Kelso trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Kelso is a market town in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. Within the boundaries of the historic county of Roxburghshire, it lies where the rivers Tweed and Teviot have their confluence. The town has a population of 5,639 according to the 2011 census and based on the 2010 definition of the locality.Kelso's main tourist draws are the ruined Kelso Abbey and Floors Castle, a William Adam designed house completed in 1726. The Kelso Bridge was designed by John Rennie who later built London Bridge.HistoryThe town of Kelso came into being as a direct result of the creation of Kelso Abbey in 1128. The town's name stems from the fact that the earliest settlement stood on a chalky outcrop, and the town was known as Calkou (or perhaps Calchfynydd) in those early days, something that is remembered in the modern street name, "Chalkheugh Terrace".Standing on the opposite bank of the River Tweed from the now-vanished royal burgh of Roxburgh, Kelso and its sister hamlet of Wester Kelso were linked to the burgh by a ferry at Wester Kelso. A small hamlet existed before the completion of the abbey in 1128 but the settlement started to flourish with the arrival of the monks. Many were skilled craftsmen, and they helped the local population as the village expanded. The abbey controlled much of life in Kelso-area burgh of barony, called Holydean, until the Reformation in the 16th century. After that, the power and wealth of the abbey declined. The Kerr family of Cessford took over the barony and many of the abbey's properties around the town. By the 17th century, they virtually owned Kelso.Kelso is in Scottish Borders. Take a look at our United Kingdom visit planner to refine the details of your trip to Kelso.
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Kelso
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Top Kelso tours
Rosslyn Chapel and Scottish Borders Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $43
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $63
Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes
Hadrian's Wall, Roman Britain & the Borders Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $55
Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes
Popular things to do in Kelso
Side trips from Kelso
Hidden gems in Kelso
Historic Sites in Kelso
Casinos in Kelso
Museums in Kelso
Duration: 2 hours
Places to visit with Kelso
Recently planned trips to Kelso
3 days in Kelso BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, teens, popular sights Preferences: June, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 4 days in Kelso BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, hidden gems Preferences: December Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 4 days in Kelso BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 10 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems Preferences: May, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 3 days in Kelso BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium