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

Real Scottish Borders Mermaids

A man investigates the mysterious Mermaids Well and Mermaids Pool in the Scottish Borders with disturbing results.

Witches Leap

A man finds a sinister relic from the dark times of the Scottish Witch hunts

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.

Highest Point In the Scottish Borders

A man climbs the highest hill in the Scottish Borders and then rolls back down again. Filmed amidst the stunning scenery of the Scottish Borders.

Edin’s Hall Broch

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

Shorts – Relics of Roxburgh

The ancient town of Roxburgh lies buried and forgotten. Only 2 stone relics survive from the lost town. A man takes a look at them.

Ancient Borderline Strongholds

A man searches for 3 ancient Border Reiver castles. Strongholds of the Douglas and Oliver families right on the Scotland – England Borderline.

Covenanter Murder – John Hunter 1685

A man investigates the murder , in 1685, of a Covenanter based soley on his religion amid the stunning scenery of Tweedsmuir and the Scottish Borderlands.

Shorts – Buzzard

While out filming I get a lucky shot of a buzzard

The Mutiny Stones

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

Old Melrose WW2 Bunker

In pictures – Our visit to Old Melrose WW2 Bunker

Scottish Borders Vikings

A man finds compelling evidence of Viking settlers in the Scottish Borderlands.

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

Ruberslaw Scottish Borders

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

Border Reivers Social Isolation

A man searches for an old Border Reiver tower deep in the forests of the Tweed valley in the Scottish Borders.

Go To Jail

A man searches for a legendary, strange old jail reputedly built under a bridge in the Scottish Borders.

Shorts – St Aebbe’s Monastery

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

Hill Fort Bagging in the Scottish Borders

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

In Picture: Cavers Castle/House Nr Denholm

Take a look at the Then and Now of this building

History During Lockdown

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

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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