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Scottish Borders

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The Scottish Borders [1] is a region in south eastern Scotland adjoining the border with England, a fact which has heavily influenced the history of this region. In the days before the British union, this area was frequently fought over, and had a reputation for banditry and lawlessness. At the same time, the Scottish kings were keen to develop and embellish the region - their efforts are proably best seen in the four "Border Abbeys" to be found within the region.

Eidon Hill with three peaks

Today the Borders is best known for its wonderful landscapes, historic connections, summer festivals and friendly locals, though it is sadly often overlooked by tourists who often drive through the area to head to Edinburgh or further north.


Map of the Scottish Borders

Other destinations[edit]

  • Abbotsford - close to Galashiels, the home of Sir Walter Scott
  • Kirk Yetholm - northern end of 'The Pennine Way', a long distance footpath coming from Derbyshire



Many people speak localised Scots in this area, but you are unlikely to have any problems communicating as locals will be more than happy to speak in clear English to you.

An interesting feature of the Borders is that the natives of each town, especially the older residents, often speak completely differently to each other. For example people from the town of Hawick speak a vastly different way from those in surrounding towns such as Selkirk or neighbouring Langholm. Again there should not be any problems communicating as all people will gladly speak clearly and in plain English once they understand that you are not local.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

The Borders is served by the Borders Railway from Edinburgh to Tweedbank (for Melrose), which opened in September 2015. Trains are operated by ScotRail.

Alternatively, one could travel to Berwick-upon-Tweed or Carlisle and catch a bus from there.

By plane[edit]

No airports, so Edinburgh or Newcastle remain your best options.

By bus[edit]

Services provided by FirstBus, Munros or Perrymans between the main towns and villages.

By road[edit]

There are three main arterial routes through the Borders; the A1, A68 and A7, plus several minor routes.

A1 - enters Scotland just north of Berwick, a fast route up the east coast into East Lothian. Some bits are ven dual carriageway!

A68 - From the south, enters Scotland at the top of the Carter Bar, arguably the most spectacular of the border crossings. The road wends its way through edburgh, St Boswells, Earlston and Lauder and exits to Midlothian north of Soutra Hill.

A7 - The scenic route from Carlisle to Edinburgh, starting at Mosspaul in the south and passing through Hawick, Selkirk, Galashiels and Stow before entering Midlothian at Falahill. The A72 for Innerleithen, Peebles and Glasgow branches off in Galashiels.

Worthy of mention are the A708 from Moffat, which passes the spectacular Grey Mares Tail waterfall before journeying past St Marys Loch and following the Yarrow Water into Selkirk and the B6355 from Gifford into Duns, over the Lammermuir Hills

Get around[edit]

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Stay safe[edit]

The crime rate is very low in the Borders and the chances of you seeing any during the daytime are next to none. Of course this does not mean there is no crime. It is advisable to be sensible when out at night, avoid large groups of youngsters hanging about street corners, they are very unlikely to approach you or communicate, but it is best to be safe by walking on the other side of the road.

Get out[edit]

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