The Scottish Borders region
The landscape of the Scottish Borders covering an area of 1800 square miles is characterised by green rolling hills divided by beautiful river valleys, the most famous of which is the Tweed. The river runs right through the region for nearly 160km from its source above Tweedsmuir to the sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. The section of the Tweed Valley stretching from Melrose to Peebles is where you will find a string of attractions from the ruins of Dryburgh and Melrose Abbey to the eccentricities of Sir Walter Scott's mansion at Abbotsford and the intriguing Jacobite past of Traquair House. Along with the towns of Selkirk and Galashiels these towns form the heart of the Borders region, whose turbulent history was, until the Act of Union characterised by endless clan warfare and Reivers raids. Consequently the area is strewn with ruined castles and keeps. This turbulent past is now remembered each year by the Common Ridings in June and July . Towns like Peebles and Selkirk hold celebrations normally lasting a week which include "ride-outs" where hundreds of locals ride horses around the burgh boundaries
The Peebles area
Situated just 20 miles south of Edinburgh, the busy market town of Peebles provides the perfect base for exploring this historical and beautiful region. Its busy and eclectic high street provides a range of good shopping facilities and a weekly market. Nestled along side the shops you will find art galleries, cafes and award winning restaurants; a museum, swimming pool and the wonderful Eastgate Theatre converted from an old church at the end of the High Street. Opportunities abound for walking, fishing on the salmon-rich Tweed and golf at local courses in Peebles, Cardrona and Innerleithen. World class mountain biking and Go Ape is available at Glentress Forest, 2 miles away and the extreme 7-Stanes downhill run is just a few miles away in Traquair Forest outside Innerleithen. Sitting proudly on the hill outside Peebles, you can visit the 14th century Neidpath Castle once visited by Mary Queen of Scots and to the east of Peebles some five miles away in the small village of Traquair stands Traquair House, the oldest continuously inhabited house in Scotland. Peebles hosts food, mountain biking, arts and music festivals throughout the year including the Beltane which lasts an entire week in June and features the spectacle of hundreds of horses being ridden through the town and culminates with the colourful Crowning of The Beltane Queen on the steps of the parish church.