Cuil Darach is the 21st Century4 star bed and breakfast family home, situated on the edge of the ancient market town of Biggar. It has beautiful views to open countryside and rolling hills yet it is only 5 minutes walk from the High Street with its restaurants, pubs, hotels and shops. All sights within Biggar are within easy walking distance of Cuil Darach.
In Biggar, there are 5 museums, run by the Biggar Museum Trust, one run by the Biggar Albion Foundation, 2 parks and a unique Victorian puppet theatre. It was also the home of Albion Motors and this is remembered in one of the museums. It has the only working gasworks in Scotland and is open on several days in the summer months to demonstrate this old technology to enthusiasts.
Biggar is the home of the Albion Classic Car rally, the Volkswagen Owners Festival and the builders of the Biggest Bonfire in Scotland. William Wallace allegedly stood on the Cadger’s Brig to spy on the English Army. John Buchan came from nearby and made the area famous as the location of his thriller, ‘The Thirty-nine Steps’. William Gladstone's family originated in this town.
There is an 18-hole Golf Course at Biggar Park, together with tennis and putting. Permits are available for angling in the Clyde and Tweed. Numerous country walks are possible along tracks in the hills and at lower levels. There are regular classical, jazz and folk music concerts and dramas and the Biggar Little Festival held in numerous venues in the town during middles to end of October.
Our latest attractions are the redeveloped Little Mitchellwood Community Woodland which opened in 2006 and further along Langlees Road, the Little Quarry, a wildlife sanctuary, opened in 2008, both part of the Heritage Trail around Biggar. There is also the newly refurbished and updated Corn Exchange which is well worth a visit and maybe take in a drama, musical or panto.
At the bottom of the High Street there is the Cadgers Brig. Where William Wallace allegedly hid and spied on the english army encamped below.
There are a number of other attractions and activities available within a short driving distance:
- Dawyck Botanic Gardens, noted for its cold weather trees and other plants (part of Edinburgh Group of Botanic Gardens)- bring your camera or your paint brush!!
- Skirling Gallery where David Davies displays his works of art
- Little Sparta Garden, Dunsyre, home of the famous artist, poet and landscape philosopher, the late Ian Hamilton Finlay, where there is over 270 of his artworks on display.
- Stobo Castle which now operates as a health spa
- Neidpath Castle – medieval castle, erstwhile home of the Fraser, Hay and Douglas families.
- Kailzie Gardens – beautiful gardens where you can view the ospreys
- New Lanark – (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and lasting monument to Robert Owen, social pioneer and the falls of Clyde.
- Rosslyn Chapel - made even more famous by Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code"
- Whitmuir - The organic place, with foodhall, restaurant and art gallery.
This area of Scotland is a Painters’ Paradise, with inspirations from Cuil Darach itself through to Dawyck, Kailzie Gardens, the picturesque villages of Skirling and Broughton and beyond to Clyde and Tweed riverbanks and into the hills of this bonnie country.
Some of the Golf Courses within 30 miles:
Biggar, Carnwath, West Linton, Rutherford Castle, Lanark, Carluke, Arbory Brae Hickory Golf Links (Abington), Mouse Valley Golf Course, Mouse Valley Kames Golf Course, Peebles, Cardrona, Moffat, Glencorse, Lothianburn, Dalmahoy, (East and West), Deer Park and Pumpherston, Uphall
Other activities :
- Hillwalking (on our highest hill Tinto) and the Southern Uplands.
- Forest Walking and cycling on Forestry Commission sites – notably Glentress Forest
- Trout and Salmon fishing in the Rivers Tweed and Clyde. Permits are available locally.
- Touring around our historic sites including buildings, gardens and archaeological sites and other places of interest. (see below)
- Cycling the Tweed Cycleway – Biggar is the starting point of this cycleway. Bikes can be hired at a number of centres.
- Horsebackriding, pony trekking and Icelandic pony trekking, some through the forests and others through outstanding scenic beauty into the hills.
- This being a Borders town, Rugby football is the predominant winter game, with Biggar in the Premier League 2 and easy access to the International Rugby matches at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Places of Interest
There are a number of Gardens and Historic Houses to be enjoyed in the wider area:
- Traquair House and Gardens at Innerleithen, by Peebles – the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland, with history going back to the 12th century.
- Abbotsford House and Gardens, the home of novelist Sir Walter Scott
- Monteviot House and Gardens at Jedburgh
- 100 Aker Wood Visitor Centre at Melrose
- Queen Mary’s Gardens at Jedburgh and Mary Queen of Scots House, a museum refurbished in 1987, the 400th anniversary of the death of Mary
- The Teviot Watergardens half way between Jedburgh and Kelso
- Floors Castle and Gardens, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe
- Mellerstain House by Gordon, Georgian House designed by William and Robert Adam
- The Hirsel at Coldstream, the home of the Douglas-Homes
- Paxton House and Gardens by Berwick-on-Tweed
- Thirlestane Castle at Lauder, the ancient seat of the Earls and Dukes of Lauderdale.
If you don't want to pay Edinburgh prices, we are within easy reach of Edinburgh and all its cultural activities, its historic heritage and its sports facilities:
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Military Tattoo
- The Royal Yacht Britannia is moored at Leith
- The Usher Hall, The Royal Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre, The Playhouse The Queen’s Hall, The Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Traverse Theatre predominate at the Edinburgh Festival but there are over a thousand other venues playing hosts to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.,
- The Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle (where you can see the Scottish Crown Jewels) to Holyrood Palace, The Law Courts, St Giles Cathedral and The Old Town
- The Streets and Squares of Georgian Edinburgh
- The New Parliament Building
- Murrayfield – for Rugby Internationals, The Meadowbank Stadium for athletics
- The National Portrait Gallery of Scotland, The National Gallery of Scotland, The National Gallery of Modern Art, The National Museum of Scotland, The National Museum of Childhood and the National Library of Scotland are the treasure houses of Scottish culture, history and art.
- The Edinburgh Zoo
It is possible to start the search for your Scottish ancestors from local records through to the National Records Centre in Edinburgh.