Once home to a Scottish poet, Morebattle is a sleepy village that would often remain undetected would it not be for the long-distance trail that runs through the middle of the village. In this edition of Secrets of Scotland, I’m sharing the history of this quaint village and some things to do in the area.
Morebattle is a delightful wee village just 2 miles from Cessford Castle. With cosy stone cottages draped in ivy, an 18th-century church, and a trickling river running alongside the village, this village is worth a slow wander on foot.
History of Morebattle in the Scottish Borders
Morebattle translates to “dwelling place by the lake”- a reference to Linton Loch, which was drained in the 19th century to improve the agriculture of the area.
Morebattle was home to Robert Davidson, who was known as ‘The Morebattle Poet’. He wrote about the lives of the poor living in the countryside. You can read informational plaques about him in the village centre.
At the centre of the village, you will find the Trysting Tree. This tree marks the spot of an ancient tradition, where the two chosen horse riders from the Border towns of Kelso and Jedburgh would meet, each followed by their band of horsemen.
Today the spot still marks celebration; each June the two chosen riders (the ‘Kelsae Laddie’ and the ‘Jeddart Callant’) make speeches by the tree, and there is music and dancing.
On Morebattle Hill, next to the village, is the site of an old Iron Age hillfort.
Planning Your Trip To Morebattle
What3Words location: ///mailboxes.staked.musically
Things to do in Morebattle
Nearby Wideopen Hill is a popular walk with locals and walkers of St Cuthbert’s Way. It offers spectacular views across the Scottish Borders and the Cheviot Hills- and is the perfect place for a picnic with a view on a nice day! There is a community shop located in the village where you can grab some lunch and supplies for your walk.
Visit Cessford Castle
Cessford Castle is a dramatic ruin, and was once home to the Ker family. I’ve written a guide on Cessford Castle which explains more about the history of the castle, and tips for visiting.
Visit the villages of Town Yetholm and Kirk Yetholm
Kirk Yetholm is home to a fantastic hotel and pub, The Border Hotel, which is a great stop for lunch, dinner, or a dram. The village also was once home to the Gypsy royal family- and you can stay in the palace!