Galashiels, in the very heart of the Borders, makes a good starting point for your explorations of the area.
For fishermen, the salmon fishing on the River Tweed ranks amongst the best in the world, but we also have excellent sea and brown trout fishing, winter grayling, and sea fishing off the coast of Berwickshire.
With over 20 golf courses within an hours drive from Galashiels, the golfer is spoilt for choice. Take your pick from two courses in the town itself, Galashiels Golf club, and picturesque Torwoodlee. The Roxburghe, home of the Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open is a 20 minute drive away, or tackle Hawicks Vertish Hill, where the effort of reaching the summit is rewarded with spectacular views across the Borders countryside.
Cyclists are well catered for in the region. Mountain bikers can try their skills at the Traquair XC and Glentress, Scotlands largest mountain bike centre.
Walking in the Borders is a pleasure all year round. We have trails to suit everyone, from the long distance 212 mile Southern Upland Way, the shorter St Cuthberts and Borders Abbey Ways ( 62 and 65 miles respectively), day length walks through forests, along riverbanks across moorland and heath, and short strolls round picturesque parks, towns and villages.
Lindisfarne Castle- Holy Island
Spend a quiet hour among the heritage apple trees in the National Trust for Scotlands Priorwood orchard at Melrose, or in Harmony Gardens lovely veggie patch.
Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts should pay a visit to St Abbs Head and watch the thousands of birds on the cliffs home to guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars, puffins and herring gulls.
The colourful and turbulent Border Reivers left landmarks Smailholm Tower, medieval Neidpath and the brooding ruin of Hermitage Castle. The majestic Border Abbeys of Melrose, Kelso, Jedburgh and Dryburgh tell tales of the spread of the early Christians from Holy Island and the great abbeys of Yorkshire.
The area abounds in elegant stately homes. See Robert Adams beautiful plasterwork ceilings at Mellerstain, Paxton house, built for a German princess and Floors Castle, full of fabulous works of art, and with stunning herbaceous borders in the walled garden. Visit Traquair with its Jacobite associations (and micro brewery) also Bowhill amid acres of woodland walks.
Most of the Border towns have their own Common Ridings, a ritual undertaken by townspeople in the past whereby they would ride the boundaries of the town to protect their common lands against encroachment. Today, the Ridings are festivals celebrating local history and the community. Hundreds of people on horseback take part in various rides, and Galashiels own Braw Lads Gathering at the end of June each year sees the riders fording the Tweed near Abbotsford, and a sombre ceremony at the War Memorial.