A place to live - Towns & Villages
Common riding at Hawick -
a number of towns maintain
the annual custom of riding
the 'marches' or boundaries
of the common land.
Part of charm of the Southern Uplands is the diversity and individuality of its historic towns and villages. Their unique characters are valued by their residents and visitors and are increasingly attracting new ‘home-grown’ businesses.
Girvan is a popular coastal resort
town, with a remarkable view of the Ailsa Craig.
Stranraer and Cairnryan are important ferry ports, transporting people and goods to and from Ireland. Whithorn is an ecclesiastical and pilgrimage centre, where St Ninian introduced Christianity to Scotland.
Garlieston, between 1941-44 Garlieston Bay was used to test components of the 'Mulberry' floating harbours. These were vital to the success of the 1944 D-Day landing.
Wigtown is Scotland’s ‘book town’ with enough books to satisfy even the hungriest bookworm and an annual book festival. Many generations of artists based around Kirkcudbright have been inspired by the western light and Solway scenery.
Dumfries is the focus of worldwide interest in Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.
Castle Douglas is famed for its high quality local produce.
Moniaive is a traditional village where three glens meet. The village was home to Annie Laurie, inspiration for one of Scotland's best known love songs, "Maxwelton Braes".
Moffat has revived its Spa history.
Gretna Green has a thriving marriage trade that dates back to the 18th century.
The Leadhills Miners Library,
the oldest subscription
library in Britain.
The Leadhills narrow gauge railway provides a trip
back in time.
In Wanlockhead the Industrial Revolution can be explored in the Museum of Lead Mining. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of New Lanark’s cotton mills has been fully restored as a living, working community and visitor attraction. The Falls of Clyde is a spectacular natural heritage site playing host to numerous birds, badgers, foxes, wildflowers and fungi.
Hawick is internationally famous for its fine quality knitwear.
Melrose, Kelso, Dryburgh and Jedburgh are the border’s four famous abbey towns. Melrose is also becoming one of Scotland’s ‘greenest’ towns with many local businesses obtaining the Green Tourism Business Scheme award.
Lauder, a 12th century royal burgh, still retains its medieval shape of a wide main street with two ‘back lanes’. The local motto ‘Peebles for pleasure’ relates to its popularity as a spa town.
Innerleithen has Robert Smail’s Printing Works.
Sir Walter Scott served as Sheriff of Selkirk for 33 years and its Common Riding in June is the oldest of the Border Festivals, dating back to the Battle of Flodden in 1513.
Galashiels prosperity came from its internationally renowned textile industry.
At Coldstream, the Tweed forms the border between Scotland and England, and its ‘Marriage House’ was, in its day, just as famous as Gretna Green.
Eyemouth’s fishing port dates back to the 13th century and every July a ‘Herring Queen’ is elected and crowned, symbolising the town’s seafaring traditions.
Dunbar has The John Muir House and Country Park, as it’s the birthplace of the great 19th century conservationist who emigrated and established America’s first national parks.
Biggar, here William Wallace crossed the Cadgers Bridge disguised as a peddler to spy on the English.
Lanark hosted the first meeting of the Scottish Parliament more than 1000 years ago.
Strathaven, a market town since 1450, was a Convenanters stronghold when Scotland was divided over forms of worship.
Blantyre was birthplace of David Livingstone the explorer and is host to the David Livingstone Centre.
Dalmellington was chartered as a burgh of barony in 1607 and has an ancient hillfort at its centre.
By Afton Water - New Cumnock
Kilmarnock is where John Walker established
a licensed grocery in 1820 and in 1907, this business produced the
whisky “Johnnie Walker”.
New Cumnock, an ancient Gateway to Kirkcudbrightshire, with Afton Water at its heart.
Ayr is a popular resort town, where horse racing has taken place since 1770 and whose racecourse hosts the Scottish Grand National.
Kirkoswald was home to John Davidson, the village souter (shoemaker) who was the original Souter Johnnie of Robert Burns “Tam O’Shanter”.