Short car journeys from Rulewater Valley will take you to:
Born in the Borders has a lovely cafe, gift shop and walks along the river Teviot opposite Fatlips Castle.
Hawick where you can trace your family tree in the Heritage Hub, have a delicious snack and coffee at the nearby Tower Mill Cafe. Hawick has butcher's for fantastic local fresh meats, and also a Morrisons and Sainsbury's for a supermarket shop. It has a swimming pool a great library, Wilton Lodge Museum, where I hope the two-headed lamb remains forever on display, and the recently opened Play Park extraordinaire. To really see the town come to life, visit during the common riding, a celebration of heritage, heroism and the horse.
Hermitage Castle never ending windy rural roads magically unveil an imposing structure, the dark tower of Hermitage Castle. Which may or may not have actually been harled in white back in the day! Dominating the landscape, this castle has a fascinating history, including Lairds who practised the Dark Arts, and a visit from Mary Queen of Scots who lost her watch along the way!
Abbotsford House - home of Sir Walter Scott. An inspiring place indeed, with a terrific library of tantalising tomes. I love the entrance hall of the house itself, and the exhibitions in the visitor centre You can also see plasterwork replicas of gargoyles from Melrose Abbey.
A little further driving of just over an hour or so will take you to:
Berwick-upon-Tweed - for a stroll along Spittal beach with some fresh fish and chips. Wind up your evening at a live music night at the quirky Cafe Kizmiranda why, you can even buy a guitar from them too if you fancy joining in their open mic nights!
Newcastle-upon-Tyne - if you fancy a classical concert in an almost acoustically perfect music venue The Sage Gateshead is a note of tranquil beauty. The Quayside also features great restaurants and the Baltic Art Gallery to while away your time.
Edinburgh-upon-a-Time - the nation's capital. Edinburgh Castle is extremely busy, buy an 'Explorer Pass' from another Historic Scotland site like Craigmillar Castle to skip the queue!
The Grey Mare's Tail - a beautiful waterfall, only the brave make it to the top to see the mist covered shores of Loch Skeen. Watch those jelly legs on the way back down!
Alnwick - Barter Books housed in a railway station is filled from top to toe with second hand books, crackling fires and the smell of coffee in the air. Explore the beautiful gardens of Alnwick Castle.
Not too far away are the wonderful places Cragside, and Belsay Hall with awesomely beautiful gardens hewn out of the crags.