Friday, June 26, 2015

Free Fridays: Jedburgh

Jedburgh is a small market town in the Scottish Borders.  It lies just shy of 50 miles south of Edinburgh and only 10 miles north of the English border.  I've been lucky enough to visit on numerous occasions for work and always enjoy my time there.  It's steeped in history and has a host of great attractions to suit to a wide range of ages and interests.

Jedburgh Castle and Jail
Jedburgh Castle and Jail
Jedburgh Castle and Jail
Jedburgh Castle and Jail

Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum:
The museum plays host to the story of the Royal Burgh of Jedburgh through the ages, while the restored Georgian jail gives you an idea of what it might have been like to be an 1820s prisoner.    This isn't a pleasant thought at the best of times, but after reading about some of the prisoners during my walk round, I was determined to behave myself for the rest of my life.   You can wander in and out of the cells and try to stop yourself from closing the doors on your companions.   Or any noisy tourists/children you encounter.  I'm kidding, of course. You should only do this to your own children - don't do it to other people's.  You don't want to end up as a permanent resident in some other jail, do you?
The building itself is really impressive and you can venture outside and have a look at the towers and stonework. The grounds at the front are also very pretty and the site sits atop the hill, overlooking the town. Admission is free, but there is a 50p charge for the optional audio guide.  There's also an activity area and guide for children.   

Mary Queen of Scots House Visitor Centre:
Located on Queen Street MQoS House is a visitor centre, dedicated to the woman herself, who stayed in the property in 1566.   It's got a huge range of objects and artefacts, with a copy of her last letter being, for me, the real star of the show.   It's difficult to believe she was quite so tragic, but that's certainly the story. It's not depressing, though, just in case you're wondering: just factual.  Aside the stories in the house, the building itself is fantastic.   It also has impressive grounds and garden at the back, which are also free of charge to roam around.

Seasonal opening times apply and general admission is free, with a 50p charge for the audio guide or printed sheets (which are available in numerous languages).   

Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre:
Technically, this is located outside Jedburgh, in nearby Ancrum.   BUT, it's REALLY close and I'm including it, so there.    Harestanes is great for kids, with lots of open space, countryside walks, and a very popular play park.   It has a lovely visitor centre, with a full programme of events for 2015.  Any time I've popped in for coffee, there's always been an excellent exhibition in the gallery.   The cafe comes with a large outside courtyard and I've regularly seen visitors bringing their own picnics, so it's not one of those 'you can only eat what you buy on site' kinda places. This is always a purse pleaser; particularly if you have kids to feed and want to spend some family time out without having to remortgage your house.   There is also a range of craft businesses on site (these are independently run) and showcase some quality furniture and other goods.  Obviously, park admission is free, as is entry to the rolling programme of exhibitions.  This ensures there's always something fresh to see when you go.  It's a beautiful park, so just pray for some sun and you're good to go.  
Mary Queen of Scot's House
MQoS Visitor Centre Gardens
mary queen of scots house
MQoS Visitor Centre

No comments:

Post a Comment