Galashiels is a little town in the Scottish Borders, located in Scotland’s southeastern region. The rural town is known for its textile industry, which took off in the 19th century. That has also helped grow the population and is why Heriot-Watt University decided to open up a school of textiles and design.
It’s also known for being one of the most affordable places to live in the Scottish Borders, with the bonus of being approximately just one hour from the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh.
If it’s not already a well-suited place for people to live, it is still worth visiting. It is home to tourist attractions, Abbotsford, the Home of Sir Walter Scott, The Great Tapestry of Scotland and the River Tweed. As well as this, Galashiels is home to many little personally-owned shops like ‘Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall’, ‘Fancy Creations’ and so many more.
The drive down from Edinburgh, whether on the train, bus or your car, has beautiful scenery and views no matter the season. It’s full of large fields, scenic roads and hills and gives you a taste of the Scottish landscape.
When entering the town, you are welcomed by a friendly atmosphere that continues throughout the town. Walking down the main part of town, you feel comfortable and at home due to all the smiley locals you come across.
It’s a perfect place to visit for a day out as you can fill your day with wholesome, hearty activities. This could be started off with visiting one of their many cafes, followed by a visit to the little shops in the town. Many little routes are enjoyable for a fresh walk, giving a clear view of the town, which could then be followed by a visit to one of the many quaint coffee shops all around the place.
In December 2022, a research survey was conducted, placing Galashiels at the top of the list to be named the “happiest place to live”. Galashiels is where many people have decided to move to enjoy a quieter life and avoid the fast-paced cities. This could be people wanting to raise their families, move back after leaving or even move to study at the famous University. With this being said, the town continues to welcome anyone and everyone.
I lived in Galashiels to study for a year, and I enjoyed the quiet, slow life that welcomed me in and made me feel happy to call home for the duration that I was there.
Written by Katie Dickson a student from Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design