Nestled in a picturesque valley along the Gala Water, Galashiels is an important commercial hub in the Scottish Borders region. It flourished in the 19th century due to its booming textile industry and is renowned for the annual Braw Lads Gathering, a lively festival that celebrates the town’s history.
Things to do in Galashiels
Set within beautifully manicured grounds in the heart of Galashiels is the Old Gala House, which was constructed in the 16th century and was once home to the Lairds of Galashiels. It’s been transformed into a museum detailing the history of Galashiels and regularly hosts contemporary art and craft exhibitions. A highlight of the residence is its painted ceiling dating back to 1635.
If you’re a keen golfer, you can enjoy a round at the Galashiels Golf Club, which was founded in 1884 alongside the Ladhope Burn. Once an 18-hole course, it was reconfigured as a nine-hole layout in 2008 and features gently undulating greens framed by rural fields. Slightly further north is the Torwoodlee Golf Club, an 18-hole course divided by the Borders Railway line.
Bike riders can explore the picturesque countryside along National Cycle Network Route 1 while pedalling between the villages surrounding Galashiels. Also not to miss is the Four Abbeys cycling route, which takes in the 12th-century ruins of Melrose Abbey, the Romanesque-style Kelso Abbey and the photogenic remains of Dryburgh Abbey. Jedburgh Abbey is known for its herbal garden filled with aromatic plants.
Getting around Galashiels
Galashiels is around an hour’s drive from the centre of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Regular trains connect to the Galashiels railway station and the centre of town is compact enough to explore on foot.