The history of the area known as the Scottish Borders is quite interesting. If you have plans of coming for a visit, you may want to read about the colorful and unfortunately, bloody history of the place. When you know what happened in the past, every wall, every street, every brick, and every individual that you meet will be more special. You get to appreciate everything that you will see, hear, and experience on a whole new level. You will have a deeper understanding of why things are the way they are at present.
Of course, knowing the history will also allow you to determine the places that you will visit.
History of the Scottish Borders
So what about the history of the area do you need to know?
The term Scottish Borders refers to a lot of counties – most of which adjoin the English border. That means the history of this place includes what happened in all of these counties over the years.
The Scottish Borders include counties such as the Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Northumberland, Westmorland, Cumberland, Roxburghshire, Berwickshire – among others. What is interesting to note is that some of these areas witnessed the most gruesome parts of the conflict with England. At least, this was during the Wars of Scottish Independence and the many armed raids of the Border Reivers.
This is probably why a lot of the interesting and notable places to visit in this part of the land are ruins of castles, abbeys, and towns. These places still hold the mark of the tumultuous history of the area. When you visit these places, you will be told of the stories behind every architectural scar that was brought about by the violent history of the Scottish Borders.
In 1975, Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire, Peeblesshire and a part of Midlothian – all historic counties, were merged to form the council area. During 1996, the region officially became a unitary authority and it was soon called Scottish Borders.
Historical places to visit in Scottish Borders
Given the history of the area, you should be able to identify the areas that you can visit. Centuries of conflict made the Scottish Borders what it is today. You will actually see ruins all throughout the region – but some of the areas have more ruins than others. For instance, there are noticeably more ruins along Dumfries and Galloway. If you want to visit a lot of ruins, this is where you want to go. The eastern border has lesser castles to visit compared to other areas within the Scottish Borders.
But if you want to visit actual battlefields, well there are a lot of those to choose from. You can go to the site where the Battle of Halidon Hill happened, the Battle of Philiphaugh or where the Battle of Flodden took place. The latter is actually the most famous of all. This is where a lot of the Scottish nobility saw their demise – including King James IV.
Apart from that, there are also some ruins left by the Romans – when they tried to conquer Scotland and then fail miserably. Among the places you can visit include Dere Street – which stands between the Hadrian’s Wall and Antonine Wall. If you traverse the street, you will see the camps at Trimontium and Pennymuir.
As you can see, the history of the area will give you a lot of interesting places to visit. Of course, you can go beyond the ruins of the Scottish Borders. Towards the eastern coast lies a lot of isolated beaches that will give you a great view of the horizon.