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The Scottish Borders or simply the Borders (Scottish Gaelic "Comhairle nan Crìochan") ( ) is one of 32 local government council areas of Scotlandmarker. It is bordered by Dumfries and Galloway in the west, South Lanarkshire and West Lothianmarker in the north west, City of Edinburghmarker, East Lothianmarker, Midlothianmarker to the north; and the non-metropolitan counties of Northumberlandmarker and Cumbriamarker in Englandmarker to the south and east. The administrative centre of the area is Newtown St. Boswellsmarker.

Historically, the name Scottish Borders designated the entire border region of southern Scotland and, together with neighbouring areas of England, was part of the historical Borders region.

The people of the Scottish Borders are very proud of their heritage and often speak of themselves as Borderers.


The Scottish Borders are located in the Eastern part of the Southern Uplands. [21985]

The region is hilly, with the River Tweed flowing west to east through the region. In the east of the region the area that borders the River Tweed is flat and is known as 'The Merse'. The Tweed and its tributaries drain the entire region with the river flowing into the North Seamarker at Berwick-upon-Tweedmarker, and forming the border with England for the last twenty miles or so of its length.

The term Central Borders refers to the area in which the majority of the main towns of Galashielsmarker, Selkirkmarker, Hawickmarker, Jedburghmarker, Earlstonmarker, Kelsomarker, St Boswells, Newtown St Boswellsmarker, Melrosemarker and Tweedbankmarker are located.


Historically, the term Bordersmarker has a wider meaning, referring to all of the burghs adjoining the English border, also including Dumfriesshiremarker and Kirkcudbrightshiremarker — as well as Northumberlandmarker, Cumberlandmarker and Westmorlandmarker in England.

Roxburghshire and Berwickshire historically bore the brunt of the conflicts with England, both during declared wars such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, and armed raids which took place in the times of the Border Reivers. Thus, across the region are to be seen the ruins of many castles, abbeys and even towns.

The area was created in 1975, by merging the former counties of Berwickshiremarker, Peeblesshiremarker, Roxburghshiremarker and Selkirkshiremarker and part of Midlothianmarker, as a two-tier region with the district of Berwickshire, Ettrick and Lauderdale, Roxburghmarker, and Tweeddalemarker within it. In 1996 the region became a unitary authority area and the districts were wound up. The region was created with the name Borders. Following the election of a shadow area council in 1995 the name was changed to Scottish Borders with effect from 1996.

Although there is evidence of some Scottish Gaelic in the origins of place names such as Innerleithenmarker ("confluence of the Leithenmarker"), Kilbucho, and Auchencrow, which contain identifiably Goidelic rather than Brythonic Celtic elements, the language has tended to be weak to non-existent in most parts of the region. Since the 5th century, there has been evidence of two main languages in the area: Brythonic and Old English, the latter of which developed into its modern forms of English and Scots.


There are two British Parliamentary constituencies in the Borders. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirkmarker covers most of the region and is represented by Liberal Democrat Michael Moore. The western Tweeddale area is included in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale constituencymarker and is represented by Conservative David Mundell.

At Scottish Parliament level, there are also two seats. The eastern constituency is Roxburgh & Berwickshire, which is currently represented by Conservative John Lamont. The western constituency is Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale and is represented by Liberal Democrat Jeremy Purvis.

Control of the local council rests in the hands of a Conservative/Liberal Democrat/Independent coalition. The Conservatives are the biggest party on the council with 11 seats, the Liberal Democrats have 10. The SNP have six seats and the Independents have five. Two councillors form the Borders Party.


The region has no working railway stations. Although the area was well connected to the Victorian railway system, the branch lines that supplied it were closed in the decades following the Second World War. A bill has been passed by the Scottish Parliamentmarker to extend the Waverley Line, which would be a commuter service from Edinburghmarker to Stow, Galashielsmarker and Tweedbankmarker. Today, the East Coast Main Line is the only railway which runs through the region, with Edinburgh Waverleymarker, Berwick-upon-Tweedmarker and Carlislemarker being the nearest stations.

The area is served by buses which connect the main population centres. Express bus services link the main towns with rail stations at Edinburgh and Carlisle.

The region also has no commercial airports; the nearest are Edinburghmarker and Newcastlemarker, both of which are international airports.

The main roads to and from the region are:

Towns and villages

Places of interest

Notes and references

See also

External links

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