A walking and cycling centre in the heart of the Scottish Borders, Galashiels sits alongside the Southern Upland Way and the 50 mile Tweed Cycle Route. Offering a choice of attractions, restaurants, pubs and independent shops, Galashiels makes the perfect budget base near Melrose for exploring the Scottish Borders and for accessing the world-class mountain bike trails of the 7 Stanes forest parks to the west.
Galashiels remains an important centre for tweed, tartan and cashmere, Lochcarron of Scotland is a popular attraction; it has a visitor centre, shop and guided tours. Because of its rich in textiles heritage, one of Britain’s most famous textiles universities, Heriot-Watt, has a campus here in Galashiels. Ample accommodation in the area caters well for university visitors. Other highlights include the great war memorial with Border Reiver horseman atop, created by the Scottish Borders sculptor Thomas Clapperton. Enjoy long-standing local events like the annual Galashiels Braw Lad’s Gathering celebrating the marriage of Margaret Tudor to King James 4th of Scotland in 1503 – her dowry from James included the local Ettrick Forrest.
If the weather is nice, walking to Scott Park, passing the Masonic Hall is a great opportunity for some scenic views. The line of cottages on the edge of Scott Park is Tea Street, the oldest part of town. The buildings, with the exception of the Interchange, were all part of the old Galashiels village. The next target could be the humble-looking modern block of flats called Church Square. Church Square could look like just another block of low-rise Council flats for many. They actually are... However, they are a Peter Wormsley design. A local architect, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright - who specialised in 1960s brutalist, modernist concrete structures. The flats were then named Church Square incidentally, as they are built on a space created by the demolition of the old Parish Church. The structure was the winner of the Best Local Authority housing scheme of 1963 in Scotland, at a time in which tenement flats were being torn down to a penny and replaced. Wormsley gave Gala two designs - these flats and the celebrated Main Stand at Gala Fairydean Rovers FC. Visiting "The Stand " later in your day would be a great idea as the stadium will make you feel as being part of the Borders’ community. The San Siro of the Borders is just a few minutes walk away from Church Square. During the visit, you will be delighted by the view of the grand Victoria villas nearby. They prove the success and proceeds received from the woollen trade. Companies and entrepreneurs began to build these big houses, where only the fortunate ones got to live in them.
Visit the free entry Old Gala House museum in Galashiels exploring the history of the five-century old house and the town’s heritage. You’re conveniently placed in Galashiels accommodation for the delights of Border Abbey town Melrose just 2 miles to the east of Galashiels, featuring the heritage home of Sir Walter Scott – Abbotsford – and the spectacular ruins of Melrose Abbey. Many guests head off to Melrose along The Borders Abbeys Way following the path of the River Tweed to Melrose and Dryburgh beyond. This is definitely the perfect place to stay in the heart of the Scottish Borders. Contact us to request more information or to book your perfect holiday.