Telephone dialling code for Jedburgh: +44 (0)1835
Local Population: 4,000
Ten miles from the English border is the attractive little town of Jedburgh, straddling the Jed Water at the edge of the northern slopes of the wild, barren Cheviot Hills. Jeburgh was strategically the most important of the Border towns, due to its proximity to England, and as a result received the full brunt of invading English armies. These days the only invaders are tourists. Jedburgh is the most visited of the Border towns and there are a number of interesting sights.
Sport and festivals around Jedburgh
Jedburgh's Common Riding, the Callant's Festival, takes place in late Jun/early Jul. In early Feb is the Jedburgh Hand Ba' game, a bruising and exhausting contest between the 'uppies' (those born above the Market Place) and the 'downies' (those born below), who endeavour to get a leather ball from one end of the town to the other. Visitors from south of the border may wish to note that the game used to be played with the heads of vanquished Englishmen. Horse riding is available for experienced riders at Ferniehurst Mill Lodge, Tel 863279, 2 miles south of Jedburgh on the A68. They offer accommodation and tailor-made riding holidays. The Royal British Legion Pipe Band and Jedforest Instrumental Band concerts which take place at The Mercat Cross, next to the Jubilee Fountain are teh other popular events worth checking out.
Local Sights & Activities for Jedburgh
The town is dominated by Jedburgh Abbey, founded in 1138 by David I for Augustinian canons from northern France. The site had much older religious significance, however, and stonework in the abbey's museum dates from the first millennium AD. Malcolm IV was crowned here and Alexander III married his second wife in the abbey in 1285. Their wedding feast was held at nearby Jedburgh Castle and, like the castle, the abbey came under attack during the many English invasions, most devastatingly in 1523 when it was bombarded and burned. Despite this, the abbey church is remarkably complete, particularly the tower. Excavations have recently uncovered the remains of the cloister buildings, and among the finds is the priceless 12th-century 'Jedburgh comb', which is on display in the excellent visitor centre which brilliantly tells the abbey's long and fascinating history. Info: May-end Sep daily 0930-1830; Oct-Mar Mon-Sat 0930-1630, Sun 1400-1630. £3.30, £2.50 concession, £1.20 child. Tel 863925.
Nearby, at the top of the Castlegate, is Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum, which was formerly the county jail. It was built in 1823 on the site of the 12th-century castle, which changed hands many times until it was destroyed by the Scots because of its value to the English. The displays in the cell blocks depict prison life in the 19th century, and there's an exhibition on the town's history. Info: Easter-end Oct Mon-Sat 1000-1630, Sun 1300-1600 £1.50, £1 concession. Tel 864750.
At the other end of the town centre is Mary, Queen of Scots House, a beautiful 16th-century building of rough-hewn stone which contains a small bedroom occupied by Mary during her stay at Jedburgh in 1566. She spent several weeks here recovering from illness after her famous 30-mile ride to Hermitage Castle to visit her injured lover, the Earl of Bothwell. The ensuing scandal was only exacerbated by the murder of her husband Darnley the following year at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. Many years later, during her long incarceration, Mary regretted the fact that she hadn't died while staying in Jedburgh. This episode in Scottish history is told through a series of displays, and there are various artefacts associated with Mary. Info: Mar-Nov Mon-Sat 1000-1630, Sun 1200- 1630. £2.60, £1.50 concession. Tel 863331.
Jedburgh Hotels & Accommodation
Also recommended is the Glenfriars Hotel, The Friars, Tel 862000, Email EdenRoad. A lovely Georgian house near the north end of the High St.
There are several B&Bs in and around town, but few can match the sheer style and value-for-money ofHunalee House , Tel/Fax 863011, Open Mar-Oct. This early 17th-century house is a mile south of town on the A68, set in 15 acres of gardens and woodlands. Also out of town and great value is Ancrum Craig, Tel/Fax 830280, Email Ancrumcraig Open Jan-Dec. A quiet 19-century country house 2 miles from the A68 near the village of Ancrum.
In town is the Kenmore Bank Guest House, on Oxnam Rd, Tel 862369, email Kenmore Bank Guest House, overlooking the Jed Water; and the more characterful Meadhon House, 48 Castlegate, Tel/Fax 862504, Email Meadhon.
There are a few campsites close to Jedburgh. 4 miles south of town on the A68 is the Jedwater Caravan Park, Tel 840219, open Apr-Oct. 5 miles to the north of Jedburgh is Lilliardsedge Holiday Park and Golf Club, Tel 830271, open Easter-end Oct; while the Elliot Park Camping & Caravanning Club, Tel 863393, open Apr- Oct, is a mile north of town.