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Galashiels Travel Guide - Scotland

Located on the Scottish Borders, Galashiels is a town of close to 13,000 people. It lies along the banks of both the Gala River and the River Tweed. This town is the main commercial centre for the region. The history of the town dates back many centuries with the pilgrimages to the Border Abbeys and it was granted a burgh charter in 1599. It is located quite close to Edinburgh, so you shouldn't have much difficulty reaching this destination.

Today when you visit Galashiels, you can see the remains of an earthwork ditch that dates back to the time of the Picts. No one is quite sure what purpose it served, but it does extend south for many miles and is of varying heights and breadths. Torwoodlee is another historic site just north of the town, which was once the site of a fort built by the Romans in 140 A.D.

The Galashiels' town crest bears witness to an event that took place almost 700 years ago. The crest shows a fox trying to reach the plums on a tree and is the reminder of an incident when English soldiers stopped to eat plums from a tree. They were attacked and killed by the people from the town. If you visit the town during the summer, you might just be in time for the celebration of the charter. This event, called the Braw Lads Gathering, has lasted since the 16th century and consists of riders on horseback parading through the town.

As the centre of the tweed manufacturing industry in Scotland since the early 1600's, you won't have any problems finding the tartan or the tweed you want to buy in Galashiels. There is a textile college here that is now part of the Heriot–Watt University dating back to the early 20th century. Visit Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott for about 20 years. This was once a small farmhouse, but Sir Walter renovated it to become a gabled and turreted house. It is now a museum with an impressive collection of rare books, weapons that date back to the time of Napoleon as well as artifacts of Scottish weapons and armour.

Nearby you can visit the community of Melrose and visit Melrose Abbey. According to legend this is where Robert the Bruce is buried and just north of the abbey, you can visit the exquisite Priorwood Gardens. There are many types of accommodations for you to choose from when you visit the Scottish Border area as well as a fine array of pubs and restaurants.

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