Mark Nicol

Historian – Filmmaker – Blogger –
Guided Tours – Group Speaker

My Latest Video / Blog

Holy Wells & Unholy Castles (Transcribed)

A man looks at the relationship between a Holy Well and a Border Reiver era castle in the far North of England

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

Scottish Borders Mass Graves

A man searches for forgotten mass graves in the Scottish Borders, all fuelled by religious persecution in the 17th century.

Whitslaid Tower, Lauder, Berwickshire

Whitslaid Tower, Lauder, Berwickshire situated just of the A68, 2 miles south of Lauder

The Brothers

The brothers standing stones, Smailholm tower and the Cow Stone

Wallace’s Tower Roxburgh

A man investigates a ruined 16th century tower house in the village of Roxburgh, Scottish Borders. The tower is not connected with William Wallace. Warning – contains some bad language.

Holy Wells & Unholy Castles (Transcribed)

A man looks at the relationship between a Holy Well and a Border Reiver era castle in the far North of England

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.

Forgotten Scottish Borders Castles

A man dreams of forgotten Scottish Borders castles, in Selkirk and on the cliffs of Berwickshire ….. but are they real??

Braw Lads Gathering Galashiels 2019 pt2

The cavalcade of horses reaches the town centre and the people remember the fallen hero’s of Flodden, Ancrum Moor, Bannockburn, WWI and WII, in Galashiels, Scottish Borders

Live Presentation in Galashiels Feb 2023

Thursday 9th February 2023 I will be giving a live presentation in the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels at 7.30pm

Entrance Fee £4 ….. pay at the door

Delve into the untold history of Galashiels during the time of the Border Reivers, and how a lot of this history connects to a mysterious ancient drawbridge which once stood in the area.

Otters in Galashiels

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

Scottish Borders Coast

A man investigates the site of a pivotal moment in World War 1

Shorts – Black Douglas Outlaw King

The Black Douglas in the new Netflix movie Outlaw King

Pray For Otters In Galashiels

A man takes us on the emotional roller coaster of a journey that is spotting otters in the Scottish Borders.

Scottish Borders Caves

A man searches for more caves in the Scottish Borders, this time near the village of Roxburgh

Castles, cuckoos and curlews

A man searches for castle ruins in the Gala Water valley and also spots some interesting birds

Whytbank Tower – Scottish Borders Haunted Towers

A man investigates the eerie Whytbank Tower, Clovenfords in the Scottish Borders with some alarming results.

Galashiels Mysteries – Wallace’s Putting Stone

A man goes in search of the legendary “Wallace’s Putting Stone” at the summit of Meigle Hill in Galashiels.

Unbelievable Galashiels wildlife

A man spots otters and peregrine falcons while out walking in Galashiels

Shorts – Twizel Castle

We investigate Twizel castle in Northumberland. One of many castles built on the Anglo-Scots Border to protect from marauding Scots armies.

A Tale of two (Scottish Borders) Cities

It may be strange to learn that there was once 2 cities within the Scottish Borders in the 13th and 14th centuries that were highly regarded as the centre of European politics and economy.

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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