The history of the Scottish Borders is deeply entwined with the turbulent era of the Borders Reivers; the name given to the ruthless raiders and bandits who pillaged the lands on either side of the Anglo-Scots border from the late 13th to the early 17th century.
Today’s residents commemorate the times when their forbearers patrolled the boundaries of their settlements on horseback, defending against these fearsome marauders at Return to the Ridings throughout the summer.
Today’s colourful events take places in 11 of the region’s towns, with Hawick, Selkirk, Langholm and Lauder laying claim to the oldest ridings. Each town has its own particular take on the tradition – some can last for up to two weeks – but they usually involve lots of rideouts, barbecues, traditional sports, games, music and traditional tipples.
Did you know?
Hawick is the oldest of the Common Ridings and celebrates the capture of an English flag from a would-be raiding party in 1514 by a youth of the town.