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Smailholm Tower

By Sandyknowe Farm, Kelso TD5 7PG, Scotland
+44 1573 460365
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Review Highlights
Interesting place to visit

Been meaning to visit here for a while, finally got here on a beautiful sunny day so we were able... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Quirky-Bird-Gardener
,
Biggar, United Kingdom
Plenty of history, poetry, and great views

Well worth the short but steep climb from the car park for the history, the Sir Walter Scott... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
ambridge78
,
Derby, United Kingdom
Read all 164 reviews
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Sited high on a rocky outcrop, Smailholm is a small rectangular tower set within a stone barmkin wall. This 65 ft towerhouse was built by a well-known Scottish Borders family in the first half of the 15th century, and today you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside from Smailholm Tower’s battlements. Inside the tower is a model of this Pringle residence and a charming collection of costume figures and tapestries relating to Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders. It was the sight of Smailholm that fired Walter Scott's imagination when, as a young boy, he was brought up by his grandparents at the nearby farm of Sandyknowe.
  • Excellent54%
  • Very good33%
  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“working farm” (15 reviews)
“car park” (17 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 09:30 - 17:30
LOCATION
By Sandyknowe Farm, Kelso TD5 7PG, Scotland
CONTACT
Website
+44 1573 460365
Write a ReviewReviews (164)
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All reviews
"sir walter scott"
in 17 reviews
"working farm"
in 15 reviews
"car park"
in 17 reviews
"historic scotland"
in 11 reviews
"dryburgh abbey"
in 5 reviews
"spiral staircase"
in 5 reviews
"worth the climb"
in 4 reviews
"views are great"
in 3 reviews
"audio guide"
in 3 reviews
"off road"
in 3 reviews
"reception desk"
in 3 reviews
"rocky outcrop"
in 3 reviews
"eildon hills"
in 3 reviews
"pringle family"
in 2 reviews
"grassy hill"
in 2 reviews
"atmospheric place"
in 2 reviews
"knee replacement"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 157 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Been meaning to visit here for a while, finally got here on a beautiful sunny day so we were able to enjoy the views and appreciate why the tower was built where it was. Helpful guy on duty and although we didn't use the audio...More

Thank Quirky-Bird-Gardener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Well worth the short but steep climb from the car park for the history, the Sir Walter Scott connection and especially the views from the balcony. The gentleman on the reception desk was particularly helpful and friendly, advising us on where we could find lunch...More

Thank ambridge78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This tower surrounded by working farm seems so authentic. You can imagine how it felt to be on the borders when attack/war was a constant threat. Nice little hike from the parking lot and not too far off the main road.

Thank RABCDN B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If you are visiting the Scottish Border Abbeys, take some time to see Smailholm Tower. It is a five story 1400’s fortified tower perched atop a rock outcropping. This combination makes it possible to see 30 miles to Bamburgh Castle on a clear day. Smailholm...More

Thank YoAndLeighVisit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We started the walk from Smailholm, this was en route and a very pleasant stop. We were pleased to see it open, if you intend to visit check opening times. A very informative guide was on hand to answer questions. Wonderful views from the tower.

Thank Liz H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

It was a slightly overcast day when we visited so unfortunately couldn’t see to Bamburgh Castle from the top of the tower but views were still beautiful . A really atmospheric place, has you imagining what it must have been like as a family home....More

Thank Maus F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Great countryside and views - well worth a visit. £5 entry is reasonable. Worth the audio tour that takes a bit longer.

Thank Sam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2018 via mobile

Loved this tower! The floors are still intact! Great location. Sir WS was there to help his asthma. So much history there.

Thank Caroline H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2018 via mobile

I had visited here many years ago and had always wanted to come back. Home to the Pringle family for many years it stands proud on its rocky outcrop, the rooftop balconies giving great views of the surrounding area on a clear day. This isolated...More

Thank Tony L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2018 via mobile

A bit of a dreich day but the Tower is imposing on it’s prominence. As pointed out elsewhere a bumpy road up and my old knees rebelled at going up to the castle itself.

Thank Kandersteg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
Colin S
15 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Steve H | Reviewed this property |
Free from outside
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Lewis P
Only to comment on the Smailholm Tower. I read a couple German and one Dutch reviews of their visit - one noting that the place is 'not spectacular". I am a direct lineal descendant of the man who first built the place. For us, it is the Pringle Tower and was the principle family home for ~200 years, ending at the end of the 16th century. I wanted only to note that this was a private home, designed not to entertain visitors from the continent but to protect loved ones from a rough and dangerous environment. It served as protector to my blood and now deserves - in decent respect to its service - some greater appreciation of its purpose than these reports faintly suggest. Read a little about The Reivers of the time and you will come to a greater appreciation of why the Pringle/Smailhom Tower doesn't resemble Neueschwannstein or even Schoss Fuschl am Fuschl See. Es tut mir sehr leid dass mein Deusch ist so schwach and ich habe schwierigkeiten Woerten richtig zu buchstabieren.
14 September 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Lewis P | Reviewed this property |
Brief response to the two gentlemen (one from North Yorkshire and one from Blaydon)....... Sorry if I have misused this instrument. I had thought my views were solicited. If I have violated 'policy', I am sorry and... More
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