Southern Scotland

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t Rolling hills of Hundleshope Heights, Peebles

Experience Southern Scotland

In 1296 Scotland committed itself to the Wars of Independence against the English, and it was Southern Scotland that suffered the most. The strife caused by the many battles fought here lasted for three centuries, as first Scottish self-determination, and then alliances with France, led to strained relations between Scotland and its southern neighbour.

The virtual independence of the southern Borders district brought further conflict. Powerful families had operated under local laws set in place since the mid-12th century, and when Scottish kings were not fighting the English, they led raids into the Border country to try to bring it back under central control.

Over the years, some of the great dramas of Scottish history have been played out in Southern Scotland. Robert the Bruce’s guerrilla army defeated an English force at Glen Trool in 1307, but Flodden, near Coldstream, was the scene of the country’s worst military reverse in 1513, when King James IV of Scotland and thousands of his men fell in battle.Today, the quiet countryside around the Borders market towns, and the beautiful mountain scenery in Dumfries and Galloway, seem to belie such violent history. The area is now known for its manufacturing of textiles and for promoting its literary associations, as Sir Walter Scott lived at Abbotsford, near St Boswells. But it is the ruins of the great Border abbeys, castles and battlegrounds that serve as a reminder of Southern Scotland’s turbulent past.

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