Thursday, August 19, 2010

Borders Towns

A visitor should note that the towns have a sort of pattern.
1) In the belt of land around Edinburgh that holds coal, a series of towns rose up to support the industry in the 1700-1800's. Typical would be Gorebridge and Pathhead. These are usually quite ugly places typical of British industrial building, small, cramped and not very nice. The mining has gone but the towns remain uninteresting unless you study industrial society...
2) The Borders is a farming community and some towns are typical farming centres. Such as Peebles, Duns and Kelso. these tend to be good solid burghs with adequate but not flashy shops, although Peebles has risen to match Melrose in sophistication and quality of available shopping and restaurants.
3) The Borders only real industry was wool and cloth mills and some towns, Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh and Selkirk show their roots and have very mixed backgrounds for the residents. Of course everything is relative and in the Borders a depressed area is still a very nice place with lovely shops.
4) East Lothian is an exception, due to the rail links to Edinburgh, this area encompassing Musselburgh, Gullane and North Berwick has a wealthy up market feel. North Berwick is a stunning little seaside town with the feel of St Andrews about the place.