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Over 30 of our staffed sites have now reopened and we are delighted to welcome you back. Booking in advance is recommended to guarantee entry. Find out more and book now

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Overview

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
  • Take our fun fact-finding quiz while exploring the tower or give our wordsearch a try. Available on site
Historic Scotland

Opening times

This site is closed. We’re working hard to gradually reopen the places you love while making sure the experience is safe for everyone.

Facilities

Awards & Accreditations

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