Train station signage saying Galashiels against a blue sky Train station signage saying Galashiels against a blue sky

Galashiels town page 

Bordered by stunning countryside and with a busy town centre surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens, Galashiels is both lively and peaceful, offering the best of both worlds to its residents and visitors. 

Situated in the scenic Gala Water valley, the town offers both sporting and leisure opportunities, as well as a range of festivals and events celebrating its rich cultural heritage. Galashiels has worked hard on its accessibility in recent years and the new Tapestry Centre is a great example of this, while showcasing the textile heritage of the town. 

Getting there 

Galashiels is in the Scottish Borders and is well connected to major cities via road and rail. Edinburgh is just one hour drive away, Glasgow and Carlisle are 90 minutes, and Newcastle can be reached by car in under two hours.  

Galashiels has benefited from the reopening of the Borders Railway and Interchange with a direct link to Edinburgh Waverley (50 minutes), which has helped the town grow in visitors.    

Galashiels is also located on popular national cycling and walking routes, making it an idea spot for enjoying town and country. 

Getting to know Galashiels 

Hotels with good disabled access 

There are many good reviews of Eildon Melrose Holiday Cottages and Log Cabins on Euan’s Guide, and one reviewer said they were extremely suitable for a wheelchair user. “We were met by the owner on arrival who was very friendly and informative not just about the facilities in the cottage but also the local attractions. Good sized wet room in the downstairs bedroom. The door from the lounge into the porch opens both ways which is ideal for a wheelchair user. As well as a profile bed provided there was also a shower chair.” 

Peebles Hydro Hotel also good reviews, particularly for its ideal location for exploring the Galashiels area. It received four and five stars in its most recent reviews on Euan’s Guide. Another option would be Cringletie House Hotel, a country house with a great restaurant and lovely staff. There is at least one accessible room on the ground floor, there is a lift for access to the first floor restaurant with fabulous views, and there is designated disabled parking near the entrance too. 

Explore Galashiels 

The Great Tapestry of Scotland 

The Great Tapestry of Scotland national gallery and visitor centre opened in the summer of 2021 and was created and handstitched by 1,000 people from across Scotland. It’s one of the world’s largest tapestries and tells the story of Scotland’s history and culture through 160 different panels. The purpose-built gallery which houses the tapestry has visiting exhibitions as well as a shop and café, as well as workshops that give visitors the chance to meet the makers. The centre’s accessibility is superb, with level access to the attractions and a disabled toilet, and there’s a hearing loop in all public areas. 

The Town Trails 

The Town Trails in Galashiels are a great way to explore the town. You can discover the town’s history and architecture or simply want to entertain the kids for a few hours! The Galashiels website has three trails to choose from: the Town Trail, the Architectural Trail, and the Children’s Trail. 

Galashiels the gateway 

It’s worth visiting nearby Abbotsford (the home of Sir Walter Scott), Melrose (the birthplace of Rugby Sevens and where a casket believed to contain the heart of Robert the Bruce was found), Selkirk (a beautiful town with braes and wynds, and sudden unexpected views), and the River Tweed (almost 97 miles long!) which are all just a stone’s throw from Galashiels. 

Good places to eat and drink

Herges on the Loch is described on Euan’s Guide as a “delightful surprise of a restaurant” with good access to toilets, parking and close to Tweedbank Station. The menu is clear and comprehensive and the service friendly and helpful. The restaurant is on the loch but outside seating isn’t suitable for those who use a wheelchair or scooter because there’s no ramp, and the ground is ‘chuckies’.  The main restaurant is very easy to access and the ground floor is very spacious.  

Another option is Baguette N Go, where our reviewer said how excited they were that there was a ramp all ready and waiting, making him feel very welcome to grab something to eat. 


The Pavilion Cinema is an independent, family-run business with four screens in the centre of Galashiels. They show a mix of family movies, Hollywood blockbusters and British films. Theyr’e open seven days a week and during school holidays they run shows every day from 1.30pm. They were awarded the Community Award at the Borders Retail Business Awards. They have access at ground level, and there is a lift to access all floors. Cinema 3 is on the second floor and requires staff assistance for people with mobility impairments. All cinema screens have the Dolby Fidelio Assistance System, and most films have audio description available, and there is one subtitled performance a week.  

Have you visited Galashiels? Let us know with a review!