The Borders Book Festival

The Borders Book Festival is now one of the UK's literary calendar's top events being familiar to authors, publishers, and bibliophiles across the country. In addition to attracting a wealth of household names to its home in Melrose, the festival also provides a platform for new authors hoping to make their literary breakthrough. 


The festival started life in June 2004 as the brainchild of Alistair Moffat. The first festival was held in Melrose's old Wynd Theatre and attracted 400 attendees who came to hear a small number of speakers, including Melvyn Bragg. Since then, the event has gone from strength to strength, outgrowing different venues until it settled in its current home of Harmony Garden. In 2016, it attracted an audience of 25,300 across its four days. 

This years event, sponsored by Baille Gifford, is the 14th incarnation of the festival and is taking place from June 15th to 18th, including a Family Festival on the final 2 days. There is a great programme this year with contributions from Rory Bremne, Joanna Trollope, Judy Murray, Richard Ingrams, John Cleese, and Sir Michael Parkinson among others. Melvyn Bragg also returns to Melrose!


The main festival is also the platform for the announcement of the winner of the annual Sir Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which is sponsored by Sir Walter's distant descendants, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. 

The festival venue is only 1.5 miles away from the Borders Railway terminus at Tweedbank Station, a distance that can be tackled by taking in a very picturesque 20 minute walk. 

More information about this years programme and the history of the festival can be found at