The Borders Railway catchment includes many areas of iconic natural beauty providing access to the great outdoors for health and sports enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Studies show that spending time in the outdoors is a key factor in living a healthier, happier and more productive life.

The Great Outdoors

Outdoor pursuits are plentiful across the Borders Railway region with great walking and cycling routes throughout giving access to hills, woodlands, historical attractions and a variety of wildlife. There’s a diverse range of leisure opportunities including golf, cycling, horse riding, skiing, fishing and cultural events.

The Pentland Hills Country ParkVogrie Country Park and the Tweed Valley all provide fantastic access to activity and adventure in beautiful countryside that is easily accessed via the Borders Railway. Dalkeith Country Park, only 5 miles from Edinburgh city centre, is perfect for a family day out, whether that’s a visit to the new Fort Douglas play park, a stroll through the 900 year old oak wood or a visit to the recently restored Restoration Yard cafe and store. There are waymarked walking and cycling trails in the park to suit the whole family.

The Borders Railway area is criss-crossed by cycling and walking routes to suit all tastes and fitness levels. For those who like a little more adrenaline, Glentress Forest is a mountain biking Mecca deep in the heart of the stunning Tweed Valley. The biking experience here includes Green, Blue, Red or Black graded trails, as well as a magnificent multi-graded free-ride area. Midlothian hosts Midlothian Snowsports Centre which boasts the longest downhill slope in UK, a unique attraction and magnet for snowsports enthusiasts and those new to the support.


Around 10,000 new homes are planned or under construction along the Borders Rail corridor, including significant new settlements at Shawfair (4,000 new homes, three new schools and 24 hectares of employment land) and Redheugh (1,300 homes) close to Gorebridge.

Housing-led regeneration masterplans are underway at Newtongrange, Stobhill, Galashiels and Tweedbank. With new homes and commercial space to be delivered, these will provide great opportunities to live and work within easy reach of both Edinburgh and fantastic countryside.

The relative average price for a home in January-Marche 2018 was: Edinburgh £261,192; Midlothian £206,759; and the Scottish Borders £179,627.

The City of Edinburgh, Midlothian and Scottish Borders Councils are taking steps to increase the supply of affordable housing in the city.


Average House Price

Average Annual Local Earnings

House Price to Average Local Earnings

House Price to Average Earnings in Edinburgh





















Figures correct as at 2016. 

Primary and secondary education

Scottish Borders, Midlothian and the City of Edinburgh councils run 181 primary and 38 secondary schools, which, in 2017-18, educated over 76,000 pupils. Edinburgh city also has 18 independent private schools, which, in 2017, educated 11,300 pupils. There is one independent private school in the Borders, St Mary’s in Melrose.

You can find more information on individual schools, including inspection reports, from Education Scotland.

You can find out much more in our pages on visiting, and living and learning.