Duns Castle


Having driven for two hours in temperatures struggling to better -5 deg. C., I arrived in the Border town of Duns with perfect timing just as the winter sun was appearing over the horizon.

While it would be a wee while before its rays made much in-road to the town streets, I knew just where I should head first – to the top of Duns Law. And what a grand view there is over Duns Castle on the way.

In the 18th century, the Hay family of Duns Castle commissioned the formation of a large, man-made lochan. It was used for curling and is known as the “Hen Poo”.

Beautifully crisp and cold.

At this time of year, the lochan is generally teaming with ducks, other wild fowl and swans. Overlooking it from the hillside is a cairn which marks the spot where the original town of Duns stood before it was destroyed in the Border Raids of 1588.

Another cairn stands just below the top of the Law, commemorating the encampment of the Covenanters under General Sir Alexander Leslie in 1639.

This morning it certainly wasn’t any less cold on the top, but with the views extending as far as Norham Castle, the Kyloe Hills and Cheviot; away to the Carter Bar and Rubers Law, it just wouldn’t be right to visit Duns and not include climbing the Law and to stop off and say hello to the ducks on the way back.

Video of Duns Castle


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Willie Shand