Aikwood Tower has five en-suite bedrooms and can sleep up to ten guests. All the rooms are fitted out with Duxiana beds, the ‘most technologically advanced sleep system in the world’ and are made for lazy holiday lie-ins! All are accessorised with tweed throws, cushions and curtains from the local mills.
Four of the bedrooms can be made up as doubles or twins. Each room has a plentiful supply of towels, bathrobes and Aaron Aromatics toiletries. Travel cots and inflatable toddler beds can also be provided, plus there are two luxury put-up single beds available on request for larger parties.
Each of the rooms is named after an important figure-head from the tower's colourful history.
After the Second World War, Aikwood Tower passed into the ownership of the Dukes of Buccleuch, whose family home is the nearby Bowhill House. When the ninth Duke of Buccleuch – John Montague Douglas Scott – succeeded to the title in 1973, he became open to the idea of the decayed Scottish tower houses being restored to their former glory.
In the 1990s, two Ettrick Valley tower shells on the Buccleuch Estate were restored as homes – Kirkhope Tower at Ettrickbridge, and Aikwood Tower.
Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) invented the historical novel. He was the first English-language author to enjoy a truly international career during his lifetime. As a child he spent much of his time in the Scottish Borders at his grandfather's farm and drew inspiration from the Border ballads and folklore. His iconic home, Abbotsford, is just ten miles away.
Aikwood Tower itself held a fascination for him, as he placed the origins of more than one of his works here. In old age and failing health, his last outing included Aikwood Tower and nearby Ettrickbridge.
In his mid-twenties, David Martin Scott Steel was elected MP for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles at a 1965 by-election, becoming the youngest MP in parliament at the time. He continued to represent the local seat for over 30 years. But he had another ambition in addition to his political career - to restore a derelict Scottish tower - and this was made possible in the late 1980s.
With his wife, Judy, David spent twenty happy and productive years at Aikwood Tower. In 1997, when he was appointed to the House of Lords, he took the title Baron Steel of Aikwood.
Michael Scott is credited as Scotland’s first scientist, alchemist, sorcerer and astronomer. He is also one of Scotland’s forgotten geniuses... and the 'Wizard of Aikwood'.
Many legends about Scott link him with ownership of Aikwood Tower, including one regaling his transformation into a hare by the neighbouring Witch of Fauldshope, and his subsequent revenge on her.
Whatever legend may say, there is no dispute that a certain Maister Michael Scott became the first owner of Aikwood by virtue of a feu disposition in name of James V in 1517, and that he or his family built Aikwood Tower.
In the seventeenth century, Aikwood Tower passed to William Scott of Harden, beginning his family’s three-century ownership of it. He was the eldest son of the great Border reiver, Wat of Harden.
Wishing to emulate his father, William led a raid on Elibank Castle on the Tweed, home of Sir Gideon Murray. He was captured and threatened with hanging until Lady Murray intervened...could this young forest laird be persuaded to marry their plain-faced daughter Meg? William was given the choice: "There is your coffin, and there is your bride." After some prevarication, he chose marriage, and it turned out to be one of great happiness.