Travel to the Scottish Borders

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  • A classic car travelling through Selkirk in the Scottish Borders
    A classic car travelling through Selkirk in the Scottish Borders
  • The view towards Melrose and the River Tweed, Scottish Borders
    Towards Melrose and the River Tweed, Scottish Borders
  • Large stone plinth marking the Scottish border with England (image © Amanda Slater via Wikimedia Commons)
    Crossing the Border - welcome to Scotland! (image © Amanda Slater)
  • Two walkers on the clifftop overlooking the Harbour of St Abbs, a village north of Eyemouth
    St Abbs Harbour, north of Eyemouth

The Scottish Borders is so simple to get to, it’s no wonder so many people return time and time again. Whether you travel from north or south, Edinburgh or Newcastle, within two hours you can find yourself in the heart of the Scottish Borders.

By land and sea

By road

The Scottish Borders are easily accessible by road from many areas including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Carlisle, which are all about an hour’s drive away.

By bus

If you are coming to the Scottish Borders by bus, there are a number of options. If arriving from the south, you can travel from Berwick-upon-Tweed with Perryman’s Buses, from Carlisle with FirstBorders and Newcastle with National Express.

If you are coming from Edinburgh, you can catch either the 62 or X95 services operated by FirstBorders from Edinburgh Bus Station. You can also take the X95 service if travelling to the Scottish Borders from Carlisle. Call FirstBorders dedicated 24/7 customer service team on 01324 602200 if you have any enquiries regarding timetables or fares.

National Express links the region to Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. To travel north by bus, travel to Edinburgh where Scottish Citylink connects the major Scottish cities.

By rail

The Scottish Borders is accessible by train on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh, which stops at nearby Dunbar in East Lothian and Berwick-upon-Tweed, which is located just across the border. Bus links to the Scottish Borders are available from both towns, or travel with your bike and start exploring as soon as you step off the train. Timetables are available from ScotRail and National Rail.

If travelling on the West Coast Main Line, a raillink bus service (X95) connects Carlisle with the towns of Galashiels, Peebles and Hawick before going on to Edinburgh.

In the summer of 2015, the Borders Railway, a new 30 mile-long railway connecting the Scottish Borders with Edinburgh and Midlothian will be completed. It will provide 10 new connections from Tweedbank to Edinburgh Waverley and will allow for a journey time of just under an hour between both stations. Visit the website to keep up with its progress. 

By sea

Regular ferry services from Europe come into the ports of Newcastle and Hull – check with DFDS Seaways and P&O ferries for further details. If you are coming from Northern Ireland, there is also a service from Belfast to Cairnryan with Stena Line, as well as P&O ferries between Larne and Cairnryan. After arriving at these ports, you can travel on to the Scottish Borders by road, with the journey time being around four hours from Hull, three hours from Cairnryan and about an hour and a half from Newcastle.

By air

The Scottish Borders can be easily reached from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle international airports which are all within one to two hours travel. All three airports have direct connections with over 30 destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris and car hire is available at the airports or from car hire companies such as D S Dalgleish and Arnold Clark.

The best way to find the most competitive fares for flying around Scotland is to search on comparison sites such as SkyScanner, Travel Supermarket and Cheapflights.