The Scottish Borders isn't just beautiful — it's a very romantic place that has inspired passionate love stories galore over the years.
So with this being Valentine's month, we thought we'd share three swooning tales with you (warning — you might need a few tissues)...
The tragic romance of Paxton House
On the banks of the River Tweed sits a grand Georgian villa surrounded by woodlands. However, what many people don't know is that Paxton House was actually built to woo a lady.
In 1750, a handsome young man named Patrick Home went abroad to study in Europe. While visiting the Court of Frederick the Great of Prussia, he met a young woman named Sophie de Brandt. Known for her intelligence and personality, she was also lady-in-waiting to the queen.
Patrick and Sophie fell in love but the King would not allow them to marry unless Patrick transferred his entire fortune to Prussia. However, Patrick's mother would not allow it. Patrick and Sophie had to temporarily part ways, but he swore to return to the court to marry her. She gave him her gloves and ring as mementoes.
Patrick toured Italy, then returned to Scotland after his mother was tragically murdered. Inheriting the family fortune, he commissioned the building of Paxton House as a token of love for his Prussian sweetheart. However, despite repeatedly writing to her and even travelling Berlin, he never got to see Sophie again.
The heartbroken Patrick refused to live in Paxton House without her and eventually sold it to his cousin. Both Patrick and Sophie died unmarried, but the pretty villa on the Tweed remains a lasting testament to their love. In fact, Sophie's gloves are still in the house, where they are framed and on display.
The lovestruck Maid of Neidpath
Also perched on the River Tweed is Neidpath Castle near Peebles, which is said to be haunted by a woman in a brown dress who is in deep mourning for her lost love.
The story goes that in the early 18th century, William Douglas, the Earl of March, had a pretty daughter named Jean. When the young Laird of Tushielaw paid a visit to the castle, he and Jean fell in love. However, the Laird was of a lower rank to the heiress, so they had to meet in secret in Ettrick Forest.
When Jean's father found out, he flew into a rage and forbade them from seeing each other. The young laird left to go abroad, while Jane pined away with unhappiness. She became so ill that her father feared she would die and summoned the young man back to marry his daughter after all.
Jean was so delighted that, despite her poor health, she went to wait for the laird's horse on the road. Sadly, her illness had changed her so much that her beau rode right past without recognising her. It's said that she died of a broken heart as a result and still haunts the castle to this day.
Years later, when Sir Walter Scott paid a visit and heard the tragic tale, he wrote a poem for the spectral Maid of Neidpath:
'The castle arch, whose hollow tone
Returns each whisper spoken,
Could scarcely catch the feeble moan
Which told her heart was broken.'
Sir Walter Scott
The strange tale of Tamlane's Well
This final story may not be 100% true, but then again, you never know...Scotland is a magical place.
It is said that many years ago, the grandson of the Laird of Roxburgh, Tamlane, fell from his horse and was whisked away by the Queen of the Fairies. She took a liking to him and gave him the job of guarding the woodlands of Carterhaugh, where the Yarrow and Ettrick Waters meet.
The bold Tamlane then made it a rule that young women could only pass through the forest if they gave him a piece of treasure or a kiss:
'O I forbid ye, maidens a',
That wear gold on your hair,
To come or gae by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam Lin is there.'
But one day, a young woman named Janet passed through the forest without any treasure and stopped to rest at the well. Tamlane appeared and demanded a token or a kiss from her, but she refused. He promptly fell in love with her plucky nature and she in turn fell in love with his charm.
After Janet fell pregnant, it is said that she bravely freed Tamlane from the clutches of the Fairy Queen. Believe it nor not, the old mossy well where the lovers first met can still be found at Carterhaugh woods to this very day...?
It's safe to say that the Borders has bags of romance. So why not create your own special love story by staying in our cute and cosy glamping pod for two?