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Visiting Lothian and Borders: Fertile river valleys, sweeping hills, historic towns and villages and stunning coastline

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About the Lothians

Lothian and the Borders is a rolling landscape of fertile river valleys, sweeping hills, historic towns and villages, and stunning coastline, providing a wealth of natural and manmade attractions for the visitor.

The Scottish Borders are the Debatable Lands, which were fought over between Scotland and England for many years, and defended by castles and strongholds. Find out more about that history hereLinlithgow, Crichton, Borthwick and many other castles have strong links with Mary Queen of Scots. The Common Ridings are another tradition stemming from that turbulent period.

The ruined abbeys of Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose and Dryburgh are steeped in history.

Fishing: the Tweed is one of the world’s greatest salmon rivers, and there are many more fishing opportunities.

Golf: play a round at some of Scotland's (and the world's) best courses, including Muirfield and Gullane.

Walking: from short walks to longer hikes like St Cuthbert’s Way and the Southern Upland Way, there is something for everyone.

Explore the region’s hills: the Pentlands, the Lammermuirs, the Eildons and the Cheviots.

Cycling: from easy routes along old railways to more challenging mountain bike trails, there is something for cyclists of all abilities.

Railway: the Borders railway line, closed in the 1960s in the infamous Beeching Cuts, has now reopened, linking Edinburgh once again by rail with the Scottish Borders.

Stately homes: from Adam mansions like Mellerstain and Paxton to the Jacobite links of Traquair to ducal seats like Floors Castle and Lennoxlove

Beaches: with miles of sandy and rocky coastline, there are countless beaches and clifftops like St Abbs Head to walk on. Or visit the picturesque seaside town of North Berwick, with its fast and frequent train connections to Edinburgh. Or you could pick up part or all of the long-distance walk - the John Muir Way - which stretches along the whole of the coast line.

Explore the area’s rich literary connections with Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.

Find out about the region’s industrial heritage at the National Mining Museum of Scotland, Preston Mill, the National Museum of Flight, Robert Smail’s Print Works, Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum.

Explore the pretty market towns of North BerwickHaddington, Biggar, Hawick, Galashiels, Peebles, and Dunbar.

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