- Scottish Borders
infobox Scotland council area
Council= Scottish Borders
Size= 4,732 km²
Newtown St. Boswells
PopulationDensity=23 / km²
CouncilDetails= Scottish Borders Council
- Michael Moore
- John Lamont
The Scottish Borders, often referred to simply as the Borders, is one of 32 local government council areas of
Scotland. [ [http://www.direct.gov.uk/Dl1/Directories/DevolvedAdministrations/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4003604&chk=Lt2pXC "Local councils of Scotland", Directgov website] ] It is bordered by Dumfries and Gallowayin the west, South Lanarkshireand West Lothianin the north west, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothianto the north; and the non-metropolitan counties of Northumberlandand Cumbriain Englandto the south and east. The administrative centre of the area is Newtown St. Boswells.
The area was created in 1975, by merging the former counties of
Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshireand Selkirkshireand part of Midlothian, as a two-tier region with the districts of Berwickshire, Ettrick and Lauderdale, Roxburgh, and Tweeddalewithin it. In 1996 the region became a unitary authorityarea 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. [Notice of change of name of local authority area, "Edinburgh Gazette", 26 May 1995]
The Scottish Borders are located in the Eastern part of the
Southern Uplands. [http://www.visitsouthernscotland.com/]
The region is hilly, with the
River Tweedflowing 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 Seaat 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 Tweedbankare located.
Historically, the term Borders has a wider meaning, referring to all of the
burghsadjoining the English border, also including Dumfriesshireand Kirkcudbrightshire— as well as Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorlandin 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 people of the Scottish Borders are very proud of their heritage and often speak of themselves as "Borderers".
Although there is evidence of some
Scottish Gaelicin the origins of place names such as Innerleithen("confluence of the Leithen"), Kilbucho, and Auchencrow, which contain identifiably Goidelicrather 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
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
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 6 seats and the Independents have 5. 2 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 Parliamentto extend the Waverley Line, which would be a commuter service from Edinburghto Stow, Galashielsand Tweedbank. Today, the East Coast Main Lineis the only railway which runs through the region, with Edinburgh Waverley, Berwick-upon-Tweedand 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 main roads to and from the region are:
* The A1, which runs along the east coast from
Londonto Edinburgh; passing near Eyemouth.
* The A7 which runs north to south from
Edinburghto Carlisleand the M6; passing through Galashiels, Selkirkand Hawick.
* The A68 running from
Darlingtonto Edinburgh; passing through Jedburgh, Newtown St. Boswells, Earlstonand Lauder.
* The A72, which runs east to west from Galashiels to Biggar; passing through
Towns and villages
Abbey St. Bathans, Allanton, Ashkirk
Cardrona, Chirnside, Clovenfords, Cockburnspath, Coldingham, Coldstream
Denholm, Dryburgh, Duns
Earlston, Eddleston, Ettrick, Ettrickbridge, Eyemouth
Lauder, Lilliesleaf, Longformacus
Newcastleton, Newstead, Newtown St. Boswells
Selkirk, St. Abbs, St Boswells, Stow, Stichill
Teviothead, Town Yetholm, Traquair
Walkerburn, West Linton
Places of interest
*Dawyck Botanic Gardens
Dryburgh Abbey- Historic Scotland
Edin's Hall Broch
Glentress Forest- Forest Enterprise
*Harmony Garden -
National Trust for Scotland
Hawkshaw- ancestral home of the Porteous family
Hermitage Castle- Historic Scotland
Jedburgh Abbey- Historic Scotland
Melrose Abbey- Historic Scotland
Pennine Way- National Trails
*Priorwood Garden -
National Trust for Scotland
*Robet Smail's Printing Works -
National Trust for Scotland
Smailholm Tower- Historic Scotland
Southern Upland Way- National Trails
*St. Abbs Head
*St. Mary's Loch
St. Ronans Wells
Notes and references
List of places in the Scottish Borders
* [http://www.scots-online.org/grammar/sscots.htm Borders' Dialect]
* [http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/ Scottish Borders Council]
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