Galashiels lies in the narrow valley of the Gala Water, close to its meeting with the River Tweed, in the heart of the Scottish Borders.
The first recorded reference to Galashiels was in 1124, though the town really came into its own in the 19th century during a boom in the textile industry and the introduction of a railway, transforming what was a village to the thriving town we see today. Once again Galashiels is home to a station, which is one of the stops on the Borders Railway line.
You’ll find plenty of things to see and do in the Galashiels area in the Explore More section below, such as The Great Tapestry of Scotland Gallery & Visitor Centre, one of the world’s largest community art projects. Or why not explore Old Gala House, which dates back to the 16th century boasting a museum and art gallery as well as beautifully landscaped gardens? You can also follow the town’s architectural trail to find fascinating stories of the town’s built heritage.
Galashiels is one of the few towns still to boast a family-run, multi-screen cinema which shows all of the latest blockbuster. The Pavilion Cinema is perfect to keep all the family entertained!
There are lots of ways to experience Galashiels beautiful countryside. Why not practice your swing on a golf course, at Galashiels Golf Course or Torwoodlee Golf Course, or enjoy a day of cycling? If you don’t have your own bike (or haven’t brought it with you) you can always rent a bike from the cycle hire shop in Galashiels and have it delivered to wherever is convenient for you.
For those looking to do a longer cycle route from Galashiels, you could join the National Cycle Network Route 1 and travel west to Innerleithen and Peebles, or venture east to Melrose, Newton St Boswells or Kelso. The 4 Abbeys cycle route is another great option, taking in 55 miles of glorious countryside as well as the Scottish Borders’ four famous abbeys, namely Melrose Abbey, Dryburgh Abbey, Kelso Abbey and Jedburgh Abbey.
The town is a great base for walkers too. Explore the valley and beyond to find a variety of popular and historical local routes, in addition to the famous Southern Upland Way, providing escapism in the most beautiful of locations.
The focal point of the local events calendar is the Braw Lads' Gathering, which takes place in late June. Why not visit for the day and enjoy the spectacle of the proceedings, which commemorates the history of Galashiels and the local area?
The town offers a variety of coffee shops, bars and restaurants, in addition to independent stores selling artisan products and local specialities. If you’d prefer to watch the world go by from one of the town’s attractive parks or gardens, a fantastic selection of takeaway options serve fresh, local produce to enjoy.
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