Welcome to the Scottish Borders and Scottish Borders Living

sbl-network-logoSpring in the Scottish Borders is here…

Explore a landscape strewn with sturdy hill forts, amazing ancient castles, some still standing, others in ruins, giving a hint of the tumultuous past of the region. It doesn’t always meld with the picturesque rolling, windswept, sheep-strewn hills and quiet valleys that may all seem agreeably placid to today’s visitor.

Frosty mornings still greet you, but the spring sunshine and fresh breezes can be the catalyst for days of exploration. Whether it is countryside glory or town centre wonder you seek, every day can bring enjoyable discovery.

There are many towns and villages in the region and each has a unique story to tell. History and heritage awaits your attention, buildings and monuments providing the information you need to help you learn more about their significant pasts. And, as you learn more and more you will understand the attraction that brings many repeat visitors to the area.

The month of May is jam-packed with events and activities, as the towns in the Scottish Borders gear up to a busy season ahead. Whether you visit one of the bustling seaside towns or the busy mill towns, you can expect the most glorious floral outbursts. It is just that time of year when the cherry blossom starts to offer a fragrant canopy and the rhododendrons have little buds peeking out with their promise of colourful delight and when wildlife begins to awake in the Scottish Borders and songbirds have a story to tell.

Blooming Gardens, country walks, and outdoor activities are the essence of May in the Scottish Borders region.  While the towns vie for the Scotland in Bloom accolade and start their amazing displays of flowers and hanging baskets, the countryside is glorious. We have some of the most amazing stately homes, abbeys and castles to visit and at this time of year, they are all refreshing their balustrades and pathways to welcome visitors.

For indoor entertainment, there is always the Heart of Hawick bringing you cinema and theatre in one venue. Melrose offers a Rugby Exhibition and a Roman exhibition in Melrose, and there are art exhibitions in Lauder for art lovers and concerts and community choirs galore for music lovers. It is all on offer in the Scottish Borders, where you can enjoy yourself and explore in a peaceful rural environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Scottish Borders Living links to the towns throughout the Scottish Borders. From this page, you can access each town, see what they have to offer as they each present a unique heritage, independent shopping, great eating and dining locations, places to stay and amazing produce. Take time to explore the towns of the Scottish Borders and learn more – you won’t be disappointed!

Scottish Borders Living is an exciting region-wide network of town websites, supporting towns, high streets, communities, businesses as well as the hospitality and tourism sectors.



The Hirsel Estate, located near the River Tweed, embodies all of Coldstream’s unique features.

For the fishermen among you, there is also the opportunity to fish for the River Tweed’s renowned Salmon ( book in advance).

If you’re in the mood for some unique history you can also visit the Coldstream museum, situated in the Market Square in the centre of Coldstream. With its fascinating permanent displays about the Coldstream Guards as well as the history of the town, it’s the perfect place to explore the past.

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Duns is lucky to feature many beautiful historical buildings which are perfect to explore.  Manderston House is a prime example of an Edwardian house with its extravagant rooms and sprawling grounds. On the other end of the scale is Hume Castle; with its ruined walls it paints the picture of a more simplistic thirteenth-century castle.

If you would prefer more of a structured walk, you are able to follow a trail through the grounds of Duns Castle to the top of Duns Law. Along the way you will be able to enjoy the quiet woodlands (watch out for Red Squirrels!) or feed the ducks at the man-made Loch Hen Poo, as well as gain the perfect view of the town of Duns.

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Eyemouth not only has many natural walks and wildlife, it also has a unique history. Gunsgreen House is perfect for immersing yourself in the history of smuggling and you can continue your journey through time with the smugglers by visiting Eyemouth Maritime Centre. The centre showcases the boats the smugglers commonly used, as well as the preferred vessels used by the revenue to catch them!

Looking to admire the landscape of the Scottish Borders coast then visit St Abb’s Head, a National Nature Reserve. You will be able to see the sheer cliffs which are home to large seabird colonies including 30,000 Guillemots, 5,000 Kittiwakes and sometimes you might even spot a Puffin or two.

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Galashiels is home to Old Gala Hous, the perfect place to begin your exploration of the town.  The exhibitions in the historic house tell the story of the early development of Galashiels as well as the history of the house and the people who lived there.

Galashiels will soon be connected to Edinburgh by the Waverley railway line that is currently being built and is within easy reach of many of the Border towns including Melrose, Selkirk, Innerleithen and Peebles.

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If you visit Hawick you will find it not only has tranquil outdoor spaces, it also features many buildings that will help you discover the Scottish Borders’ industrial past and explore how fashion and textiles have impacted on local life.

The Towerhouse shows off the history of the textiles in the area, but also proudly showcases how it continues to be relevant in the fashion industry. Tower Mill, which is an old weaving mill, now contains a brand-new cinema as well as a cafe. So once you’re done exploring the Towerhouse you can catch the latest films or relax and grab a bite to eat in the cafe.

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You can find Innerleithen in the Tweed Valley, with its amazing surroundings that are perfect for everything from walking to photography to its streets steeped in history, there is something for everyone.

Robert Smail’s Printing works, nestled on a street in Innerleithen, will allow you to get right into the history of printing. If you’re up for a workout and enjoy biking, you can also visit the 7stanes trails. For a more relaxing day there is the scenic Traquair House, originally a hunting lodge it now open for the public to explore.

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Jedburgh is a great location to discover the history of the Scottish Borders. As well as Jedburgh Abbey there is also Jedburgh Castle and Jail museum that lets visitors discover what it was like to be a prisoner in the 1820’s. No visit to Jedburgh would be complete without a visit to the Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre. The centre houses a number of items associated with Mary and explores the interest that surrounds her.

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Kelso is home to many historic buildings, from grand estates to crumbling ruins, they all provide an interesting insight into the history of the area.

Floors Castle overlooks the River Tweed and lies across the river from Roxburgh Castle, a fairytale castle with its multiple turrets and sprawling grounds.  Near to Kelso is Smailholm, home to Smailholm Tower. The tower is located on a high rocky outcrop the tower is surrounded by its ancient crumbling walls.

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If you enjoy exploring historic buildings and relaxing in the outdoors Lauder is the perfect place for you.

Lauder is home to the majestic Thirlestane Castle and also close by is the GreenKnowe Tower. The four-storey tower is built into an L-shape and still has its original iron gates. From its vantage point you can admire the tranquil surroundings before delving into the past of the ruined tower.

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Melrose is located at the base of the Eildon Hills and is also home to the grand façade of Melrose Abbey. Although ruined the abbey is still undeniably magnificent and features many beautiful examples of intricate stone carvings. Not only is the abbey beautiful, it is also thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, which is marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque.

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Newcastleton is surrounded by many woods and hills that are perfect for everything from walking to mountain biking.

Explore Hermitage Castle and the area around it, this winding trail is full of history and tales of witchcraft. While much of the information is based on legends and speculation, the ruined castle could certainly provide a mystical backdrop for the tales of intrigue surrounding it.

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Peebles is a vibrant area, with activities for everyone whether you want a peaceful stroll or an adrenaline rush. If you’re up for an adventure in Peebles, try Go Ape! Nestled inside Glentress Forest you can find Go Ape’s highest zip wire, which will have you zooming through the valley and over the reservoirs!

You can also wander around the Kailzie Gardens, these peaceful gardens feature a picnic area perfect for a relaxing lunch as well as a putting green for any aspiring golfers.

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If you’re planning a visit to the Borders and would like somewhere that combines winding outdoor trails with interesting local sites, consider the beautiful expanse of Selkirk.

You can visit Bowhill House and Country Estate and The Haining, two historic properties both of which are set in their own stunning grounds.  Selkirk town centre has a great mix of independent shops.

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West Linton – Launching 2019

The West Linton Living website will be launching in 2019.