Visitors Guide to Selkirk
A textile centre since the early 19th century, when the growing demand for tweed could not be met by the mills at Galashiels, the little town of Selkirk lies on the edge of the Ettrick Forest, which rises steeply from the banks of Ettrick Water.
There are no longer any of those mills operating and Selkirk has long since returned to being a much quieter, more peaceful place, although its location on the busy A7 that runs south to Hawick and north to Galashiels and Melrose means that it is ideal as a centre for visiting other Border towns and tourist attractions, as well as admiring some absolutely breathtaking scenery.
Things to Do in and around Selkirk:
It does have its own places of historic interest, such as Halliwell's House Museum and Robson Gallery
, which features an 18th century ironmongers and tells the story of the town and its industry. The gallery also has a changing programme of temporary exhibitions.
Then there is Sir Walter Scott's Courtroom
, where Sir Walter Scott served as Sheriff of Selkirk from 1799 to 1832. It has an exhibition of his life and writings. Outside is a statue of the celebrated novelist, while at the other end of the High Street is a statue of Mungo Park, the famous 18th century explorer and anti-slavery campaigner, who was born in Selkirk.
The town assumes a far livelier aspect in June, during the Selkirk Gathering, which is the largest of the Border Ridings.
Featured Selkirk Accommodation:
The main magnets for the tourists are, however, within easy reach, Bowhill House and Country Park
, for example, just three miles west, which has been the home of the Scotts of Buccleuch and Queensbury since 1812 and now boats a remarkable collection of French antiques and European paintings.
Take the A707 west towards Moffatt and you will find yourselves admiring the beauty of Yarrow Water
as far as St Mary's Loch, where the road is bisected by the Southern Upland Way. Alternatively, a few miles west, you could turn south on to the B7009 and follow the course of the Ettrick Water, past the village of Ettrick, to Eskdalemuir and Langholm, an area which is one of the most remote and most beautiful in the whole of Scotland.
If you head north along the eastern shore of St Mary's Loch, you will come to Yair Hill Forest
, where, for the fit and well-equipped there are strenuous hikes to be tackled. At Cappercleuch, on the west shore of St Mary's Loch, a spectacular single-track road, full of twists and turns, leads to the Meggett Reservoir and then back down again past the Talla Reservoir to the tiny village of Tweedsmuir. The scenery is unforgettable.