Border Break 1: Longnewton and St Boswells

Mum in the cottage, June 2021

It has taken me a long time to even look at these photos from June 2021 when we spent a week in a cottage in the Scottish Borders with Mum, our last major excursion before her final illness. The break had originally been planned for 2020, but with all the various lockdowns it was postponed three times, and by the fourth attempt Mum’s dementia was worsening. We were worried that taking her to an unfamiliar place might not be a good idea and I was prepared to Mum-sit the whole week while John went off walking or cycling, but in the end it was a reasonable success. We went out for a drive together each morning, stopping somewhere accessible for coffee or lunch, and in the afternoons Mum snoozed while John and I went off walking on our own, being careful not to be away too long.

Greenknowe Cottage is in a tiny hamlet called Longnewton. It’s all on one level, perfect for Mum, apart from the bedroom John and I used which is up a spiral staircase and has a good view of the surrounding farmland. We found it very comfortable, with a helpful owner, and I would recommend it.

The countryside around Longnewton is pretty, and includes an interesting old graveyard.

The nearest village is St Boswells which we visited a couple of times, including a lunch stop at the Main Street Trading Company. With a bookshop, a café, and a deli, what’s not to love? Cute van too.

We also liked the Village Hall with its Edward VII lamp:

And the Polwarth Fountain, commemorating the first piped water supply to the village:

So having set the Borders scene, next time I’ll take you to some of its picturesque small towns.


  1. It is great that you have this beautiful photo of your mum to remember her.
    This little cottage looks nice as the little town. I am looking forward to read the next posts to see what you visited.


  2. A bookshop, a cafe and a deli – perfection! You had a great relationship with Mum, Anabel. Not everyone is so blessed but I know that does make the ending hard. Good to see her smiling.


  3. The cottage looks positively idyllic and I wouldn’t mind a few days there myself. Lovely to see your Mum smiling as well, obviously happy to be with you and John on that trip. My Mum and my husband died on the same date (not in the same year, of course) and in some ways that helps me cope on the anniversary as I can’t concentrate too long on either of them!


  4. It’s good that you were finally able to have that last break with your mum and it worked out reasonably well. The cottage looks lovely and I like that the owner will provide doggy day care if needed. I love the Edward Vll lamp, it looks quite ornate 🙂


  5. It does take a while to visit photos of lost people. Either that or your trawl through them immediately, crying.
    The cottage looks fab, and could fit me and the guinea pigs in on that nice floor. Shame a trip to the Borders would just be too long a drive these days – with the risk of hours of delays to factor in, too.
    Cheers. 🙂


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