The large town of Kelso lies near to the meeting point of the River Tweed and the River Teviot. Similar to the other large towns in the Borders it has its own ruined Abbey dating back to the early 12th century. The abbey controlled much of life in Kelso-area burgh of barony, called Holydean, until the Reformation in the 16th century. After that, the power and wealth of the abbey declined. The Kelso bridge is also an area of interest as it was built by John Rennie who would later go on to build London Bridge. The bridge was the cause of local rioting in 1854 when the Kelso population objected to paying tolls even when the cost of construction had been covered.
In Roxburgh Street there is the outline of a horseshoe stamped into a rock where the horse of Charles Edward Stuart cast a shoe as he was riding it through the town on his way to Carlisle in 1745.
The town's rugby union club, Kelso RFC are known for their high standards and quality of play; their annual rugby sevens tournament takes place in early May. Famous former players include John Jeffrey, Roger Baird, Andrew Ker and Adam Roxburgh. Every year in July, the town celebrates the border tradition of Common Riding, known as Kelso Civic Week.
Fitting in with the rest of the borders the town was a centre for textiles and of marketing holding and trading. This can be seen when looking at some of the street names such as Woodmarket, Coalmarket, Peat Wynd, Oven Wynd, Mill Wynd and Distillery Lane.