Scottish Borders | Town | ★★


Galashiels is probably quite far down the shortlist for most visitors exploring the Scottish Borders. No cavernous abbey ruin, few twee gift shops, and a distinct lack of fussy tearooms. But don't write it off: just because this former mill town has moved into the 21st century doesn't mean it's lost its charm. The busy centre has interesting architecture mixed in amongst the ordinary: an elaborate fountain and mercat cross, the striking Burgh Chambers and several impressive individual buildings providing evidence for its past importance. Old Gala House is up a side street and easily missed, with varied displays detailing the town history and showcasing the work of local artists; Abbotsford, former home of Sir Walter Scott, is a short drive away. Back in town, all the modern industry that's sprung up overlying traditional roots makes a quirky but refreshing change from the rather staid image you can get from other Borders towns. Quirky is also how you might describe the district coat of arms. This features two foxes stretching to pick plums from the branches of a tree, accompanied by the motto soor plooms (sour plums) - referring to a marauding English party who met their demise here in the 12th century when caught picking local plums.


Location & info

📌 Galashiels ★★
Scottish Borders, G.R. NT 493362 ///pixel.certainly.screamed

🚶 The town centre and museum are close to the railway station. Abbotsford is theoretically walkable but the route isn't very pleasant - it may be better to take public transport to Tweedbank and walk from there.
🚆🚌 Galashiels is an important regional transport hub, with trains from Edinburgh. Buses run on several routes to most towns in the Scottish Borders.
🚗 Some parking in the centre has a charge, with free street parking further out.

See & do (<1 mi away)

📌 Old Gala House Museum ★★
💬 Museum, gallery and general meeting place, housed in an attractive 17th century mansion.
Scott Crescent, 5-min walk south of the town centre, G.R.: NT 491359 ///cringe.surprised.pram
Open daily, June to August; Tuesday to Sunday, September & October; Tuesday to Saturday, April & May (2019) | Free

Nearby (1-3 mi away)

>> Abbotsford ★★★★ (2 mi ↓)

[Old Gala House]

[Displays inside Old Gala House]


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