In the South of Scotland, you’re never far from anywhere – the Central Belt, North of England and even Northern Ireland are all just a stone’s throw away. With Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders and Midlothian well connected and easy to reach, it is also straightforward to get around once you’re here.

Whether you’re looking to explore scenic back roads by car, sit back on public transport, get active by bike, on foot or even by horse, there are plenty of options to get you wherever you want to go. 

By Car

With major transport routes A7, A68, A1, and A74 (M6) running right through the South of Scotland, getting around by car couldn’t be easier. Additionally, a variety of scenic routes quickly take you off the beaten track right into the heart of this destination. 

With literary greats and racing champions equally inspired by our roads, paths and tracks, you won’t want your trip to end. From the iconic SWC300 driving route to the Jim Clark Trail, explore more on our website and app for your perfect road trip.

Car Rental

The South of Scotland enjoy a well-maintained network of roads, with signage making it easy to find your way around. If you are looking to hire a car or campervan during your trip, you will find car hire companies located conveniently close to the major routes into the areas – in and around Glasgow, in Edinburgh and just off the Edinburgh City Bypass, and around the Anglo-Scottish border at Carlisle and Berwick-upon-Tweed. You will also find opportunities to hire a car when you’re here: Dumfries has an Enterprise Car Rental, and those looking for something different can even hire a classic car or campervan.

By Public Transport

If you are exploring by train and bus, you can make the most of your trip with Borders Buses and Scotrail’s combination ticket in the Scottish Borders from Edinburgh. The Borders Explorer Ticket is available at manned stations, on the train or bookable over the phone and allows easy joined up journeys between the railway stations and picturesque Borders towns. There is also a great network of buses across the South of Scotland.

By Rail

The Borders Railway is the two areas’ dedicated railway line to and from Edinburgh Waverley, stopping at EskbankNewtongrange and Gorebridge in Midlothian, and StowGalashiels and Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders, with good onwards bus connections. Check the ScotRail website for timings and to book tickets in advance.

You can also get the train from Edinburgh Waverley to Berwick Upon Tweed which is a stones throw away to the Berwickshire Coast and South East of our region and connects to local bus services.

Trains for Dumfries and Galloway leave from Glasgow Central station, and a scenic rail journey awaits you on your trip to Dumfries or Stranraer. The journey to Stranraer takes you down Scotland’s scenic west coast, while the route to Dumfries takes you inland via the towns of Kirkconnel and Sanquhar, which lays claim to the world’s oldest post office. You will find lots to do and see when you arrive, as well as onwards connections with local bus services.

By Bus

Lothian buses run regularly from Edinburgh to Midlothian and beyond, while Borders Buses serve Edinburgh, Midlothian as well as major Borders towns such as PeeblesHawickSelkirkKelso and Galashiels, the area’s main transport hub. From Galashiels Transport Interchange, you can change onto a variety of local services, which can take you as far as Berwick-upon-Tweed in the east and Carlisle to the west, making day trips especially easy.

Additional bus services are available from train stations in Dumfries & Galloway, such as Stranraer, Kirkconnel and Sanquhar. Connections between Borders Buses and services in Dumfries & Galloway are also available in a number of towns, including Langholm and Biggar.

Check the Lothian Buses and Borders Buses and Dumfries & Galloway Councily for timetables.

By Bike

From road racing to downhill adventures, discover to the most bike-friendly parts of Scotland. You will find many bike related services concentrated along the most popular routes, and with a variety of major National Cycle Routes, such as Routes 1 and 7 taking you along major sites and scenic views in the South of Scotland. We have highlighted many of these on the Scotland Starts Here app and website to make planning even easier.

On Foot

The South of Scotland is criss-crossed by a multitude of footpaths and long distance routes, making the most of the wide-open spaces and fantastic scenery.

Major long distance routes include the Southern Upland Way, linking the Dumfries & Galloway coast in the west to the Berwickshire coast in the eastern Scottish Borders, and St Cuthbert’s Way, stretching from Melrose all the way across the border with England to the island of Lindisfarne.

Slightly shorter long distance paths include the Borders Abbeys Way, which links the four major abbey ruins in the Scottish Borders, the Berwickshire Coastal Path, which follows the dramatic coast line at Cockburnspath south to Berwick-upon-Tweed, the Romans and Reivers Route, linking Dumfries and Galloway to the heart of the Scottish Borders reiver country and the Cross Borders Drove Road, taking you from Hawick in the south of the Scottish Borders through Midlothian, the Pentland Hills and on to Livingston near Edinburgh via old cattle driving routes.

Walk Highlands is a great resource for walks of various lengths across Midlothian and the Scottish Borders for keen walkers and novices alike, and Walk Scottish Borders offers over 150 walking routes across the area.

By Horse

The South of Scotland’s countryside is ideal for horse riding, with the Borders known as Scotland’s horse country. From the Pentland Hills to a number of long distance routes, including the Romans and Reivers Route and the Cross Borders Drove Road, you will find a variety of suitable multi-use paths in the South.  

Ride Scottish Borders provide information on getting organised and planning your route with over 300km of off road riding to choose from.