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Galashiels Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Galashiels is the home to earthwork that dates as far back as the ancient Pict civilisation. There are also remains of an Iron Age fort to the north west of the town which was destroyed in AD 140 by the Romans. The Galashiels coat of arms depicts two foxes reaching to eat plums from a tree and the town’s motto is Sour Plums (pronounced soor plooms in Scots). It refers to the...Read more 1337 incident when Scots soldiers came across some English soldiers picking plums from a plum tree near Galashiels. All of the English soldiers were killed. Galashiels is known for textile making although their industry faltered after the First World War when the town lost 600 men, many of them at the Campaign at Gallipoli. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Galashiels is a burgh and major commercial centre for the Scottish Borders and is historically most famous for its textiles. The textile industry is in the midst of a revival due to the Heriot-Watt University School of Textiles and Design new generation of textile students. The University’s specialist textile school is located in Galashiels.

  • 3. Events

    The Braw Lads Gathering takes place every June and commemorates the history of Galashiels. The day sees riders parade through the streets on horseback and it began in 1599 when Galashiels received its burgh Charter.

  • 4. Attractions

    The Old Gala house in Galashiels is a museum and art gallery that was home to the Lairds of Gala for several centuries. The building is set in landscape gardens and shows travelling exhibitions throughout the year. Two miles east of Galashiels on the banks of the River Tweed you will find Abbotsford House which was Sir Walter Scott’s mansion. If you are interested in the tex...Read moretile industry them Lochcarron of Scotland is a great place to visit. The attraction offers tours of the mill and an insight into the production process as well as a retail outlet and coffee shop. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    The area boasts beautiful scenery that visitors can explore by bike, on foot or even on horseback. If you are feeling active then Galashiels is the place for you. For walkers and hikers there is the 212-mile Southern Upland Way and cyclists can join the 90-mile Tweed Cycle Way.

  • 6. Business

    Textiles still remain the main industry in the town. Galashiels is an important commercial centre for residents of the Scottish Borders and the town acts as a central communication point for people in the area.

  • 7. Transport

    Galashiels acts as the main transport hub for the Scottish Borders due to its central location. Galashiels can be reached by road on the A7 and from Galashiels train station you can get direct trains to Edinburgh, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Peebles.

  • 8. Entertainment

    Galashiels has many traditional pubs and restaurants that offer a true taste of Scotland. The town also has a cinema that shows all the latest releases.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Galashiels most famous landmark is the imposing Border Reiver statue that is the town’s war memorial. It is the work of local sculptor Thomas Clapperton, who has also created a sculpture of Robert the Bruce that stands outside Edinburgh Castle.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Robert Burns, the Scottish Bard, wrote two poems about Galashiels; ‘Sae Fair Her Hair’ and ‘Braw Lads’ about the annual Braw Lads Gathering.


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