Mark Nicol

Historian – Filmmaker – Blogger –
Guided Tours – Group Speaker

My Latest Video / Blog

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.

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

Shorts – Black Douglas Outlaw King

The Black Douglas in the new Netflix movie Outlaw King

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

Hill Fort Bagging in the Scottish Borders

A man discovers several hill forts in a five mile walk from Peebles

Scottish Border Legends, Kinmont Willie

A man goes on a search for the lost grave of notorious Border Reiver Kinmont Willie Armstrong.

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.

Cycling to History

A man uses a bicycle to reach some 16th century towers in the Scottish Borders, war-torn ancient landscape.

Celebrating 100 Years of the RAF

A man looks for the site of RAF Charterhall in the Scottish Borders, the scene of so many death during WW2.

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.

The Lammas Tide

A man investigates the battle of Otterburn from 1388. Tracing the footsteps of James Douglas and makes a rather macabre discovery

Norham Castle – Not what we expected

A recent visit to Norham Castle turned out “not what we expected”.

Scots Dyke

A man goes in search of the legendary Scots Dyke.

Highland Tour pt1

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

The Pacification of The Scottish Borders

A man investigates the brutally violent pacification of the Scottish Borders during the Union of the English and Scottish Crowns.

In Picture: Cavers Castle/House Nr Denholm

Take a look at the Then and Now of this building

The Mutiny Stones

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

Edin’s Hall Broch

They don’t make them like this no more!
Edin’s hall Broch near Duns

Scottish Borders Isolation

A man gets lost among the hills in the Scottish Borders after the first flurry of snow in 2016, with dramatic consequences

Galashiels Mysteries…The Catrail

A man walks along the legemdary Catrail or Picts Ditch Earthwork from the great and uncharted Rink Fort near Galashiels to Torwoodlee Broch

Forgotten Galashiels

A man walks from Galashiels to Clovenfords via the forgotten Blindlee Tower and mysterious Meigle Pots. Also features a clip from “Am no a Grass”

The Lowland Clearances – Lost Villages

A man talks about the land clearances of the Scottish Borders in the 18th century, and searches for some of the lost, forgotten villages which these created.

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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