Scotland from the Roadside


Southern Scotland
Scottish Borders

Scottish Borders

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The Scottish Borders, which is also referred to simply as the Borders, stretches from the Pentland, Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills that mark the boundary with the Lothians in the north to the Cheviot Hills which, along with the River Tweed, mark the border with England in the south. Along with Dumfries & Galloway this area of Scotland is referred to as the Southern Uplands. The land on either side of the border with England is known as the Marches, which is split into 3 parts on either side: East, Middle and West March.

From Edinburgh there are a number of routes that head into the Scottish Borders. The main road is the A1, which is also known as the Great North Road, that heads east, through East Lothian, and follows the coast to enter the Borders at Cockburnspath. This road continues south, crossing the English border near Lamberton, and heads south past Berwick-upon-Tweed, which was once part of Scotland, and on to London. Just south of Cockburnspath the A1107 follows the coast, passing through Eyemouth, before rejoining the A1.

At Coldingham, on the road to Eyemouth, is a nunnery that was burnt down while the nuns were still inside. The Vikings that set fire to the building had supposedly discovered the nuns had cut off their noses and bottom lips.

The A1 continues southeast through Gatehouse, where the A6112 heads south to Duns, diverging from the coast until it is joined again by the A1107. From this point it is a short distance to the border with England and Berwick-upon-Tweed at the mouth of the River Tweed itself.

The A7 takes a more southerly route, heading from Edinburgh to Dalkeith in Midlothian and then passing through the Moorfoot Hills into the Borders. This road passes through Jedburgh, Selkirk and Hawick before it eventually crosses into Dumfries and Galloway and on to Carlisle.

Another route from Dalkeith is the A68 that crosses into the Borders between the Lammermuir and Moorfoot Hills. This road passes through Lauder, Newton St. Boswells and Jedburgh before crossing the English Border at Carter Bar.

Other routes into the Borders from Edinburgh include the A702, which enters the Borders at Carlops and heads southwest, following the line of the Pentland Hills, to Dolphinton where the road continues through South Lanarkshire. Alternatively the A701 and A703 enter the Borders at Leadburn with the former heading southwest to join the A72 and then south to Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway. The A703 meanwhile heads south to Peebles from where the A72 heads west, to join the A702 near Biggar in South Lanarkshire, or east, through Innerleithen, to Galashiels.

There are obviously a number of other routes throughout the area, but one thing it lacks is a rail link. The main line, which runs from Edinburgh, follows roughly the same route as the A1 with no actual stops within the Borders. The other railway south from Glasgow and Edinburgh passes through South Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway to the east of the Borders.

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