The region of southern Scotland known as the Scottish Borders covers an area of about 1,800 square miles between the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian in the north and the English counties of Northumberland and Cumbria in the south.
Most of the main towns in the region, including Galashiels, Hawick and Peebles, are located in an area known as the Central Borders.
Galashiels, situated on the main A7 trunk road between Carlisle and Edinburgh, is a main commercial centre for the Scottish Borders.
Like many Scottish Borders towns, Galashiels is known for textile making and offers independent retail outlets selling the best of local produce. Galashiels also offers high quality cafés, restaurants and public houses and an abundance of high quality accommodation, including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation.
Close to the centre, Old Gala House is a museum and gallery that offers an insight into the town’s development and heritage, or, if the outdoors is more your thing, Galashiels is the ideal centre for walking or cycling in the surrounding area.
Situated approximately 14 miles south of Galashiels, Hawick is the largest town in the Scottish Borders, but with a population of just 15,000 it still manages to maintain an air of intimacy.
Traditionally, Hawick is the home of the finest cashmere knitwear in the world and offers numerous retail outlets selling top quality garments at factory prices. Wilton Lodge Park, which covers an area of just over 100 acres on the banks on the River Teviot, offers tree-lined walks and opportunities for more vigorous physical activities, such as football, rugby and tennis. The park is also home to Hawick Museum, which details the history of the town.
Approximately 15 miles west of Galashiels, at the confluence of the River Tweed and Eddleston Water, stands the town of Peebles. Peebles played a role in the Scottish textile industry until 1960s, but although a single textile mill remains, Peebles is now a dormitory town for Edinburgh commuters and a popular tourist destination.
The town offers opportunities for shopping, eating out and outdoor activities, including cycling, fishing, golf, horse riding and walking and a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.
How to get there
The Scottish Borders are well served by international airports in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, all of which are just an hour or two away by road and have direct connections to London and other European capital cities. The Scottish Borders is easy to reach by road from all directions, via the A1, A7, A68 and A697. Taxis, car and minibus hire and chauffeur-driven vehicles are available at the airports or from local companies. For more information on these services in the Scottish Borders region, have a look at www.edinburghtaxi.co.uk.
A region for all seasons
Away from its delightful towns, you can also take in the Scottish Borders’ rolling hills and moorland, or explore the charming Berwickshire coast, centred upon the historic fishing port of Eyemouth. So, whether you prefer heritage attractions, quirky shops, the great outdoors, or a bit of everything, the Scottish Borders certainly offers something for all weathers and all tastes.
Photo credit: Graham Soult
Check out the official Visit Scottish Borders website