Heriot Toun in summer

Welcome to Heriot Toun Studio, an artist's residency space for people looking for an inspiring space to work in a beautiful rural area.

Our award winning studio is situated within a working farm in the beautiful Scottish Borders. It's an all year round, cosy, eco-friendly workspace. Purpose-built, it provides workspace with accommodation under one roof (there's a twin-bedded room and a high level single bed accessed by a ladder) which is perfect for two, great for three, and ok for four with a foldaway bed on an occasional basis.  

There is wifi throughout.

Although we're slightly off the beaten track we're not far from Edinburgh and Borders towns making us easily accessible from all parts of the country. We have visitors from many parts of the world including the United States, Scandinavia and European countries. Most of our visitors are musicians and writers but it's by no means exclusive. We also have academics coming to work on projects as well as creatives coming to recharge the batteries. A list of our visitors can be found here:

It is light-filled, spacious and comfortable, and our hillside location provides lovely views out over the Heriot valley making it an ideal place for creative work. The studio is situated within a working farm, surrounded by open fields and livestock.  There are no local bars or restaurants in this rural area but there are several to try out if you have a car. (Suggestions/recommendations are in the studio folder when you get here.)

Please note - the studio is a 'clean space' ie it's regrettably not suitable for mucky stuff such as sculpture and oil painting. We offered the studio to painters for the first few years but there were very few takers so we settled on a non-mucky-stuff policy for the writers and musicians who mostly use it. There are no easels or painters equipment in the studio. Apologies to the messy folk! 


Heriot Toun Studio Exterior

Our Studio Objectives


The studio is perfect for a place to work on a project, or have a creative break in an inspiring setting. We aim to:

  1. Provide individuals or small groups with a peaceful residential space with the freedom to develop ideas and projects.
  2. Provide a hub for potential collaborations.
  3. Forge links with UK and international artists.
  4. Provide a comfortable, relaxing and welcoming place to charge your batteries, whatever you're up to. With miles of beautiful walking and cycling, there's something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors.
  5. Sorry but the studio is a clean space so not suitable for really dirty or stinky stuff.

We believe that art in the broadest sense is a universal language and we welcome creative people of all disciplines, nationalities, gender, religion. We're always open to ideas regarding connection or collaboration between cultures and countries so we welcome your comments and suggestions. 

We have the best of both worlds in that we have a peaceful, inspiring location in the beautiful Scottish Borders but are easily accessible by bus or car and isn't far from the city of Edinburgh. See our Getting Here section for more information.
(We have no bars or restaurants within walking distance but a good selelction if you have a car.)

Seasonal poems and prose

Each season we present the work of a poet or writer on the website homepage,  we also hang the work on the wall of the studio.

The Studio As A Gathering Place

The studio also works well as a meeting place for any group of people needing a venue for the day, e.g. the Director's of Reiach and Hall Architects in Edinburgh hold regular meetings here when they come for the day to discuss office issues. Arts groups such as CABN and Crossing Borders have held similar days in the studio. The fully equipped kitchen means you can organise you own lunches and snacks.

There's good wifi for internet and signal for most mobile networks, but no landline.

You don't have to be an artist working on a project to use the studio. It's also a space to just come and relax, be inspired and recharge the creative batteries. 

The Working Studio

The ‘working’ part of the studio (which is attached to the living part) has a floor area of approx. 40sqm and has wonderful light and space. It is heated by a wood burning stove. There are large north facing rooflights and glass sliding doors looking out over the Border hills, with interior roller blinds to diffuse any unwanted direct sunlight. There are two work tables (one medium and one large). The Studio has ample artificial light provided by a series of daylight spectrum striplights and directional spots. There is a large sink and drainer. 

Please note, the studio is a multi purpose 'clean' space and unsuitable for really mucky stuff.

We also have pretty good wifi for internet access in the studio. 

Immediately outside the glass doors is a timber deck which could be used as extended workspace for poetry readings, music or just relaxing, eating and drinking. Or if you want to sit by a campfire we have a space for that too under the Scots Pine and we'll give you some firewood.

At the back of the studio we have a horse trailer which we've converted to a wee sitooterie ie a cosy space to sit and read or think or watch the sunset.

 Above the studio with views to the west is our wee horsebox sitooterie for a summer breakout space to sit and read or enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset - or whatever takes your fancy.

There's a shed for storage if you want to bring your own bikes.

Close by, just down the hill a wee bit, we have a second studio which is Pat's workplace. It's not for rent but you're welcome to drop in and say hello.


Our beautiful rural area has much to inspire, the light is ever changing, the landscape gentle but stimulating. You can find old forts and ruins within a short distance, a winding river with woods to explore and miles of open space to get lost in. We keep a map in the studio to help you find your way.

Unfortunately we have no bars or restaurants within walking distance but we can recommend a few if you have a car.


The Great Outdoors

There's nothing like getting out in the fresh air to get the creative juices flowing, so if you fancy a break Heriot is brilliant for walking and we have miles of rolling hills to cross without having to encounter a road. (Although please remember to respect the livestock and keep gates closed and dogs under control.)

Likewise, our roads are great for cycling so if you want to bring your bike, go right ahead. There's space to keep it under cover and there's there's also an outside tap to hose it down if needed.


If you fancy mountain biking, Innerleithen and Glentress with miles of trails aren't far away: 




Heriot Toun Studio has received numerous awards over the years. One of the best awards though is the fact that people love it and keep coming back. You can't ask for more than that.

Nominated for Best Venue of the Year in the Scot Trad Music Awards.

This was an incredible year. Not only did the studio attract wonderful folk who produced some amazing work, but the studio itself won a staggering 6 AWARDS:

  • Winner silver Roses Design Awards ‘Best Small project’ 2007
  • Winner Scottish Design Awards Chairman’s Award for Architecture
  • Winner Commendation Scottish Design Awards ‘Best Residential Project’ 2007
  • Winner Commendation Scottish Borders Council Design Awards ‘07
  • Winner EAA ‘Small Projects’ Commendation '07
  • Winner Civic Trust Awards 2007 Commendation

It was also shortlisted for the RIBA Award for Architecture.


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