Alexandra Henton makes a sporting pit stop somewhere that holds fieldsports and feel-good in equal measure
A sporting pit stop that holds fieldsports and a feel-good atmosphere in equal measure making it an essential destination for likeminded sporting enthusiasts. Read below for further details.
The planning before a trip north is usually quite simple; west coast or east coast. The former tends to play Tebay Services as a trump card, a beacon of lesser awfulness in the panoply of motorway services, followed by a stopover at the big Scottish hotel on the way up. The Borders and the east coast have until now lacked some hotel star power, but SCHLOSS Roxburghe (the hotel was taken over by 12.18, an investment management company, from the Duke of Roxburghe in 2018) has always marked itself as a comfortable, sporting place to stay with a decent golf course. However, after extensive renovation and in its new guise as a schloss, it will make the east coast/west coast choice something of a no-brainer.
Schloss is the German word for castle – and to make it into this rarefied territory there are distinct parameters, reveals Roxburghe’s Dominique Beer. There must be a hotel, golf, shooting, a spa and country sports. SCHLOSS Roxburghe is soon to tick all these boxes. In November this year, the 20-bedroom country house – already refurbished and bearing all the hallmarks of proper comfort, such as spacious rooms, Duravit bathroom fittings with tubs large enough to swim in, decent in-room coffee machines and luxury bedding – will add a brand-new wing incorporating 58 bedrooms, four suites and a top-notch spa, alongside both an all-day dining destination playfully named Charlie’s (a nod towards the current Duke and a rumoured overnighter by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745) and a further 12 cottages within the hotel’s 300-acre grounds, with an additional 30 coming next year. Enhanced but not excessive.
Happily, fieldsports remain at the heart of the hotel, from the decor to the distractions. There is a revamped gun/fishing room, complete with a pendulum firepit and available for exclusive use. Gun safes and lockers for up to 10 guests allow a shooting party (there are some exceptional local shoots, Floors for one) to retire after a day on the peg. Similarly, fishing parties can relax in private after a day on the river. Stalking is on site in the hotel’s own woodland (it has rifles too), and if you’re looking for somewhere to indulge a northern tour, the Jedburgh, College Valley, Duke of Buccleuch and Berwickshire hounds are all easily accessible. The shooting school will offer the chance to arrive a day early and get your eye in, the same with Eoin Fairgrieve’s exceptional fishing tuition.
This secluded corner of the Borders will soon have a unique place to stay that is both an essential pit stop on the way north and a destination in its own right. For the fieldsports fan, it offers exactly the right backdrop to brush up on sporting skills or to stay as a sporting party. It won’t stay a secret for long.
ON THE TEVIOT
Eoin Fairgrieve runs the Fly Fishing Centre (ffcentre.com) and is based at the hotel, which has access to the Sunlaws beat on the Teviot – an exceptional place to grab a morning or afternoon’s casting practice on the way to a week further north. Fishing days on Tweed and elsewhere can be organised, and there is a stocked loch within the grounds that is a great place to start beginners. Our afternoon lesson double spey casting was invaluable. Individual tuition starts from £40 an hour.
Accommodation available from £240 per room per night, including a full Scottish breakfast
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