Peebles is the 3rd largest town in the Scottish Borders and is in close proximity to the country’s capital makes it a hotspot for tourists looking for an idyllic escape. Peebles was a town which was favoured by Scottish royalty, which is why it is known as Peebles the Royal Burgh by King David of Scotland since 1152. The town is popular because of its prolific medieval history as a Royal Burgh, marked by castle and priory ruins, cobbled streets and small alleyways leading to landmarks such as Parliament Square, which held an emergency meeting after the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Neville’s Cross.
It’s castles and forts saw much action during the Scottish Wars of Independence during the Middle Ages but remained relatively intact until a rampage by Henry VIII and Cromwell where the town was burned down and the important Niedpath Castle was destroyed. Despite this, Peebles has been a town that has enjoyed much peace compared to other Scottish Border towns and has been fortunate enough to keep its prolific medieval history alive.
Places to Visit in Peebles
Some notable old buildings in Peebles include Tweeddale Museum and Gallery, the ruins of Cross Kirk, believed to be built around 1296 but was sadly destroyed during an English raid during 1549 and the medieval Tweed Bridge be built during the 15th century. The bridge has received modifications over the years and is still a functioning bridge. The town struggled after the Union of the Crowns, after James VI moved across the border to London, with many inhabitants suffering from poverty and famine as a result of its forgotten Royal prestige. However, its close ties with Edinburgh resurged the town during the Industrial Revolution.
Another boost to the town came through the popularity of health retreats, as seen in towns such as Bath, during Victorian times. The famous hotel Peebles Hydro was constructed in 1881 and is still a popular destination for travellers and locals alike looking for tranquillity.
Peebles: A Town for the Arts
Nowadays, Peebles hosts many festivals and events throughout the year including the week-long Beltane Festive which celebrates its long history and traditions. There is also the annual Peebles Jazz Festival and Arts Festival. Peebles has also been recognised as a top independent retailing town in the UK for its town identity and range of independent shops. The town has much to be proud of.
Producers from Peebles
Here is a selection of fantastic local producers to discover when you are next in Peebles.
Tweed Valley Venison offers a wide range of game-based products ranging from venison scotch eggs, wild rabbits and charcuterie. All the game products come from the Tweed Valley, keeping things as local as possible. This is for you if you’re looking for more sustainable meat alternatives. You can call Tweed Valley Venison to order their products or find them at Peebles monthly Farmers Market every 3rd Saturday and Selkirk Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month.
Cocoa Black is a famous chocolate boutique and pastry school run by master chocolatier Ruth Hinks. Cocoa Black creates beautiful chocolates and patisserie available to buy from their chocolate boutique in Peebles and online. You can also enrol in a wide variety of patisserie classes run by top pastry chefs from around the world. Well worth a visit and warm up with a delicious, deluxe hot chocolate while you’re browsing the impressive treat-filled displays in the boutique.
Forsyth’s has been a family run business since 1938 with an interest in keeping things local and also using family recipes. Recently, they have appeared in the new advert promoting Scotch Beef. At the butcher’s shop, there is a wide range of products ranging from ready-prepped meals, pies and locally sourced lamb, from Manor Farm in Peebles, and all the beef and pork comes from Scottish Borders.
Next door at the baker’s shop you can find homemade bread including white pan loaf, spelt loaf and rolls. They sell homemade scones and biscuits all made on the premises too. These include Scottish Borders classics such as homemade shortbread, border tarts and Selkirk Bannock.
The Freewheelin’ Brewery Co, now relocated at the beautiful Peebles Hydro Hotel, has 3 new ales to showcase using the spring water available at the hotel. The new ales include The Cherub which is a blonde beer, The Runner Duck IPA and a ruby ale called The Badger.
If Richard has time, some guests staying at the Hydro can enjoy a tour around the micro-brewery. Keep your eyes peeled for more creations throughout the year.
As well as offering top quality poultry products, Linda Dick Chickens also sells duck eggs. Duck eggs are larger than standard chicken eggs and contain more protein so they are richer in taste than chicken eggs. All the chickens and ducks are free-range and benefit from being outside in the rugged Scottish Borders countryside. Her chickens have been praised by famous fans including Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsey. Her products are available at many bespoke food outlets so keep your eyes peeled. Nevertheless, you can email Linda Dick if you have any enquiries.
Love What You Eat
Visit Peebles and enjoy the luxurious treats the Royal Burgh has to offer. It is one of the most popular towns to visit in the Scottish Borders and was even voted to be the next place in the Scottish Borders to be home to its next distillery. Visit Peebles Farmers Market every 3rd Saturday and support some fantastic local producers.