Our culture and traditions are still at the very heart of our town. Come and learn about Sir Walter Scott who popularised tartan and then visit a mill where the cloth is still produced today by local craftspeople. Hear about our folklore and ballads and then enjoy the local music in the pub at night, perhaps with a locally produced beer, gin or juice in hand as you tap your feet.

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century novelist, who rediscovered Scotland’s crown jewels, and was Sheriff in the town for over thirty years. Scott’s former courtroom is now a museum featuring his life and his writings as well as those of James Hogg and Mungo Park, the African explorer. Each year the event Scott’s Selkirk celebrates the man through period costume, court room dramas and fun for all the family.

James Hogg

A contemporary and friend of Scott’s was James Hogg, the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’, who was born in nearby Ettrick Valley. This shepherd poet was a champion of Borders folklore and ballads having learnt at his mother’s knee. Sir Walter Scott was travelling the valleys in pursuit of the disappearing ballads and was introduced to Hogg and his mother as wonderful sources of material to be preserved.  Today an exhibition dedicated to James Hogg can be found at the former Ettrick School in the Ettrick Valley.  2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Borders poet James Hogg’s birth and a number of events are planned to mark this occasion.

Tom Scott RSA

Selkirk was also home to acclaimed Scottish painter, Tom Scott, who was known for his watercolours and dedicated to depicting the landscapes, unique architecture and cultural history of Selkirk and the Scottish borderlands. Selkirk has been a home for other artists including the Scottish figurative painter Caroline McNairn and Rob Hain.  Selkirk continues to be home to a number of local artists and more can be explored at Selkirk Wasps Artists’ Studios.

Image from the Buccleuch Art Collection, on display at Bowhill House

Bitesize Facts

Bowhill Theatre

Theatre transformed from the Estate’s old cold storage room

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century novelist who also popularised tartan and rediscovered Scotland’s crown jewels

Frightened Rabbit

Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit come from Selkirk

Related Events

We've many events throughout the year - from traditional music to art exhibitions. Keep in touch and don't miss out.