Fast, wide, tree-lined and fringed with grassy banks, the Tweed looks at its best at PEEBLES, a handsome royal burgh that sits on the north bank. The town itself has a genteel, relaxed air, its wide, handsome High Street bordered by houses in a medley of architectural styles, mostly dating from Victorian times, and ending in the soaring crown spire of the Old Parish Church (daily 10am–4pm; free) at the western end.
Halfway down the High Street is the Tweedale Museum & Gallery (Mon– Fri 10am– noon & 2–5pm, April– Oct also Sat 10am–1pm & 2–4pm; free), housed in the Chambers Institute, and complete with an art gallery stuffed with casts of the world's most famous sculptures.
Of the various walks through the hills surrounding Peebles, the five-mile Sware Trail is one of the easiest and most scenic, weaving west along the north bank of the river and looping back to the south. On the way, it passes Neidpath Castle (Easter & May– Sept Wed– Sat 10.30am–5pm, Sun 12.30–5pm; £3), a gaunt medieval tower-house perched high above the river on a rocky bluff. It's a superb setting, and the interior possesses a pit prison and a great hall bedecked with stunning batik wall hangings depicting the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.