Things are being furiously typed and routes plotted back at RSHC HQ and we are tantalisingly close to launching http://www.ridescottishborders.com. Today we took a break from that and went on the MBTAG (Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group) FAM trip. This is a familiarisation tour to get a behind the scenes look at some of the fantastic businesses we have here in the borders, there are a lot of other providers and accommodation providers that go on these tours so a great chance to network.
A huge thank you to Jemma and her team at MBTAG they put together a great day and we met lots of lovely people that are passionate about the Scottish Border and the products they sell.
First stop was the New Woll estate and golf course for a welcome cup of coffee and fantastic shortbread before owner Nick gave us a guided tour of the fantastic facilities. They do so much more than Golf, a large conference and event facility and self-catering cottages on site it is a great venue.
On then to Ruberslaw wild camping where we went to see there, glamping safari tents tucked away in tranquil woodland and gathered around the fire in the main communal eating area. A beautiful setting and camping has definitely gone up in the world since my days under canvas (real heavy canvas with the Girl Guides in the days of yore!)
We then made our way to Jedburgh for a very informative guided tour with Georgiana Craster, we went to see the magnificent Jedburgh Abbey and learnt about the great value Borders passes, will have to get one of those as despite having Dryburgh abbey on my doorstep I still haven’t been there! (it also gets you into 4 other sites in the Borders) we then took a tour of the old town going to Mary Queen of Scots house and finishing with a very refreshing Kerrs Gin and Tonic (more on that later) or a cup of tea depending on your tipple at the Capon Tree restaurant.
Born in the Borders was next where we had a brewery tour and tried the sublime Lillards Gin, a good look around the shop, stopped and got some cake at the cafe before watching some of the group Grass sledging, I missed that bit as No1 Trail assistant was along for the day also so we went for a lovely leg stretch along the river to see if the Ospreys had headed to warmer climes yet.
A quick trip up the road to Bisley at Braidwood where we tried our hand at virtual reality saloon style shooting, air rifles and some clay pigeons, it has to be said there were some surprising cool hand luke shots in there Christine from Sunnycroft being one and Duncan from Scottish Classic tours being the best in our group.
The final destination in an action-packed day was the Borders Distillery, a guided tour and a few tasters at the end all added to a fun informative and very useful day giving insight to just a small selection of what is on offer in the Scottish Borders – Oh and I couldn’t resist a bottle of my new favourite gin Kerrs.