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Selkirk - a Royal Burgh of Tradition and Trade

One of the earliest settlements in the Scottish Borders, Selkirk is one of Scotland’s oldest Royal Burghs. The town’s name means ‘the kirk in the forest’, and it hosted the first Borders abbey, in the 12th Century. At around the same time, Selkirk Castle stood near by on the top of Peel Hill, serving as a Royal Scottish Court. Selkirk’s historic connections include William Wallace being named as ‘Guardian of Scotland’ here and Sir Walter Scott, who served as sheriff for 33 years.

Selkirk was granted its Royal Burgh status by King James V in 1535-6, in recognition of the role played at the Battle of Flodden by the men of Selkirk. The lands granted were extensive, and the men of Selkirk would constantly have to check them by riding the boundaries. Both Flodden and the boundaries still play vital roles in the world-famous Selkirk Common Riding, commemorating the riding of the marches, while the Casting of the Colours acts as a poignant reminder of 1513’s Battle of Flodden. Equally, the town’s manufacturing traditions of tweed and shoemaking continue with both skills represented by current businesses, while a varied High Street contains a range of modern offerings. A host of leisure pursuits are also catered for, including sport, historic walks, cafes and bookshops.


Selkirk’s easy accessibility means it’s easy to discover the attractions of this traditional market town, whose history in farming and textiles is still in evidence, while extending a warm welcome to visitors. Whether you arrive by car, bus, cycle or by foot, the town’s braes, wynds and specialty shops await discovery.


Selkirk, between Galashiels and Hawick on the A7 Edinburgh-Carlisle main road, stands at the gateway to beautiful Ettrick and Yarrow valleys. The central 85-space FREE Car Park off the Market Place allows access to the High Street, and there additional spaces in the Market Place itself, including some cycle hoops and a space for motorcycles.

Stay a while

Selkirk’s central position in the Borders makes it an ideal place to be based for a wide choice of activities, or for access to the rest of the Borders, whether by wheeled transport or on foot. Selkirk is ideally placed to enjoy not only the range of activities in the town itself, but other activities further afield, including golfing, walking, cycling and riding. As well as experiencing events such as local rugby and cricket matches and the renowned Common Riding, visits can be made to historic stately homes such as Abbotsford (the former home of Sir Walter Scott) and Bowhill (current home of the Duke of Buccleuch). Plus of course, right in the middle of Selkirk is the 18th century Haining estate, left to the town by the Pringle family in 2009, and a beautiful place for an atmospheric walk.


Accommodation includes 4-star hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and deluxe self-catering properties, all designed to suit your needs, depending on whether you want to be in the heart of the town or slightly further out. Selkirk’s camping and caravan place is beside the Ettrick Water in Victoria Park.

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Located in the heart of the Scottish Borders on the A7, which travels from Edinburgh to Carlisle. If travelling by public transport then Traveline Scotland can provide you with route options by using their journey planner, that might include getting the train on the Borders Railway from Edinburgh to Galashiels.