New research by VisitScotland reveals that almost half of Britons have never visited a Scottish castle, and the tourism organisation is now urging those missing out to put right that oversight.
And with almost 100 castles to be found in the Borders, it reckons here would be as good a place as any for Borderers to start fortifying their knowledge of our fortifications.
Fortresses to be found in the Borders include 13th century Hermitage Castle, near Newcastleton; 16th-century Fatlips Castle, near Minto: 18th century Floors Castle at Kelso, the largest in the country still to be inhabited; 16th century Thirlestane Castle at Lauder; and 13th century Hume Castle, near Kelso, the site of the death of King James II in 1460.
VisitScotland regional director Paula Ward said: “Castles are an iconic and integral part of Scotland’s history and culture. There is something unique and special about every single one of them, and each has its own significant story to tell, from Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, Traquair House, to the 16th century towerhouse at Mary Queen of Scot’s House in Jedburgh, where the royal stayed in 1566 after visiting her secret lover at Hermitage Castle.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to experience a Scottish castle in their lifetime, and with so many on their doorstep in the Scottish Borders, I would encourage residents and visitors alike to make it their mission.”