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Hawick

Hawick Scottish Borders Travel and Tourism Information

The tower of Hawick Town Hall © Visit Scotland/Scottish Viewpoint

Nowadays Hawick is a quiet Border town famous for its knitwear. But hundreds of years ago it was at the heart of the Border wars.

Most of the town’s men of fighting age were massacred at the Battle of Flodden just over the Border near Wooler in 1513, but the following year when the town was threatened by an English raiding party they were fought off at nearby Hornshole by the boys, or ‘callants’, who captured the enemy banner and rode in triumph with it back to Hawick.

A statue celebrating their bravery now stands in the High Street while their gallantry is marked annually at the Common Riding in early June, when several hundred horsemen and women – one proudly carrying a flag – ride the town boundary.

It wasn’t just the English who harried this area. So too did bands of cattle thieves and outlaws from both sides of the Border. Romanticised in fiction and song, the Border Reivers owed their allegiance to their clan rather than their country.

This turbulent time is celebrated every March in the Hawick Reivers Festival when the town steps back to the 16th century with drama, songs, re-enactments and poetry.

Hawick’s history goes back much further, however. Now the largest town in the Borders, it can trace its roots back to at least the seventh century when the Angles founded a settlement enclosed by a hawthorn hedge – from which the town derives its name.

The Border Reiver statue in the centre of Hawick © Visit Scotland/Scottish Viewpoint

In the 12th century King David 1 granted land to the Lovels, a Norman family who built a wooden castle here.Today Hawick, which stands in the River Teviot, is the largest of the Border towns, famous for its textiles. It is the start of the luxury Cashmere Trail of textile producer s in the Borders, and the town boasts many specialist shops.

Other attractions include the Borders Textile Towerhouse where the area’s textile industry past and future is celebrated. The Heart of Hawick is home to the Heritage Hub where you will find the Visitor Information Centre, exhibitions, a cinema/theatre, café and workshop space. The Scottish Borders archive and local family-history centre is also here.

Wilton Lodge Park on the banks of the Teviot has 107 acres of riverside and tree-lined walks and a walled garden.

The Teviotdale Leisure Centre provides year round watery activities and other family orientated pastimes.

Sports lovers can catch a game of rugby at Mansfield Road Rugby ground or take in a round of golf at the Hawick Golf Club – the oldest in the Scottish Borders. Here the par-four 16th hole has been renamed Mclaren’s Miracle after the late rugby commentator and Hawick man, Bill Mclaren, who once secured a hole-in-one here.

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Where is Hawick?:

See the map on our Scottish Borders maps page.

Items for sale at the Borders Textile Towerhouse © Visit Scotland/Scottish Viewpoint