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

Scottish Borders Caves

A mans childish obsession with finding caves and singing about them continues.

Highland Tour pt1

A man from the Scottish Borders visits the Scottish Highlands and ponders which is better

Prehistoric Sunrise 2019

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

Whitslaid Tower, Lauder, Berwickshire

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

Finding Merlins Grave

Proof that Merlin the Wizard existed in the Scottish Borders…..

Hume Castle

A man explores Hume Castle and talks about its history.

Sunrise and Spirits

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

WW2 Bunkers and Iron Age Forts

A man searches for a top secret World War 2 Operations bunker + Iron age hill fort, all amongst the stunning Scottish Borders countryside.

Shorts – Warrior’s Rest

A look at 3 mysterious standing stones in the Yarrow Valley, Scottish Borders….what do they mean??

Scotland’s Greatest War Memorial? (transcribed)

A man looks at the Border Reiver in Galashiels. Often cited as the greatest war memorial in Scotland. But why does a WWI / WWII memorial feature a 16th century Border raider??

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

The Mutiny Stones

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

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.

Tallest Bridge In the World (1794)

A man searches for the tallest bridge in the Scottish Borders, which was the tallest bridge in the world at the time of its construction …. with some dramatic results.

Shorts – The Bruce left his mark

We look at Norham church and the scars left there by Robert the Bruce

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.

Winter Wildlife on the River Tweed

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

Shorts – St Aebbe’s Monastery

A man searches for the lost site of St Aebbe’s monastery on St Abbs Head, South Eastern Scotland.

Save the Heritage Trees

After hearing of the partial collapse of the giant and ancient oak tree know as the Capon Tree, a man decides to search for more of the oldest and largest trees in Scotland ….. all within the Scottish Borders.

Romans in the Borders week on Discover Scottish Borders

A week’s worth of my videos on how the Romans lived and influenced the Scottish Borders area.

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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