…and welcome to Explore the Borders – a multi-media news magazine written and designed to help you make the most of your visit to one of the finest regions in the UK.
The Borders, where England and Scotland meet, has something for everyone and exploretheborders.com is the perfect guide to help you plan ahead for your trip.
Our site is presented as a moveable feast of information, served up by experienced writers and photographers. Features and news are backed up by useful links to further information.
In addition we are developing comprehensive sections on accommodation and good food that will build into an invaluable companion for visitors.
The Borders is rich in history – a land that has witnessed armies marching north and marching south for over 2,000 years.
The first tramp of invading soldiers goes back to the Romans who left a unique (and still unfolding) legacy. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Roman Wall stretches east to west across almost 100 miles of northern England, from The Solway Firth to the River Tyne: a route dotted with beautifully preserved Roman ruins, museums and visitor facilities (hadrianswallcountry.co.uk).
It has witnessed armies led by William Wallace, Robert the bruce and Edward 1, the Hammer of the Scots. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s ill-fated 1745 rebellion set out from the Scottish Borders: he stayed in Jedburgh before setting out on a journey that would eventually end at Culloden.
Not surprisingly, the borderlands have a reputation as being the most fought over region anywhere in the UK and the Border Reivers did their bit to reinforce that reputation, bequeathing blackmail and bereave to the English language along the way.
Its historic abbey towns of Jedburgh, Melrose and Kelso bear witness to the cruelty and senseless destruction brought about by war and political reprisals down the centuries. Their abbeys, together with that of Dryburgh, are also a reminder of the important religious role the Borders played and why it is known as the Cradle of Christianity in the north. This is a region known for its saints – among them St Cuthbert, St Aidan and St Boswell – as well as sinners.
If it’s an active break you are looking for, the borderlands offers first class walking, fishing, cycling, horse riding, diving and mountain biking, while the lovely seaside setting at Coldingham is building a growing reputation for surfing.
It is a region, too, with a legendary sporting tradition. Melrose is notable as the home of sevens rugby and the Scottish Borders has long been at the heart of Scottish International Rugby.
Duns and Hawick are famous for producing world champions on four wheels and two.
Duns was the home of Jim Clark, a local farmer who went on to become a world champion in Formula 1 racing. And Hawick produced not one but two international motorcycling champions Jimmy Guthrie and Steve Hislop. All three are commemorated in exhibitions at their home town museums.
Stately homes, imposing castles, famous names – Sir Walter Scott, Harry Hotspur, William Wallace, Grace Darling, Robert Stephenson and Mary Queen of Scots among them - are all part of borderlands folklore.
The list also includes a newcomer and international favourite, Harry Potter. Fans will know that some of his exploits were filmed at Alnwick Castle but are maybe unaware that his Hogwarts school uniform was made in Hawick - the home of cashmere.
If you are arriving via the border crossing at Carter Bar pull in and take in the magnificent views northwards. Weather permitting, you’ll see the Scottish Borders laid out before you, a view that some say provided the inspiration for the Shire in JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit.
We hope this menu will whet the appetite and you will find information about all of the above and much more at exploretheborders.com.
There’s a warm welcome waiting for you in this exceptional part of the world and we hope your stay will be a memorable one.
And we would love to hear how you got on so drop us a line at email@example.com
The journey starts here - welcome to the brilliant borderlands.
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