Bemersyde guests are welcome to make full use of the stunning gardens, tennis court and estate for walking, cycling, fishing and nature-watching.
Bemersyde House is set in an estate of 1200 acres in the beautiful Scottish Borders. Ancestral seat of the Clan Haig for 850 years, Bemersyde is one of the few ancient castles along the Scotland-England border still inhabited by its founders, and has the atmosphere of a family home. The peel tower dates from the 16th century, and the east and west wings were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, providing light and spacious public rooms and accommodation.
The estate is in a designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and sits on a magnificent curve of the Tweed, itself an EU Special Area of Conservation, and one of the world’s finest Atlantic salmon rivers. The 80-acre policies around the house include walled and sunken gardens, river walks through ancient woodlands, a tennis and basketball court and the world-famous Scott’s View from Bemersyde Hill. Salmon fishing can be pre-arranged and guests can trout-fish after hours.
Bemersyde Moss is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) where you may see migrating wildfowl, otters and mute swans. Close to the house is the Covin tree, an 800-year old sweet chestnut, which served as a “trysting” tree, or historical gathering point. The night skies here are magnificent as there is no light pollution and the lichens that grow around the estate can only be found where the air is exceptionally pure.
Bemersyde’s celebrated owners have included Field Marshal Earl Haig – Commander of the British Forces on the Western Front during WW1 and founder of what has become the Poppy Appeal – and Dawyck Haig the second Earl, the renowned 20th century painter. Robert Haig, founder of Haig Whisky was born at Bemersyde in the early 1600s.
Notable guests have included Winston Churchill and JMW Turner. Following a visit by Sir Walter Scott with Rip van Winkle author, Washington Irving, Scott spoke of the “wizard spell” hanging over Bemersyde. He believed van Winkle was inspired by the prophecy of the 13th century- soothsayer, Thomas the Rhymer who foresaw that “Tyde what may and whate’er betyde, Haig will be Haig of Bemersyde”.
The people who work at Bemersyde are friendly and knowledgeable, some living on the estate. Bemersyde is an hour from Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed, one and a half hours from Glasgow and Newcastle, and eight miles from Tweedbank.