Step into the Scottish Borders this spring

A NEW film inspired by John Buchan’s ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ has brought to life the stunning countryside and historic attractions of the region that he loved.

From the rugged coastline at St Abb’s Head to the magnificent abbeys at Dryburgh, Melrose, Jedburgh and Kelso, the animation from VisitScotland brings to life the places at the heart of the region, the outstanding natural produce and diverse array of activities on offer for visitors to the Scottish Borders.

Produced in partnership with Scottish Borders Council, the film takes inspiration from Buchan whose family is strongly linked with the area and who wrote fondly of the region.

From the stunning collection of trees and plants nestled in the depths of the Scottish Borders at Dawyck Botanic Garden to the natural beauty of St Mary’s Loch and the magnificent historic houses of Thirlestane Castle and Bowhill House & Country Estate, the film shines the spotlight on the greatest assets and icons of the Scottish Borders, as well as some of the hidden gems.

The region is renowned for its award-winning mountain bike trails at 7stanes Glentress, Innerleithen and Newcastleton as well as its world-famous fishing on the River Tweed. Every summer, communities across the Scottish Borders come together to celebrate their history and unique identity to uphold traditions going back hundreds of years at the Common Riding festivals.

The region’s links to the textiles and fashion and design are also showcased in the film with Lochcarron of Scotland and Hawico Cashmere in Hawick both based in the region. And with its abundance of local food and drink producers, many visitors are attracted to the area to sample regional delights, from locally brewed beers to fruit, meat and cakes and sweets.

The Borders Railway – the 31-mile route from Edinburgh to Tweedbank which was opened by H M The Queen in September 2015 – also tunnels its way through the film, making it easier than ever before to reach the many things to see and do in the Scottish Borders, as well as one of the most scenic rail routes in the country.

Doug Wilson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “This unique film builds of the success of VisitScotland’s Spirit of Scotland global campaign and #ScotSpirit social movement which aims to raise the profile and reputation of the region as an outstanding place to visit, and to invest, live and work in.

“This film invites visitors to literally step into the Scottish Borders and discover all that there is on offer. The film is an additional asset for VisitScotland and our partners to promote the region and its many assets to visitors at home and further afield. We hope it will encourage people to share their own experience on our online iKnow community and entice others to discover the magic of the region for themselves.”

Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development at Scottish Borders Council, said: “Videos are becoming an increasingly popular and successful method to interact with online audiences, and this engaging film aims to celebrate Buchan’s most famous novel and highlight the wide variety of attractions available for visitors in the Borders.

“Also featured is the Borders Railway, which has already proven to be a hugely popular and easy way of seeing the region either for a day or for longer.”

John Buchan is one of Scotland’s most famous authors, chiefly remembered for the thriller The Thirty Nine Steps published in 1915. His parents grew up in Tweeddale and family holidays were spent at Broughton, near Peebles.

To find out more about the VisitScotland online community and to share your experience and knowledge of the Scottish Borders, visit:

To find out more about the Scottish Borders, visit:

The full list of businesses included in the film are:

• Abbotsford House, Melrose
• Melrose Abbey,
• Dryburgh Abbey
• Jedburgh Abbey
• Kelso Abbey
• Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo
• Thirlestane Castle, Lauder
• Bowhill House & Country Estate, Selkirk
• Tweedlove Festival, Peebles
• Kailzie Gardens, Cardrona
• St Mary’s Loch
• St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve
• Hawico Cashemere, Hawick
• Lochcarron of Scotland, Hawick
• Hergés on the Loch, Tweedbank
• Born in the Borders, Jedburgh
• Firebrick Basserie, Lauder
• Seasons, Gattonside
• Cocoa Black, Peebles
• Giacopazzi’s Ice Cream, Eyemouth
• Gunsgreen House, Eyemouth
• River Tweed Fishing
• Teviot Game Fare Fishing
• Broughton Ales
• Traquair Brewery
• Tempest Brewing, Tweedbank
• 7stanes Mountain Biking, Glentress Forest and Newcastleton
• Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Innerleithen
• Velvet Hall Alpacas, Innerleithen
• Lindean Mill Glass, Selkirk
• Twist Glass Studio, Selkirk
• Scottish Borders Art Glass, Hawick