South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland, United Kingdom
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Approximately 9¼ Hours
Every inch of the area of Scotland known as the Borders has been fought over, bitterly and often, from prehistoric times until the middle of the 17th century. Whole towns were sacked, hastily rebuilt, and heavily fortified after the lessons learned.
The Border country is a checkerboard of fertile farmland laced with wooded river valleys within a rim of undulating hills. Enjoy this peaceful region as you travel to Kelso, a compact market town, where two famous Border rivers, the Teviot and the Tweed, meet under the city walls.
You will visit Floors Castle, the home of the Duke of Roxburghe and the ancestral home of Tarzan, having been the location of the movie Greystoke. Built by William Adam between 1721 and 1725, this immense mansion, flanked by vast pavilions with minarets and cupolas, has an almost Eastern look. A tree on the grounds marks the spot where James II was killed by an exploding cannon in 1460. The apartments display an outstanding collection of French 17th- to 18th-century furniture, many fine works of art and tapestries, Chinese and Dresden porcelain, and a Victorian collection of birds.
Continue to Dryburgh and visit the abbey there -- one of a quartet of 12th-century Border abbeys founded by David I. Built in 1150, Dryburgh Abbey is today a beautiful ruin, but its cloister buildings are more complete than those of other Scottish monasteries. In common with the other abbeys, Dryburgh was ravaged by the English until 1545, when Hertford, acting for Henry VIII, left it a smoking ruin. It was robbed of its usefulness, but not of its tranquil beauty, nor its atmosphere of sanctity.
Look out for the tomb of Sir Walter Scott. The stately cedars that throw their shade across the grass were brought back from the Holy Land during one of the Crusades.
Lunch is served at a small country hotel, and your excursion continues with a further drive through typical Border country and scenery.
Arriving in Edinburgh, you'll take a panoramic drive along Princes Street, with its elegant shops on one side and the sunken gardens on the other side. See Edinburgh Castle perched on its lofty rock overlooking the Old Town -- the most ancient part of Scotland's capital.
Tour is available only on select sailings. Wear comfortable walking shoes.