A pretty Scottish Borders town with links to royalty, skirmishes as well as being home to some fantastic local food and drink producers, Jedburgh is a place to be excited about!

Jedburgh is a royal burgh, holding special significance for Scottish royalty including David I, who founded the famous Jedburgh Abbey in 1138[1], Alexander II, who gave the town its royal burgh status[2], and Mary Queen of Scots who stayed in the town during her short life. Since then, because of its close proximity to the English border and Scottish capital, Jedburgh has seen plenty of action.

Mary Queen of Scots house in Jedburgh
The house where Mary Queen of Scots stayed in 1566

Would that I had died in Jedburgh Mary Queen of Scots

Jethart and Callants

Jedburgh‘s original name was Jethart. Like many other border towns, Jedburgh, too, celebrates an annual common riding festival. In Jedburgh, it is known as The Callants Festival. The festival spans across most of the summer, starting this year on the 17th May at the town hall and ending on the 14th July with a ceremony of returning the sashes. Throughout the months there are several ridings including the Queen’s ride, which is the route Mary Queen of Scots took to visit the Earl of Bothwell at Hermitage Castle[3]. The first riding celebrates the alliance between Jedburgh and neighbouring town Kelso during the frantic years plagued by skirmishes from both sides of the border[3]

Dear Borderland! Blench na’ nor fear!
Oor Borderland, nae foe comes near!
Stand firm and sure; For Jethart’s Here!
Stand firm and sure; For Jethart’s Here! Words by G.F. Lenid traditional Callant’s Song Jethart’s Here!

A Town for Many

Jedburgh boasts an expansive array of activities to see and do in the town. As well as being to home to some fantastic independent shops, Jedburgh is home to some interesting historical sites including Jedburgh Abbey and Jedburgh Castle and Jail, which is believed to be haunted. Jedburgh Castle and Jail offer stay-overs at night so you can revel in the spine-tingling chill.

As well as being a richly historical place, Jedburgh is a popular place for sport, in particular, Rugby Union. Several players from the Jedburgh team have gone on to play at a national level for Scotland. The local team, Jed-Forest, is one of the oldest teams in the world[4].

Jed-Forest was established in 1885 and its home is at Riverside Park

Jedburgh is also a fantastic place for budding geologists. James Hutton, known as the founding father of geology, discovered interesting rock formations at various sites in the borders including one at Jedburgh which led to the belief that the Earth has evolved over a significant period of time[5] defying what had been accepted at the time. This theory is generally known as Hutton’s Unconformity[5]. A tribute to Hutton and his findings has been immortalised with a sculpture by Max Nowell at Inchbonny just outside of the town.

Producers From Jedburgh

As well as discovering interesting facts about Scottish Borders history, check out these local food and drink producers based in and around Jedburgh.

Born in the Borders

Born in the Borders is on the outskirts of the border town of Jedburgh. The basis of the business is as a visitor centre which boasts a shop, restaurant, outdoor activities and a chance to explore some of the Scottish Borders beautiful, unspoilt countryside.

Born in the Borders has its own brewery onsite where it creates a selection 7 different ales including the popular Foxy Blonde, an ale with floral and citrus flavours, perfect for this time of year.

The ales are the only ‘plough-to-pint’ bottled in Scotland. Other flavours, such as the Elderflower Ale, are created by foraging the local bushes and plants found on the complex.

A basket of elderflowers
Collecting locally foraged Elderflower for ale

Lilliard Ginnery

Although based on the Born in the Borders complex, Lilliard Ginnery deserves a mention of its own.

All the gin varieties are made in small batches within the micro-ginnery. The original gin boasts the diverse flavours of the Scottish Borders countryside and gives a taste to the beguiling turbulence which the border region witnessed across many centuries.

Serve Lilliard Gin with tonic water and serve with orange rind to bring out the botanicals within the gin. You can also try Lilliard Ruby Liqueur, ripe with the taste of local summer berries, and Lilliard Velvet Liqueur, with a taste of locally foraged brambles with vanilla.

Lilliard Gin in a field
Lilliard Gin captures the taste of the Borders

The gin is named after a local heroine called Lilliard.

A J Learmonth Butchers

Recently a winner at the Scottish Craft Butcher Awards for their sausage flavours, this local butcher on the high street is a prized shop in the town.

Learmonth’s offer special meat packs which are available to order and collect from the shop. They also offer a variety of local meats ranging from beef to pork and chicken.

Sausages on a plate
A J Learmonth Butcher’s are well known for their award-winning sausages

If you don’t live near, you can telephone order and organise a delivery straight to your door.

Jasper’s Original Jethart Snails

A classic Scottish Border sweet which is still popular today, the Jethart Snails show the links between the Scottish and French cultures over the centuries.

The sweets are mint-flavoured, hard boiled and in the shape of a snail.

A snail shell
The sweeties are shaped into a snail shell shape

You can find Jethart Snails at the local markets including Jedburgh Farmer’s Market which is on the first Friday of the month and Selkirk Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of the month.

Border Meringues

Border Meringues has its own establishment where it serves a vast range of sweet treats as well as light lunch and breakfast options.

Meringue with berries and cream
Enjoy delicious meringues and other sweet treats from Border Meringues

Set up in 2005, Border Meringues is as popular as ever with locals and visitors alike. You can also pre-order baked delights from Border Delights for special occasions.

Love What You Eat

Explore the fantastic, historical town of Jedburgh and discover some delicious local food and drink producers while you are there! There is something for everyone.

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References
  1. About Jedburgh
  2. Jedburgh
  3. Jethart Callants Festival
  4. Jed Forest
  5. Jedburgh's Artistic Tribute