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The local area guide to living in Walkerburn

South of Edinburgh, the petite village of Walkerburn lies in the picturesque Tweed Valley. It’s in the county of Peebleshire, not too far (around 8 miles) from Galashiels, Hawick and is a key part of the Scottish Borders.

The Borders are famed for their natural beauty. And Walkerburn is no different. In this area you will find the 18th century Plora Wood, which is home to a range of incredible ancient trees such as Sycamore, Oak, Birch and Beech.

In the 1800s, this small village was once a cloth-making centre, with its own tweed mill producing some of the most luxurious fabrics until it was shut down in the late 80s. Its rich history lives on in Walkerburn’s Museum of Woollen Textiles, a charming, small weaver’s cottage that’s open to the public.

The River Tweed winds past Walkerburn and on to Peebles, almost tracing the route of the A72. Follow this route and its connections north to easily commute to Edinburgh in roughly an hour, or south to Carlisle in an hour and a half.

Information about the local residents

In the last count in 2011, Walkerburn’s population was cited at roughly 650 people. The population dropped in the ’60s with the closure of the village’s train station, then began to rise again in the early ’70s when Rathburn Chemicals opened and brought more jobs to the area.

Though small, there’s a real sense of community in Walkerburn. Residents regularly group to take part in clubs and societies that are always open and welcoming to new members. The village hall is home to a varied range of youth clubs, lunch get-togethers, tai chi classes, theatre shows, table tennis tournaments and quilting classes.

Cycling and walking are popular past times in Walkerburn. Avid cyclists can find a number of cycle trails in the nearby settlement of Glentress. There are also a handful of beautiful walking routes around the Hills of Pirn, on the Southern Upland Way, or past the ruins of the 16th century Elibank Castle.

Nearby schools

There’s plenty of choice in schools in and around Walkerburn. The village has its own state primary, Walkerburn Primary, and St Ronan’s Primary is also nearby. Alternatives in the surrounding area include Clovenfords Primary School – which is in the settlement of Galasheils – or Priorsford Primary School, which is to the west in Peebles.

Secondary state schools Earlston High, Peebles High and Penicuik High are each around a half hour drive away – so an easily commutable distance for students.

For families looking for independent schools, the majority are around 30 miles away in Edinburgh. Though there is St Mary’s in Melrose, which is a slightly closer option at 25 miles away from Walkerburn. Boarding and preparatory schooling is available at St Mary’s for boys and girls from 2-13 years old.

Getting around

Although Walkerburn’s own rail station closed in the ’60s, Stow and Tweedback stations are all within a 20-minute drive. Galasheils station is a little further, at just over half an hour away.

‘First’ buses are another option, with a strong network of local and express services serving the immediate Borders area, providing good connections for journeys further afield.

That being said, driving is still the most convenient mode of transport for getting around the Scottish Borders. In much less than half an hour, you can easily get many of the picturesque surrounding towns.

Local shops

Everything you’d expect – from a post office and convenience store – can be found locally in Walkerburn. There’s even a second hand furniture shop and engravers, and the nearest supermarket is a convenient 2 miles away in Innerleithan.

In Peebles, around 9 miles from Walkerburn, there’s a lot more to discover. Leaf through the pages of a variety of books at the local library, take a swim at the public pool or wander around the small art galleries, specialist wine shops and delicatessens.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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