Smailholm Tower

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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. 

Opening times

31 Mar to 30 Sept:
Sun to Thur, 10am to 4.30pm (last entry 4pm).
Closed for lunch 12 noon to 1pm.

1 Oct to 30 Mar:

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