Unveiling the Hidden Gem: Discovering the Treasures of the Overlooked Scottish Borders
Updated: Sep 7
If you’re looking for a destination for your next holiday or getaway that can deliver in many ways, then look no further than the overlooked Scottish Borders. Nestled amidst Scotland's renowned and famously picturesque landscapes, the Scottish Borders are a hidden treasure waiting to be explored. The area gives you a reason to look beyond bustling cities and spend some time in these tranquil lands that hold a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty. Get ready to experience an adventure that uncovers the lesser-known marvels of the Scottish Borders.
Take a Tour of Times Past
When you arrive in the Scottish Borders, you're stepping into a realm where history is present in every corner. Here, you’ll find the proud structures and relics of centuries-old tales of battles, victory, and times of old. There are so many things to do in the Scottish borders that you won’t know where to start. Hermitage Castle, for example, is a weathered towering stone bastion of the past, standing proudly over the moors. While you wander around, you’ll be transported back to the raging battles that once played out around it. From there, take a trip along the Border Abbeys Way, and you'll be spoilt with majestic abbeys that bear witness to the region's rich history.
For Nature Lovers and Those Seeking Tranquillity
The historical treasure is just the beginning when it comes to the Scottish Borders. The area also boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes that Scotland has to offer. The Eildon Hills are a trio of fascinating peaks that offer incredible panoramic views and vistas that capture the true beauty and awe of this region. The Tweed River flows through the area and confers a sense of serenity. A perfect way to destress and forget your troubles is to spend time along its banks, woodlands and even the charming villages that flank its shores.
For the Creatives Seeking Inspiration
The Scottish Borders have long been a muse for those with creative minds seeking to find their next inspiration. Towns like Melrose and Kelso will immerse you in artistic communities that celebrate arts and crafts in all its forms. Take a stroll through streets lined with craft shops and art galleries and let each piece inspire you while you draw from the surrounding natural beauty of the region. For the bibliophiles, The Borders Book Festival celebrates the literary heritage of the area, attracting thousands of avid readers and authors from around the world to engage with authors and their works.
For the Lovers of Outdoors and the Active
Adventure abounds in the Scottish Borders too. The area offers an array of outdoor activities that aim to highlight and make use of the region's natural bounty. If you enjoy spending time on a bicycle, The Tweed Cycle Way might be one of the most scenic cycle event routes in the world, winding along the river's edge and through charming villages and countryside. Golfers are spoiled for choice with the numerous golf courses, where you can play amidst stunning landscapes and create memories to cherish. Let's not forget the rivers that flow through the Borders too because they offer not only mesmerising views but also exceptional fishing spots for those who enjoy one of the most tranquil and relaxing pastimes of them all.
The Towns of the Scottish Borders
The Scottish Borders isn't just a region of landscapes and natural beauty. It’s also a region of enchanting towns, each boasting a unique experience and reason to visit. From the cobbled streets of Kelso to the historical heart of the region in Jedburgh, these towns offer not only a look at the area’s past but do well to highlight the present day too.
Kelso: A Perfect Union of Historical and Modern
Perhaps the most visited town to find itself on the banks of the River Tweed, Kelso has an irresistible charm. Famous for the market square, one of the largest in Scotland, it is full of life. Georgian buildings that offer a glimpse back to the town's prosperous trading past are everywhere, and the ruins of Kelso Abbey do well to the town's medieval origins. If you’re looking to explore both the history of the area and spend some time browsing through artisan boutiques and warm, inviting cafes, then a few days in Kelso is essential. Be sure to time your visit the annual Kelso Races to add a dash of excitement to your time in the town.
Jedburgh: Steeped in History
Jedburgh wears its history proudly, and as well it should. Here you’ll find the Jedburgh Abbey, a masterpiece of real Gothic architecture that overlooks the town's skyline and offers those that see it a glimpse at bygone era. One of the biggest draws of the town, The Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre, offers insight into the fascinating life of the queen and demonstrates and shows her mark on the Scottish Borders. You’ll also discover charming shops, tearooms, and the unmistakeable beauty of the Jed Water.
Melrose: A Dream for Creativity
Melrose should be first on your list if you enjoy the arts. It’s a true haven for creativity, thanks to the cobblestone streets that pave the way past galleries and workshops that are sure to bring out your artistic inspiration. The iconic Melrose Abbey, with its intricate stone carvings, has stood for centuries and inside its walls you’ll be transported to times of old. Here, you’ll want to make sure you’re in the town for the annual Melrose Festival, where music, art, and theatre are celebrated and do well to show off Melrose’s cultural heritage.
Peebles: A Tranquil Riverside Retreat
If its rest and relaxation you seek, then Peebles is the Town you’re going to find it. Another town situated on the banks of the majestic River Tweed, it’s a serene escape that offers a mixture of outdoor adventures with pure and unmatched tranquillity. The high street is dotted with shops filled with traditional curiosities and sell everything from outdoor gear to local crafts. The surrounding hills and forests provide a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and promises the most incredible days exploring the Tweed Valley Forest Park.
Spend any time in the Scottish Borders and you'll realise that there's more to this region than meets the eye. The Scottish Borders truly are a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. So, whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, an artist at heart, or an adventure seeker, these hidden gems promise an unforgettable experience that will linger in your heart long after you've left.