you go on and enjoy the journey. Prices start from £109pp (based on two sharing and two nights accomodation (2010)). Most choose to enjoy the experience and stay a further night to relax and wind down.
If you do not want the trouble of bringing your bike we can arrange cycle or tandem hire. Prices for the Four Abbeys are £40 for a bike and £100 for a tandem. We will happily arrange hire for longer periods if you wish to extend your stay.
If you want to travel here by train or by air we will arrange pick up from either Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station or Edinburgh or Newcastle airports.
Duncan House also sits on the Coast and Castles cycling route and is at the approximate halfway point between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Organised trips on this route are provided by Xplore Britain.
There is wonderful cycling throughout the Borders. The many side roads carry little trafic making it very safe. The are many signed routes including the longer Tweed Loop.
Duncan House sits on the Border Abbeys Way circular route making it an ideal location to start and finish your walk. This route os 109Km long (68 miles) and is normally done as a five day walk with overnight stops in Jedburgh, Hawick, Selkirk and Melrose before returning to Kelso.
We are happy to organise packages including accomodation on a bed and breakfast basis at each overnight stop together with onward transport of your luggage leaving you to walk with a day sack. Prices start at £249.00 per person based on two persons sharing a room.
Elsewhere in the Borders there is some wonderful walking to be had. There are many routes in the Cheviot Hills and the remote Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys offer the flavour of the Lake District without the crowds. Kelso is only 8 miles to the North of the end of the Pennine Way making it a perfect spot to wind down and celebrate your journey.
Other local long distance routes include the Southern Uplands Way and St. Cuthbert's Way. Please talk to us if you want a bespoke package.
The Borders are a dream location for the visiting golfer. The are spectacular courses on the Northumberland and Berwickshire coasts with both links and clifftop courses . Inland there are riverside, hillside and woodland courses. There are flat courses for the less able and challenging championship courses for the more able. It takes a little over an hour to drive to Muirfield.
We are happy to quote for tailor made packages.
It is possible to buy a freedom of the fairways golf pass covering all 21 of the Scottish Borders courses. The entitles the purchaser to either 3 or 5 days of weekday golf and up to 2 rounds per day. 2009 prices for 3 and 5 day passes are £88 and £120 respectively. If used at weekends tee times must be pre-booked and only one round per day may be taken. There are substantial discounts for junior golfers.
In Northumberland no golf passes are available but there are many courses and green fees can be very reasonable.
In short a Duncan House based golfing holiday offers a wide choice, you can choose your style of course and play it.