The Scottish Borders has a number of attractive small towns and villages, each with its own unique identity, character and community spirit.
The biggest town is Galashiels which lies very much at the heart of the Borders region and is historically the centre of the tweed industry. Sitting on the A7, one of the main routes through the Borders, linking Edinburgh with Carlisle, Galashiels has a direct route to the other major towns in the area.
Hawick is famous for its fine quality knitwear including Cashmere. 'The Horse' at the end of the High Street is the 1514 memorial. This impressive equestrian statue commemorates the victory of local youths over English invaders at nearby Hornshole in 1514, barely a year after the disaster at Flodden.
The Historic Royal Burgh of Jedburgh lies 10 miles north of the border with England. Romans passed by here and established a settlement around 845 AD by the Bishop of Lindisfarne. In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots stayed in Jedburgh at a house which now tells the story of her tragic life.
The town of Kelso lies at the junction of two rivers – the Tweed and the Teviot. The spacious Kelso Square claims to be the largest town square in Scotland. At its centre is still the Bull Ring, a reminder of the traditional market days, now past, the square is now host to many fine specialist shops.
The triple peaks of the Eildon Hills are the most distinctive single landmark in the Scottish Borders. At their feet in the valley of the River Tweed lies Melrose, birthplace of the game of Rugby Sevens. The area around Melrose has been inhabited for thousands of years.
The Ancient and Royal Burgh of Selkirk stands high above the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys. The famous novelist and author of such classics such as Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott was Sheriff here for 33 years. It was at the ‘Kyrk of Field’ in Selkirk that William Wallace was proclaimed Guardian of Scotland.
One of Scotland's Hidden Treasures, Peebles nestles in it's attractive setting amongst the hills on the banks of the River Tweed. On the outskirks of Peebles, the Glentress Mountain Biking Centre and nearby Innerleithen are offer some of the the best mountain biking in Britain, offering everything from beginners' trails to extreme downhill.
Innerleithen is also home to Traquair House which has been visited by more than 27 Kings and Queens including Mary Queen of Scots. Traquair house has a wonderful maze in its gardens as well as a working brewery producing the famous Jacobite Ale and Lairds Liquor.
Coldstream forms the natural boundary between Scotland and England. Once a rival to Gretna for runaway marriages, the town is best known as the birthplace of the Coldstream Guards.
Eyemouth lies a mere five miles north of the Border with England, where the mouth of the river Eye provides a natural harbour as well as an obvious inspiration for the town's name.
Nearby St Abbs is very popular with divers and at St Abbs nature reserve, you can see lots of different bird species. The coastal waters are unusually clear and home to spectacular underwater scenery and marine life, making it one of the top dive destinations in Europe.