IT has already won the title of Britain's most intelligent festival.

But Beyond Borders can now also claim to be one of the most entertaining.

Traquair House may have played host to 27 Kings and Queens of Scotland as well numerous other famous and infamous characters of history, but never before has it brought together such an extraordinary array of intellectual talent from all over the world.

Over the course the weekend guests discussed Flodden, the Jacobite uprising, the history of Istanbul, US race relations, Libya, Syria Brexit, Russia, Pakistan, South Africa, Columbia, Iran, Partition as well as listen to interviews with Harry Evans, Tina Brown, Nicola Sturgeon, Mandella’s cellmate Ebrahim Rasool and President Obama’s national security advisor, Salman Ahmed.

Elsewhere in the walled garden large crowds enjoyed the new music and arts programme, listening to the songs of Barbara Dickson, Heidi Talbot and the extraordinary tones of Palestinian singer Reem Kelani.

Others enjoyed taking part in dance, film and artistic workshops or just laughing to the comedy of Steve Richards in the evening sunshine.

Catherine Maxwell Stuart is delighted with the new additions to what was already a successful festival.

She said: "The new walled garden programme was an experiment but the feedback was phenomenal.

"People love the talks and debates but they also like to chill at lunch time, enjoy the grounds and listen to a bit of music."

Beyond Borders International Festival paid tribute to humanitarian work of one of Scotland’s leading and best-loved publishers, Stephanie Wolfe Murray, founder of Canongate Books, who died earlier this year.

Dame Harriet Walter read a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s The Book of Sir Thomas More on the humane treatment of those seeking asylum. This was followed by a reception and a performance of Palmyra in her honour.

Festival goers also had the opportunity to meet a range of female peacemakers from around the world as part of a 1325 Female Peace-making Fellowship Programme, funded by the Scottish Government and supported by the United Nations.

For veteran festival goer Chris Clarke it was a weekend to remember.

He said: “I don’t know how they get these people here but it’s a real privilege to meet them.

"What’s so wonderful about Beyond Borders is how inclusive it is. Everyone watches the talks and then mingles together in the beautiful grounds of Traquair.’

Perhaps the highlight of the festival was Nicola Sturgeon interviewing Tina Brown who shared her view on Trump, Hilary Clinton, Vanity Fair, Diana and her new venture women in the world.

Ending her session to roaring applause Tina commented: “I just want to say one last thing.

"I have been to so many live events – I do live events all the time - Beyond Borders is the most intelligent, well curated, fascinating festival.

"I can’t thank Beyond Borders enough for the wonderful, enriching weekend in the company of so many fascinating people in such ravishing surroundings.

"Beyond Borders is a fantastic initiative and one I want to stay close to as there seems to have so many synergies with Women in the World.”

Festival director and founder Mark Muller Stuart paid tribute to two journalists, former Sunday Times editor Sir Harry Evans and Dianna Princess of Wales biographer Tina Brown, who brought humour and insight to the bill.

Mark said: “Its we who should thank Tina and Harry. They brought such grace, charm and goodwill that it lit up the entire festival.

"Quite simply it was our best festival yet.’