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

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.

Turnbull Family Origins

A man searches for ancient fortified sites associated with the notorious Border Reiver family of the Turnbulls.

Eildon Hills Standing Stones

A man looks at a standing stone in the Scottish Borders which faces the Eildon Hills. Then wonders if this stone is maybe part of a far larger temple.

Genocide in the Scottish Borders

The Roman Army had a lot of ambitions for Caledonia. One of the lesser known ones was complete genocide of the Scottish people. A man investigates this at Trimontium Roman Fort in the Scottish Borders.

Salmon Jumping on River Tweed near Galashiels

A man observes salmon jumping on the river tweed

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.

Talla Reservoir – A man made beauty

Talla Reservoir – A man made beauty in Scottish Borders

Shorts – Traquair yew forest

A look at the enchanting and magical yew trees on the Traquair house estate in the Scottish Borders.

The Mutiny Stones

We go in search for the oldest, most remote and most mysterious ancient monument in the Scottish Borders.

The Real Black Douglas

We go on the trail of the Black Douglas, inspired by the Netflix movie Outlaw King. He visits the real sites depicted in the film then tells the story of Douglas’s liberation of Berwick

William Wallace’s View

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

The Picts in The Borders

A man finds evidence of a hill known as Pict’s Hill near Galashiels and decides to investigate. He makes some startling discoveries!

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

William Wallace’s Grave??

A man searches for Wallace sites in the Scottish Borderlands including Wallace’s trench and a possible resting place for his remains.

Scotland’s Yew Trees

A man searches for Yew trees in the Scottish Borders at the site of a 6th century abbey Old Melrose. None of these Yews have been recorded before.

Shorts – Scottish Borders Birds

A short collage of birds in the Scottish Borders in March 2019

Druid Stone Circle in the Tweed Valley

A man searches for a Druid Stone Circle in the remotest part of the Tweed Valley in the the Scottish Borders.

Sunrise and Spirits

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

Braw Lads Gathering Galashiels 2019

All the Scottish Border towns have “Common Ridings” or Gatherings each summer to commemorate the history and traditions of each place. The horse has been an integral part of Border culture since the Reiving times.

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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