Historic Scotland
Buy tickets

Opening times

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm

1 October to 31 March:




Visit a place that inspired Sir Walter Scott. Ancestors of the great Romantic novelist had called the tower home, and Scott learned the power of border ballads as a young infant living on the estate.

What to see and do

  • Take in the completeness of the 15th-century laird’s residence – the four-storey tower house remains roofed and floored
  • See the foundations of the outer hall and kitchen next to the tower
  • Get up close to the substantial enclosure wall – a mighty defence with its walls 2m deep
  • View the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border exhibition – to see how Smailholm, Sir Walter Scott and his Minstrelsy are linked
  • Try to spot Bamburgh Castle, over the border in Northumberland, from the battlements
  • Call in at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, the final resting place of Sir Walter Scott
Buy tickets