You know that as a border town Hawick is going to be pretty, but it has to be exceptionally pretty to be the holder of as many floral awards as it has. This is the largest of all of the Border towns and more than anything is known for the high quality of its knitwear. As with all of the town in the Border regions, it has a long and often unsettled history. Current records can trace life in the town back to the 12th century, under the rule of King David I who granted the land in the region to a Norman family.
Hawick is the major centre for textiles in the borders and as such there are plenty of shops and retail outlets offering both cashmere and knitwear items. One of the major attractions in the town is the Border Textile Tower House which dates from the sixteenth century and houses an exhibition dedicated to the history of the textile trade in the region and as such the heritage of Hawick itself. More information about the town can be found in the Scott Gallery and the Hawick Museum.
Things to See and Do
One place that you really should see is the stunning Wilton Lodge Park. Not only can you take advantage of the beautiful natural scenery of the borders, you will also be in what is considered to be one of the most picturesque parks in Scotland. Explore the tree lined pathways and walks alongside the river, discover the walled gardens and the treasures hidden within the glass house and relax in the beautiful formal gardens before taking some time to explore the museum here. During the spring the gardens are filled with a riot of colour from snowdrops and crocus’ to daffodils and flowering trees. Visit in autumn and you will find the scenery painted in shades of russet and gold. The park links onto the Violet Woods which offers more wooded walks through the area, and it also features a crazy golf course and a putting green as well as areas for bowls with a café on site when you are in need of refreshment. Visit here during the summer months and you will find the Summer Festival in full swing and possibly even the Hawick Reivers Festival too.
Places to Visit
The appropriately named Heart of Hawick is located in the heart of town and offers a number of facilities. Created from two once derelict buildings the space now offers arts and heritage activities and includes the Heritage Hub, the Tower Mill and the Textile Towerhouse as well as space available for use by the local community. Tower Mill is a category A listed building and was once a spinning mill. It offers something unique in the fact that it is perched on a huge arch which spans Stirling Water and has an impressive 14ft waterwheel. The space now offers film screenings with different showings every day as well as a café and bar area. You will also see screens showing images from several underwater cameras which capture the local aquatic wildlife such as salmon and otters as well as bats and herons. The Heritage Hub is the location of the Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, a popular destination for those looking to follow their family tree or trace then clan ancestry.