Skip to main content

With love from the Borders Railway

Press Release   •   Feb 08, 2017 11:00 GMT

Looking for the 1 at Go Ape, Glentress

FROM world-class chocolate cookery classes in Peebles to brewing your own beer, couples are being encouraged to travel along the Borders Railway route to enjoy an alternative Valentine’s Day this year.

It is now easier than ever before for people to travel the 31-miles from Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank and enjoy the many activities and attractions on offer along the route in the Scottish Borders and Midlothian.

The Borders Railway – which was opened in September 2015 by H M The Queen – has proved a phenomenal success with passenger numbers far exceeding expectations and businesses in the Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh experiencing an increase in visitor numbers.

And for those couples looking for something different to do this Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of alternatives to red roses, hearts and teddies in the heart of the Scottish Borders and Midlothian, and just a short trip from the Borders Railway:

The Chocolate & Pastry School, Cocoa Black, Peebles

UK World Chocolate Master Ruth Hinks and her team offer a wide range of courses in chocolate and pastry making. So instead of buying a box of choclates for your loved one this year, couples could spend a lazy afternoon immersed in chocolate and learning all about how to make their own chocolate truffles or chocolate caramels.

For more information, visit:

Borders Abbeys Way

Discover some of Scotland’s ancient abbeys in the Scottish Borders on this scenic walk linking Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Kelso and Melrose Abbeys. Visitors to Tweedbank Rail Station can join the Way at Lowood Bridge and spend the day taking in the beauty of Melrose Abbey, famed as the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, and Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott.

Go Ape, Glentress Forest, Peebles

For those seeking an adrenaline rush this Valentine’s Day, Go Ape at Glentress Forest in Peebles is sure not to disappoint. The tree-top adventure offers superb views from its hillside location within the beautiful Glentress Forest and boasts the highest zip wire over the reservoirs.

Stewart Brewing, Loanhead

Stewart Brewing’s Craft Beer Kitchen is Scotland’s first brew-it-yourself facility. Visitors can take part in a brew-it-yourself experience for a unique and unforgettable experience which will guide you through the brewing process from start to finish. Booking is essential and more information can be found here:

Ian Stark Equestrian Centre, Selkirk

The family-run equestrian centre offers riding lessons and expansive hacking and trekking available seven days a week. With around 40 horses and ponies available, riders can take a hack to explore the stunning Borders scenery or make use of the schooling facilities to improve their equestrian skills in the region that is home to the Borders Common Ridings.

Dalkeith Country Park

As well as great walks and cycle paths at Dalkeith Country Park, Restoration Yard offers a relaxing shopping and dining experience in the newly-converted stable yard. After a walk or cycle around the grounds of Dalkeith Palace, visitors can sit back, relax and enjoy a coffee and a slice of cake before taking a relaxing walk around the shops to pick up a Valentine’s gift for their loved one.

Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg

For the more adventurous at heart, the stunning surroundings of Dalhousie Castle in Midlothian provide the perfect backdrop for getting up close to the amazing birds of prey in the falconry experience. Other activities include owl encounters, hawk walks and archery.

For more information,

Further information and inspiration on the things to see and do along the Borders Railway route are included in the spring direct mail pack from VisitScotland, landing on doorsteps in the Borders and Midlothian this February.

For further information visit

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to
    2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017