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    Scotland Travel Guide

Best Places to Visit in  Scotland - The Borders

                                                                            The Borders  


Map of the best places to visit in Scotland showing The Borders

Map of The Borders Region of Scotland

The Borders    








The Borders  

  • The Borders is the name given to the Scottish side of the border between Scotland and  England.  For travelers touring by car this area is often their initial contact with Scotland. 

    Gently rolling hills, storybook vales, and smooth flowing rivers grace the landscape of the Borders with beauty and combine to convey a feeling of serenity.

    • The Borders region,  located in the southeast of Scotland, can offer a pleasant diversion during a visit to Edinburgh.  The area's main towns are an easy drive from Edinburgh and most feature interesting, historical ruins, attractive shops and a number of quality restaurants.

    • The Borders region is known as the "short weekend" capital of Scotland.  It is easily accessible (especially from Edinburgh), compact and filled with diverse attractions.  Few of the attractions are earthshaking or take long to see, but they are interesting and the time passes too quickly when you wander the Borders. 

    • The Borders area was once the textile capital of Scotland and you will still find sweaters, tweeds and other cloth goods in abundance.  Many of the villages now have economies dependent on the tourist trade, but seem to have done so in a manner that it not excessively commercial or even "out of place".

    • There is a lot of history to be discovered in this region, but doing so takes some looking and a little research before you arrive.  If not, you will stumble over a number of historically important spots anyway, none of them earth-shattering, but all are interesting, and most involving a historical name that will be familiar to you.

    • Golfing, fishing (the Tweed River), walking, hiking and cycling are highlights of the outdoor activities in this intriguing area of Scotland. 

Consider visiting:


Located on  the Tweed River, Melrose is known for the  finest of the four great abbeys built during the reign of David I, who is regarded by many as the first king of a unified Scotland.  The abbeys were attacked many times and subsequently rebuilt. 

During the sixteenth century, all four abbeys were destroyed by the English. After this last sacking of the abbeys, the Scots decided not to rebuild them.  Today, the hulking ruins of these former house of prayer add a dramatic flavor to the countryside in the Borders.

  • The ruins of the Abbey at Melrose are striking. The construction used  a reddish sandstone that adds a stunning depth to the ruins of the building.  Legend has it that a reliquary in Melrose Abbey contained the heart of Robert the Bruce, who was instrumental in rebuilding the abbey after an attack in the 14th century.



  •   Just down the road from Melrose are the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey (in St. Boswells), another of the four great abbeys that were constructed in the 12th century and destroyed by the British during the 16th century. While little remains of this abbey, its cloisters have been preserved and its church contains the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

  •  If you are a fan of Sir Walter Scott, his mansion, Abbotsford, is near Melrose and is a delightful place to visit, especially if you are familiar with his writing.    For information about visiting Abbotsford, see this site.

    • In addition, Scott's View, on B6356 near Bemersyde, is an overlook that provides what is claimed to be Sir Walter Scott's favorite view of the Scottish countryside.

  •   The town of Jedburgh sits alongside the Jed River.  Jedburgh is known for the Jedburgh Abbey, whose interesting Visitor Center details the lives of monks at the time the abbey was flourishing.  The town also contains a Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Center that is located in a house where Mary lived for a short time.

    • Jedburgh Abbey is an impressive building, even though only ruins remain.  Although the glass is missing, one of the walls contains the support structure for what must have been an impressive rose window that is known as St. Catherine's Wheel.  The ruins of  the Abbey include a three-story section that is quite impressive.




    Kelso is the village that Sir Walter Scott declared the loveliest in Scotland and it has a different feel than many of the other towns in the Borders. Kelso's Abbey was the largest of the four great abbeys in the Borders, but little remains of its grandeur.

    • Be sure to see the attractive European- style town square.

    • In addition, see Floors Castle (one mile north of Kelso) overlooking the River Tweed.  See this site for information on the castle and information about visiting.

    • Finally, visit the Mellerstain House (by William Adam) located on the edge of Kelso.  It is considered by many to be one of Scotland's most attractive Georgian homes.  The exterior and interior of the house are well worth seeing, as are the 200 acres of grounds.  For visitor information, follow this link.

  •     Selkirk is the home of the Selkirk Glass and its noted paperweight artists. In addition, Selkirk is located near some extraordinarily scenic areas. For more information, visit this site.

  • If you plan to visit this attractive section of Scotland, visit the official website for the Borders.


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Melrose Abbey in Melrose, Scotland Melrose Abbey



Links to the Best Places to Visit in Scotland


Highlands and Skye
Glasgow and the Trossachs











Jedburgh Abbey in Jedburgh,The Borders has an interesting history. Jedburgh Abbey





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