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Selkirk Travel Guide - Scotland

The ancient and Royal Burgh of Selkirk stands high above the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys. The town was renowned for its abundance of shoemakers (nick-named "soutars") who were regularly called upon to supply shoes – often at their own expense – to passing armies such as that of Bonnie Prince Charlie on his way South to Derby. William Wallace is reputed to have been appointed "Guardian of Scotland" in the old Church of Selkirk. Sir Walter Scott served as Sheriff here for 33 years and his Courtroom, in the Market Square exhibits some of personal belongings and Court papers.

The Courtroom also contains exhibits relating to James Hogg (the Ettrick Shepherd, born in the Ettrick Valley and Mungo Park, the famous explorer (born at Foulshiels a few miles from the town). Halliwell's House, the town's oldest dwelling, now the local Museum and the Robson Gallery provides a venue for exhibitions. Clapperton's Daylight Photographic Studio is a working museum that contains a photographic archive of Selkirk and it's surrounding valleys.

St. Mary's Loch, the largest stretch of water in South Scotland Selkirk's industrial background is rellected in the number of specialist tweed outlets while local glassworks offers an opportunity to watch skilled craftsmen at work and purchase their products. The Common Riding Festival held annually in June – a tradition going back to the Battle of Flodden in 1513 – is recognised as one of the oldest Border festivals with as many as 400 riders taking part.

Three miles West is Bowhill House, – a Georgian mansion and residence of the Duke of Buccleuch - with woodland walks, an adventure playground, Victorian kitchen, 19th century horse–drawn fire–engine and a small theatre. The twin valleys of Ettrick and Yarrow contain some of the most glorious scenery in the Scottish Borders, (including St. Mary's Loch, the largest stretch of water in South Scotland), and provided inspiration for many writers and artists. The 16th century Aikwood Tower, in the Ettrick Valley houses an exhibition of the life and work of James Hogg.

Activities/Facilities: Twin golf courses (both 9–hole), a swimming pool, fitness centre and clay pigeon shooting facilities.