Mark Nicol

Historian – Filmmaker – Blogger –
Guided Tours – Group Speaker

My Latest Video / Blog

Old Gala House and the growth of Galashiels Town

I try to discover the growth of my hometown happened, with no major written history of the lands it occupies.

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

Old Gala House and the growth of Galashiels Town

I try to discover the growth of my hometown happened, with no major written history of the lands it occupies.

Ruberslaw Scottish Borders

A man climbs Ruberslaw in the Scottish Borders for the first time and wonders at the stunning panoramas.

The mark of the Roman Legion

A man searches for the mark of the Roman legion Legio II Augusta hidden in a secret underground chamber called Crichton Souterrain, in Southern Scotland.

Galashiels to the Black Hill

A man treks 12 miles from Galashiels to Black Hill near Earlston taking in some history and scenery on the way.

Big Cats In the Scottish Borders?

A man finds potential evidence of big cat activity in the Scottish Borders!!

Mysterious Tor Hill Peebles

A man investigates a series of interesting coincidences on the summit of Tor Hill near Peebles in the Scottish Borders

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.

Borders Legends – The Battle of Degsastan

A man searches for the legendary site of the Battle of Degsastan in the Scottish Borders, with some dramatic results.

Scottish Borders Coast

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

Strange site, Scottish Borders

A man surveys a site near Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders, containing a stone circle, castle ruins and numerous other ditches

Water Bull of Cauldshiels Loch

We recently sacrificed our new year to camp out and find some crucial evidence for the legend and existence of the “Tarbh Uisge”

Remembering The Battle of Flodden

A man travels to fantastical ruined castles, old bridges and monuments to uncover the history of the Battle of Flodden. The most disastrous day ever in Scottish Borders history.

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

Free Food

A man talks about an abundant, free food source in the Scottish Borders

Highland Tour pt2

A man from the Scottish Borders visits the Scottish Highlands

Prehistoric Sunrise 2019

We visit a prehistoric site to watch the first sunrise of 2019 in the Scottish Borders

Talla Reservoir – A man made beauty

Talla Reservoir – A man made beauty in Scottish Borders

Tunneling Tommy The Teviotdale Tiger

A man enters the cavernous abyss that is Peebles Neidpath Railway tunnel, searching for a long lost relative.

History During Lockdown

A man finds some interesting history on his doorstep during lock-down!

In the footsteps of William Wallace

A man traces the movements of William Wallace through the castles, churches, caves and battlefields of Southern Scotland and the Scottish Borders.

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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