Fancy a trip to Southern Scotland?

Scotland is a place on many peoples bucketlists, mainly for the wonderful landscape, beautiful scenery and spooky castles. Don’t get me wrong, those are great experiences, but there are some free trips you need to take in Southern Scotland that will trump a lot of the expensive experiences.

Southern Scotland is close to England (duh) and can be reached in just a few short hours from big cities like Newcastle, or Edinburgh. Try these lesser known, and free, locations for a lovely afternoon in the Scottish countryside.

⦁ Climb the Grey Mares Tail

This 60 metre waterfall is located in the Scottish Borders, between Moffat and Innerleithen. The Grey Mares Tale is a waterfall, but also has a nature reserve and loch close by too.

The Grey Mares Tale

There is a path to the left of the waterfall which you can climb, and follow all the way to Loch Skeen. It is a great hike and is easy for families too. There is space for parking up, and staying in a campervan if you wish, at the bottom of the waterfall just beside the road.

The area nearby offers information about the waterfall and other attractions nearby.

Reading the information about the site

Visit St. Mary’s Loch

Another of my favourite trips you need to take in Southern Scotland is visiting St Mary’s Loch. This loch is only a short drive from Grey Mares Tale so the two outings can be combined as one. St Mary’s loch isn’t the most famous loch in Scotland by any means, but it is beautiful all the same.

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This loch doesn’t attract as many visitors as Loch Ness, so it can be for more enjoyable and relaxing. There is a stony beach leading to shallow waters making it fun to paddle in. There are boats at one part of the loch which you can rent for a while to get further out into the water.

The area boasts a nice shop nearby and there are several restaurants within driving distance if you wanted to find somewhere to warm up after a swim.

Get lost in the maze at Traquair House

You can visit the grounds of Traquair for free at certain times of the year. The house is owned by people in the British Royal blood line. There are a set of bear gates on one side of the land that the family have vowed never to open until another Stuart is on the throne.

Traquair House offers a lot of exciting things to do, but not all of it is free. You can visit the giant maze and get lost for as long as you want as you try to work our way back out!

Traquair lies only miles outside of Innerleithen. If you are visiting Grey Mares Tale or St Mary’s Loch, you will be passing the house on the way there, so can fit it all into one trip.

Peeking over the top of the maze trying to work our way out

Visit the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre

This Tibetan Buddhist Centre was the first of its kind in the West. You can go there for the day and walk the grounds for free. You can find it at Eskdalemuir near Dumfries.

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There is a cafe and shop, and you can partake in retreats if you wish! Day visitors can come between 6am to 9pm and can walk around and visit the peace garden.

That’s it in a nutshell what you can do in a short time visit in Southern Scotland! What are your thoughts? Have you been in these places?

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