Peebles is a small town in the Scottish Borders. The name is Brythonic: pebyll meant "tents" or a temporary dwelling place. It's a market town and had a textile industry, which (as in other Borders towns) collapsed in the late 20th C. It became a byword for provincial tranquility: to say somewhere was "like Peebles on a Sunday" was not necessarily a compliment. It's nowadays a commuter town for Edinburgh. The main reason to visit is Traquair House, and to walk the nearby hills and forests.
Peebles is 23 miles south of Edinburgh on A703. Borders Bus X62 runs every 30 min from Edinburgh bus station via Glencorse and Penicuik to Peebles, taking 70 min. It then runs east along A72, the Tweed valley, via Cardrona, Innerleithen, Galashiels Interchange and Tweedbank railway station to Melrose.
Borders Bus 91 runs five times M-Sa from Peebles to Stobo, Broughton and Biggar. Bus 93 runs four times M-Sa from Peebles to Blyth Bridge, Romano Bridge and West Linton.
Peebles main 1 bus stop is on Eastgate next to the post office.
You need your own wheels to reach Traquair, Kailzie or Dawyck.
- 1 Traquair House, Innerleithen EH44 6PW (7 miles SE of Peebles), ☏ . Daily Apr-Sept 11:00-17:00, Oct 11:00-16:00; Nov Sa Su 11:00-15:00. Scotland's oldest inhabited house, a fortified mansion in what might be called "very early Baronial" style. Has its own microbrewery, and is also an upscale hotel. Adult £9, child £4.50.
- 2 Neidpath Castle a mile west of Peebles is a L-plan tower house built from the 13th C. Admire the exterior, the interior can only be visited by special arrangements.
- 3 Kailzie Gardens, Kailzie EH45 9HT (3 miles south-east of Peebles on B7062), ☏ . April-Oct daily 10:00-16:00. Though Kailzie is open year-round, with spring displays of snowdrops and daffodils, the main draw is the 19th C walled garden open from April. £5.50.
- 4 John Buchan Story, High St EH45 8AG (Within Tweeddale Museum & Gallery). April-Oct M-Sa 10:00-16:30. John Buchan (1875-1940) was born in Perth but spent many holidays around nearby Broughton, and practised law locally. He's best known as the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps, but he went on to be Governor-General of Canada. This museum celebrates his life and achievements. Donation.
- 5 Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo EH45 9JU (B712 twelve miles southwest of Peebles). Daily Feb & Nov 10:00-16:00, Mar & Oct 10:00-17:00, Apr-Sept 10:00-18:00. 25 ha garden in the upper Tweed valley, run by the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh. The cool climate suits mountain plants from Nepal, China and Chile. Adult £7.
- Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Eastgate EH45 8HD, ☏ . Regular programme of theatre, stand-up, music & film.
- 1 Alpine Bikes Glentress, Unit 2, Glentress Peel EH45 8NB (off A72 three miles east of Peebles), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 09:00-18:00. Helpful shop does mountain bike hire and repairs. Lots of nearby bike trails, you can hire a bike and helmet for around £25 a day.
- Walk: Lots of nearby trails, including the 13-mile "John Buchan Way" from Peebles to Broughton.
- St Ronan's Border Games are held late July in Innerleithen, five miles east, along with the Cleikum Ceremonies a civic flummery. The next are probably Sat 10 - Sat 17 July 2021 but tbc.
- Innerleithen Music Festival is in mid-August. The next is probably 14-16 Aug 2020 but tbc.
- Several gift shops on or around High Street.
- Tweed Art (MacHardy's), 1 Biggiesknowe EH45 8HS (off High Street), ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-17:00. Small art gallery sells the work of local artists.
- Francos, Port Brae EH45 8AW (next to Parish Church). W-M 12:00-14:00 & 17:00-22:00. Great Italian restaurant, gets booked out at weekends. Splendid pizza and pasta.
- Prince Of India, 84 High St EH45 8SW. Daily 12:00-14:00 & 17:00-23:30. For an okay-ish Indian meal.
- Forsyths, 21-25 Eastgate EH45 8AD, ☏ . M Tu Th-Sa 07:00-17:00, W 07:00-13:00. Butcher and bakery, gets great reviews for its pies.
- County Hotel, 35 High St EH45 8AN. Belhaven pub popular with younger drinkers, with decent food.
- Bridge Inn (The Trust), 72 Port Brae EH45 8AW. The older generation tend to head to this pub.
- Neidpath Inn, 25 Old Town EH45 8JF. Has a good beer garden.
- The Cross Keys, 24 Northgate EH45 8RS. JD Wetherspoons pub. Nice when it's hot as it has a good beer garden.
- A variety of ales are brewed at nearby Traquair House, using original 18th-C techniques and equipment found beneath the chapel. They're cockle-warming stuff on a cold night.
- Many guest houses dotted all over the town.
- The Tontine on High St gets good reviews for comfort and dining.
- 1 Peebles Hydro, Innerleithen Rd EH45 8LX (east edge of town), ☏ . Vast edifice now owned by Crieff Hydro, both of which originally offered dubious "water cures". Recently refurbished yet visitors often still encounter tired, worn facilities. But lots of family activities eg kids' club, swimming, horse riding. B&B double from £120.
- 2 Cringletie House Hotel, Edinburgh Rd, Redscarhead EH45 8PL (off A703, three miles north of town), ☏ . Baronial castle hotel built 1861, with acclaimed Sutherland Restaurant. Occasional lapses but generally to a high standard. B&B double £160.
- 3 Stobo Castle, Stobo EH45 8NY (B712 ten miles southwest of Peebles), ☏ . Luxurious spa resort set in beautiful grounds near Dawyck Gardens. Full board double £300.
- 4 Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Cardrona EH45 8NE (Off A72 four miles east of town). "4-star" going on 3, with golf course and spa. B&B double £75.
- Caddon View is a gem of a guest house in Innerleithen.
- 5 Windlestraw, Galashiels Rd, Walkerburn EH43 6AA (On A72 east of Innerleithen), ☏ . Wonderful small hotel, gets rave reviews for comfort, service and food. B&B double £210.
- North to Edinburgh.
- B709 is a scenic lonely road from Innerleithen north towards Dalkeith and Edinburgh, and south via Traquair towards St Mary's Loch, the Ettrick Forest and (just as you'd expect) a Buddhist monastery, thence via Longtown to Carlisle.
- East to the great abbeys of Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Melrose and Kelso