The unique Scottish experience starts the moment you cross over into the Borders from England: the accents and the beer change, and you find yourself in 1,800 square miles of spectacular countryside and woodland. The Borders is rich in golf courses, no fewer than twenty-one, and, with the River Tweed flowing through it, also provides some of Scotland's best fishing.
The Borders, as a region, was historically a place of conflict with border disputes stretching back to Roman times. The Romans built the famous Roman Wall to keep out the Scots but that didn't stop the almost constant warfare between England and Scotland which persisted for centuries. The Borderers took to Reivering, raiding English villages for sheep and cattle, as far south as Yorkshire, for survival. And the English raided right back leaving the Border regions to the mercy of banditry for many years. James the 1st, the first King of England and Scotland, rounded up the Border Reivers and deported or executed them in the 1600s, solving the problem once and for all. Yet some of the most famous families in the world are descended from Reivers including the Kennedys and the Armstrongs.
The Reivers still colour the Borders region and created a people with a unique sense of freedom, natural intelligence and a love of horses. Many of the towns and villages in the Borders still have a Common Riding in the summer months when the people ride out on horseback and celebrate their heritage.
Sir Walter Scott, the famous author, was born in the Borders and you can visit his house today, just outside Galashiels. Nestled beneath the Eildon Hills, it's easy to see why artists and writers have been inspired by the beautiful countryside, softer than the Highlands with lower hills and broader valleys. With no cities and numerous picturesque villages, visiting the Borders is like stepping into a world of the past, where fairies still tip toe through the dells.