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Pocket Guide: Scottish Borders

The lush and rolling landscape of the Scottish Borders lies just to the south of the capital of city of Edinburgh, and whether you’re exploring its expansive forests, trekking to the summits above its scenic valleys, or roaming across the heather-clad moorland, you’ll quickly discover this south-eastern region is both serene and full of important historical monuments, ruins, and sites of all kinds.

The geographical position of the Borders, as the region is more commonly known in Scotland, has played an important role in its history, as it does in fact border England to the south, and this partially explains the range of historic homes that can be found in the region, as well as important religious sites. However, it is not just history that the Borders offers its visitors today, as there are plenty of great outdoor activities to enjoy, from visiting wildlife sanctuaries and mountain biking through forests, to trekking the famous Sir Walter Scott Way, a 151km walk that will bring you past lochs, along Scottish coastline, and through valleys and moors, all while encountering significant places that inspired this famous Scottish writer. Whatever your reason for visiting the Scottish Borders, visitors will soon find themselves swept away by this picturesque countryside and its relaxed pace of life that makes it one of Scotland’s best regions to visit.

Discover the Expansive Ruins of the Borders Abbeys

The Borders is home to four grand and important abbeys, which make for some of the most majestic looking ruins in the country today. All of these great structures were built around the same time in the 12th Century, and each is settled amidst its own idyllic landscape. Kelso Abbey is the largest and most historically renowned of the abbeys, and it was the richest in Scotland for a long time until it came under cannon fire from the armies of Henry VIII during the Rough Wooing of the 1540s. Melrose, Dryburgh, and Jedburgh Abbeys, however, each provide their own wondrous character and design, and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who enjoys medieval sites.

Enjoy an Outdoor Adventure in the Borders

While the Highlands and Hebrides might be Scotland’s best known adventure destinations as they’re home to world-class mountain climbing and windsurfing, the Scottish Borders offer visitors equally spectacular opportunities to revel in a beautiful landscape. One of the most spectacular ways to explore the rolling hills and valleys of the Borders is to discover it on the back of a bicycle, along marked routes like the Four Abbeys Cycle Route, the Tweed Cycle Way, the Borders Loop, or the new Scottish C2C (coast2coast) route. The region is also home to two of the 7stanes mountain biking centres which can be found at Glentress & Innerleithen and Newcastleton.

Whether you’re looking to book a hotel and simply escape the nine to five for a few days, or want to include the Borders on your tour of this magnificent country, you’ll find it not only has plenty of great things to see and do, but its fantastic local restaurants, pubs, hotels, and cafés will also provide you with great traditional Scottish flavours and luxury amenities to enjoy along the way. Start planning your visit to the Scottish Borders, by simply using the Expedia search tool to research and reserve a room in this fantastic part of Scotland.

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