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Friday, 21 March 2014

A-Z Challenge Preview - My Scottish Borders

A-Z April Challenge 2014For this year's challenge I shall be introducing  you to "My Scottish Borders" - an often forgotten bit of Scotland in the south east corner between Edinburgh to the north and the English border to the south.

It  is the bit visitors whiz through intent on getting to the capital and to the "real " Scotland of the Highland mountains and lochs.  They don't know what they are missing!   
Scottish Borders in Scotland.svg

So here is a taster  of what I will be featuring throughout April. 

It is a  landscape of small towns and villages, with the 90 mile River Tweed and it many tributaries criss-crossing the region; through rolling hills, and valleys,such Liddesdale, Teviotdale, Lauderdale, Ettrick and Yarrow - names that roll off the tongue;  by  forests and moorland across to  the rich agricultural land of the east  (known as the Merse) and the north sea coast with its  small fishing villages and craggy cliffs. 

 In this predominantly rural area, country pursuits abound - walking, cycling, riding, golf and fishing. 

                  Looking down on the  town of Selkirk set amidst the Ettrick Valley. 

   The River Tweed near Dryburgh wiht a glimpse of the Eildon Hills in the background.

Pride and passion exist in abundance in the Borders - in each town's  history and heritage,  in the annual Common Riding Festivals, the local rugby teams and  fame as the home of Scottish textiles. 

Hermitage Castle
This was the Debatable Land fought over by English and Scots for over 300 years  to the early 17th century  - the land of  the Border Reivers, with raids and counter raids by prominent families of Scott, Armstrong, Turnbull, Elliot, Kerr, Pringle and many other distinctive names associated with the area.   Their  legacy can be seen in the Border Castles and Towers and in the Border Ballads that have passed down the generations. 
This is also a land that has inspired writers and painters and produced many other Famous Borderers who have made their mark both nationally and internationally. 

The Borders has its own distinctive tongue  - did you know the term "blackmail" originated here?  Find out what "hot trod", haugh, heugh and cleuch mean?    

Have a "taste" of Eyemouth Tart,  Selkirk Bannock, Teviot Kettle and Rumbledethumps - I shall be explaining more!    

I like relaying Quirky Facts - for example at one stage there were  14 times more sheep than people in the Borders.   

I shall leave you with the iconic image of the Scottish Borders - Scotti's View  named after the 19th century writer Sir Walter Scott.  Here you look  across the Tweed Valley to the triple Eildon Hills - called by the Romans Trimontium (the Three Hills)   

  So join me in April on my A-Z Journey across the Scottish Borders

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Res


  1. Your challenge blogs are going to be very interesting to me. Can't wait to read them. Good luck with the A to Z Challenge. This will be my first year.

  2. Ah, I so want to go to Scotland. My mum's family is from there, but I haven't been yet. Beautiful photos!


  3. I look forward to your A to Z Blog posts. I'm a fellow Scot and new follower.

  4. We visited Scotland many years ago, but would love to go again. Beautiful photographs you've got here! My A-Z challenge is Family History & Genealogy as well:
    Gail at Making Life An Art


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