The history of the South of Scotland is riddled with violent melees and merciless battles, and the patch of earth where England and Scotland met was at the heart of these turbulent years. Ruthless horsemen known as the Reivers stalked this frontier as outlaws before cowboys were even a concept. Today, you can visit the sites where our ancestors and those ruthless Reivers operated and learn how the ragtag fortunes of these legends have been woven into the fabric of modern Scotland with our Common Ridings.

The pagentry of the annual Common Ridings stand testament to a time when marking a town’s boundaries was a vital necessity. These are the oldest equestrian festivals in the world, starting in Hawick in June and moving across 23 border towns throughout the summer.

Delve into your own ancestry at the Heritage Hub or on a bespoke guided tour as you visit the castle strongholds and ancient ancestral seats of the clans of southern Scotland. Could you be related to the infamous Scottish Border Reiver, Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie whose home Gilnockie Tower stands welcoming guests today? Or were your relatives subject to the winds of fortune, winning and losing as the very boundary of England and Scotland shifted beneath them?