Mark Nicol

Historian – Filmmaker – Blogger –
Guided Tours – Group Speaker

My Latest Video / Blog

William Wallace’s View

A man wonders what William Wallace has been looking at for 200 years

About Discover Scottish Borders

Discover Scottish Borders is a website and social media stream to showcase an intrepid explorer of the Scottish Borders and the borderland between Scotland and England. I cover the Myths and legends as well as strange places – I also have a love for the wildlife that frequents this area! My website is for everyone who has a connection with the Scottish Borders, whether you live here, have visited (or even want to visit), your ancestors came from here or if you just like the look of this beautiful region!

 

Technically, as it stands today the Scottish Borders is a council areal formed in 1975 – Although my work is not to be confused as solely concentrating on the council area but rather the whole of the Anglo-Scottish border area that has seen some of the most extravagant moments in history of the British Isles
Historically, the term Borders has a wider meaning, referring to all of the burghs adjoining the English border, also including Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire — as well as Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland in England.

Roxburghshire and Berwickshire historically bore the brunt of the conflicts with England, both during declared wars such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, and armed raids which took place in the times of the Border Reivers. Thus, across the region are to be seen the ruins of many castles, abbeys and even towns.
The Scottish Borders has seen evidence from Pictish tribes, Roman Strongholds right through to important battles and documented papers that played a vital part of the several Wars of Independence.

Mark Nicol is the driving force behind Discover Scottish Borders, meticulously researching, scouting and presenting his videos that are unique and full of informative information and bringing the Borders Regions history and tales to life that are almost forgotten.
This is all done in Mark’s free time and days off!
 
 
It all started off one day with Mark exploring the local region and producing certain videos that were a way of documenting his explorations with a little bit of a fun element to add to better viewing and in context with Mark’s personality.
Things started to get a bit more serious when, with the near completion of the Borders Railway he decided to research the tourist capabilities of the areas of Galashiels and Tweedbank. This lead to a series of videos for visitors coming off the train to explore, such as walks and places to visit.
This captured a larger audience and viewers and in turn gave Mark a thirst to seek out the history and folklore of the regions in depth. At the time of writing this Mark’s YouTube channel has close to 200 videos each with its own story to tell.
The videos reach out far a field to the like of the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa where people have a heart in the area from previous ancestors.
Discover Scottish Borders is growing all the time and becoming the hub for information of the Borders Regions.
Recently Mark has appeared in a BBC Regional Broadcast with his own segment telling the tale of the Border Reivers.
Mark is also in demand as a speaker at local community groups where he showcases his self-learnt knowledge.
Also, Mark takes carefully selected visitors to the region who want to explore the area and see for themselves the delights the regions hold.
When starting out and developing Discover Scottish Borders, Mark’s aim was to get people out and visiting these places and seeing for themselves. This can be gauged by the amount of correspondence we receive on the interest of subject matters.
Not only that, Discover Scottish Borders has been the forerunner of encouraging bloggers and YouTubers to produce their own content of their visit to a site and the exploration they have had, leaving a greater footprint of information as so more visitors may enjoy and discover the delights of our region.
In 2018 Mark was a finalist for “Visit Scotland: Scottish Thistle Award” as Regional Ambassador. Which is basically the Oscars of Scottish Tourism.
Things are looking well for Discover Scottish Borders!

More Of My Work

Sunrise and Spirits

A man climbs the Eildon Hills in the Scottish Borders to witness the sunrise and find the mountain spirit.

Otters in Galashiels

A man and his greyhound spot some otters in a small secluded burn near Galashiels

Covenanter Murder – John Hunter 1685

A man investigates the murder , in 1685, of a Covenanter based soley on his religion amid the stunning scenery of Tweedsmuir and the Scottish Borderlands.

War & Religion on the Tweed

A man searches for the lost and forgotten Chapel of St Cuthbert on the banks of the River Tweed, along the way looking at other churches and legendary stories from the area

Winter Wildlife on the River Tweed

We think a lot more could be done to promote the area for wildlife tourism.

Battle of Carham

The Scottish Borders and Lothians are celebrating 1000 years of being Scottish this year.
We investigate the Battle if Carham which dictated this.

Secrets of Jedburgh Abbey

A man searches for lost and ruined churches around Jedburgh, then investigates who was buried in Jedburgh Abbey to make it such a sacred place.

Old Melrose WW2 Bunker

In pictures – Our visit to Old Melrose WW2 Bunker

Not Outlander this is real!

A man investigates stone circles in the Borderlands between Scotland and England, with some dramatic results.

The 3 Brochs of Galashiels

A man searches for the 3 stone age Brochs which survived in the Galashiels area at the beginning of the first millennium.

Borders Tours – Edins Hall Broch

A man explores 2000 year old Edins Hall Broch in the Scottish Borders, and talks about tours to this site.

Willie Armstrong’s Grave

The graves of Border Reivers are few and far between.
In this new film we go looking for one of the most notorious of all ….Kinmont Willie Armstrong’s burial
place..

Heavily Defended Galashiels

A nightmare(ish) glimpse of the future where everybody wants to get into a heavily defended Galashiels.

Scottish Borders Smugglers

A man investigates the smuggling trade in the Scottish Borders throughout the 18th and 19th century. Visiting smuggling hotspots inland and along the coast.

Sacred Scottish Yew Trees

A man searches for ancient, sacred, huge, impressive yew trees in Southern Scotland, and wonders why they are so revered

Scottish Border Legends: Little Jock Elliot

A man investigates the life of notorious Scottish Border Reiver, Little Jock Elliot. And looks into the real reason Mary Queen of Scots was in Jedburgh

Scottish Border’s Waterfalls

A man serches for a mystical, beautiful largely unknown waterfall in the Scottish Borders. Taking in some more well known ones on the journey.

The Poems of Will H Ogilvie

Will H Ogilvie was born at Holefield Farm near Kelso, Scotland in 1869.

Standing Stones 3 Ways

A man searches for different types of standing stones in the Scottish Borders.

All filmed and produced on an iPhone 7z

The Battle of Melrose

A man finds an old engraving of a standing stone and decides to investigate. Then tries to locate this lost and forgotten monument

What Else Do I Do?

Day and Extended Tours

I operate day tours and extended tours originating in the Scottish Borders and outreaching to the rest of Scotland & parts of England to tell the tales of the Anglo-Scots Borderlands

The Itinerary is customised to aid history buffs, spiritual seekers, family heritage research and general appreciation of the Scottish Borders beautiful landscapes and rolling hills

Group Speaking

I am also available to provide talks for groups who are interested in the history of the Borders Region

As you can see, Mark has a real passion for the unknown and forgotten history and presents his videos in a unique way to engage an audience and bring a fun way of keeping the Borders Spirit alive”

 

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