Scottish Borders: Wikis


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Scottish Borders
Na Crìochan
The Mairches
Area Ranked 6th
 - Total 4,732 km2 (1,827 sq mi)
 - % Water  ?
Admin HQ Newtown St. Boswells
ISO 3166-2 GB-SCB
ONS code 00QE
Population Ranked 17th
 - Total (2008) 112,400
 - Density 24 /km2 (62 /sq mi)
Scottish Borders Council
Control Conservative/Independent/Liberal Democrat)

The Scottish Borders (Scots: the Mairches; Scottish Gaelic: Na Crìochan) is one of 32 local government council areas of Scotland.[1] It is bordered by Dumfries and Galloway in the west, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian in the north west, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian to the north; and the non-metropolitan counties of Northumberland and Cumbria in England to the south and east. The administrative centre of the area is Newtown St. Boswells.

Historically, the name Scottish Borders designated the entire border region of southern Scotland and, together with neighbouring areas of England, was part of the historical Borders region.

The people of the Scottish Borders are very proud of their heritage and often speak of themselves as Borderers.



The Scottish Borders are located in the Eastern part of the Southern Uplands. [1]

The region is hilly, with the River Tweed flowing west to east through the region. In the east of the region the area that borders the River Tweed is flat and is known as 'The Merse'. The Tweed and its tributaries drain the entire region with the river flowing into the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and forming the border with England for the last twenty miles or so of its length.

The term Central Borders refers to the area in which the majority of the main towns of Galashiels, Selkirk, Hawick, Jedburgh, Earlston, Kelso, St Boswells, Newtown St Boswells, Melrose and Tweedbank are located.


Historically, the term Borders has a wider meaning, referring to all of the burghs adjoining the English border, also including Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire — as well as Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland in England.

Roxburghshire and Berwickshire historically bore the brunt of the conflicts with England, both during declared wars such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, and armed raids which took place in the times of the Border Reivers. Thus, across the region are to be seen the ruins of many castles, abbeys and even towns.

The area was created in 1975, by merging the former counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire and part of Midlothian, as a two-tier region with the districts of Berwickshire, Ettrick and Lauderdale, Roxburgh, and Tweeddale within it. In 1996 the region became a unitary authority area and the districts were wound up. The region was created with the name Borders. Following the election of a shadow area council in 1995 the name was changed to Scottish Borders with effect from 1996.[2]

Although there is evidence of some Scottish Gaelic in the origins of place names such as Innerleithen ("confluence of the Leithen"), Kilbucho which contain identifiably Goidelic rather than Brythonic Celtic elements, the language has tended to be weak to non-existent in most parts of the region. Since the 5th century, there has been evidence of two main languages in the area: Brythonic and Old English, the latter of which developed into its modern forms of English and Scots.


There are two British Parliamentary constituencies in the Borders. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk covers most of the region and is represented by Liberal Democrat Michael Moore. The western Tweeddale area is included in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale constituency and is represented by Conservative David Mundell.

At Scottish Parliament level, there are also two seats. The eastern constituency is Roxburgh & Berwickshire, which is currently represented by Conservative John Lamont. The western constituency is Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale and is represented by Liberal Democrat Jeremy Purvis.

Control of the local council rests in the hands of a Conservative/Liberal Democrat/Independent coalition. The Conservatives are the biggest party on the council with 11 seats, the Liberal Democrats have 10. The SNP have six seats and the Independents have five. Two councillors form the Borders Party.


The region has no working railway stations. Although the area was well connected to the Victorian railway system, the branch lines that supplied it were closed in the decades following the Second World War. A bill has been passed by the Scottish Parliament to extend the Waverley Line, which would be a commuter service from Edinburgh to Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank. Today, the East Coast Main Line is the only railway which runs through the region, with Edinburgh Waverley, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle being the nearest stations.

The area is served by buses which connect the main population centres. Express bus services link the main towns with rail stations at Edinburgh and Carlisle.

The region also has no commercial airports; the nearest are Edinburgh and Newcastle, both of which are international airports.

The main roads to and from the region are:

Towns and villages

Part of the Scottish Borders Council offices at Newtown St. Boswells

Places of interest

Notes and references

  1. ^ Local councils of Scotland, Directgov website
  2. ^ Notice of change of name of local authority area, Edinburgh Gazette, 26 May 1995

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


The Scottish Borders [1] is a region in south eastern Scotland adjoining the border with England, a fact which has heavily influenced the history of this region. In the days before the British union, this area was frequently fought over, and had a reputation for banditry and lawlessness. At the same time, the Scottish kings were keen to develop and embellish the region - their efforts are proably best seen in the four "Border Abbeys" to be found within the region.

Today the Borders is best known for its wonderful landscapes, historic connections, summer festivals and friendly locals, though it is sadly often overlooked by tourists who often drive through the area to head to Edinburgh or further north.

Map of the Scottish Borders
Map of the Scottish Borders
  • Coldstream
  • Dryburgh - location of Dryburgh Abbey, burial place of Sir Walter Scott
  • Galashiels
  • Hawick
  • Jedburgh - location of Jedburgh Abbey
  • Kelso - location of Kelso Abbey
  • Melrose - location of Melrose Abbey
  • Peebles
  • Selkirk - location of Sheriff Court Museum, where Sir Walter Scott dispensed justice.
  • Abbotsford - close to Galashiels, the home of Sir Walter Scott
  • Kirk Yetholm - northern end of 'The Pennine Way', a long distance footpath coming from Derbyshire


Many people speak localised Scots in this area, but you are unlikely to have any problems communicating as locals will be more than happy to speak in clear English to you.

An interesting feature of the Borders is that the natives of each town, especially the older residents, often speak completely differently to each other. For example people from the town of Hawick speak a vastly different way from those in surrounding towns such as Selkirk or neighbouring Langholm. Again there should not be any problems communicating as all people will gladly speak clearly and in plain English once they understand that you are not local.

Stay safe

The crime rate is very low in the Borders and the chances of you seeing any during the daytime are next to none. Of course this does not mean there is no crime. It is advisable to be sensible when out at night, avoid large groups of youngsters hanging about street corners, they are very unlikely to approach you or communicate, but it is best to be safe by walking on the other side of the road.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

Scottish Borders


Scottish Borders

  1. (British) the areas of Scotland and England adjacent to the border between the two countries.

Simple English

Scottish Borders is a council area (region) in south Scotland. Its name is because it is on the border with England.

The capital city of the region is Newtown St. Boswells.


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