Mark Nicol

Historian – Filmmaker – Blogger –
Guided Tours – Group Speaker

My Latest Video / Blog

Scotland’s Greatest War Memorial?

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??

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 – Scottish Borders Birds

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

Ruberslaw Scottish Borders

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

Gala Aisle Gravestone Translation

A man finds the translation of a 17th century Latin inscribed gravestone in Galashiels, which remembers the battle of Dunbar

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”

Lost Border Reiver Towers

A man searches for three lost and forgotten Reiver strongholds in the Scottish Borders. All brought to his attention by one passage in an ancient and obscure book.

Tunneling Tommy The Teviotdale Tiger

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

Scottish Borders Coast

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

The Linton Worm

A man goes in search of the most ferocious and terrifying creature ever to stalk the countryside of the Borders.

Sunrise and Spirits

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

Scottish Borders Caves

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

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.

Hume Castle

A man explores Hume Castle and talks about its history.

Music of the Trees

A man uses a clever piece of tech to convert electric impulses of plants into music. He goes searching for the legendary ancient Yew Trees at Traquair in the Scottish Borders to hear their song.

Border Widow’s Lament

A man investigates the execution of William Cockburn the notorious Border Reiver, killed by King James V, and searches for the remains of Cockburn’s castle and chapel.

Forgotten Landscape Scottish Borders

A man investigates the forgotten tower, village and Inn of Westhouses near Galashiels, stronghold of the Ormiston family. Then finds evidence of Westhouses Corn Mill, the first ever mill in Galashiels

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.

Borders Tours – Edins Hall Broch

A man explores 2000 year old Edins Hall Broch in the Scottish Borders, and talks about tours to this site.

Scottish Border Legends, Kinmont Willie

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

Whitslaid Tower, Lauder, Berwickshire

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

Scottish Independence March Galashiels

All Under One Banner, peaceful demonstration march against Westminster rule in Scotland. Thousands of people took to the streets of Galashiels on 1st June 2019 to show their support for Scottish Independence.

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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