Walkerburn, Scotland: Where Old-Fashioned Community Thrives

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Walkerburn, Scotland: Where Old-Fashioned Community Thrives

Walkerburn was a factory town established in 1854 by Henry Ballantyne. The factory is still in operation today, although the town has decreased in size and population since then. The homes were built to house the workers in the factory and the town was bustling until the railway ceased business, then the town died down.

Now, life in Walkerburn is very simple. There are around 450 homes, one of which we own. There are 600+ residents who are all very friendly and form a tight-knit community. The train no longer thunders through the area and Walkerburn is considered slightly remote compared to the rest of The Scottish Borders – especially since residents have to hang around their window to get a telephone signal.

The Town

The town is very small and has only around 10 streets. Maybe slightly more that that. There is one very long road that houses the majority of the town’s residents and is considered the hub of the town. The road is always lined with so many cars that it can be hard to drive down it at times. There is only one bus that comes through town in each direction so it can be hard to get anywhere if you do not drive.


Walkerburn Bridge. PIC: NH

There is a school and a village hall, along with a rugby club, a bar and two hotels – one of which was recently named the best hotel in Scotland. The village hall hosts regular events and exercise classes including Yoga and Tai Chi.

The Area

Walkerburn is not far from larger Innerleithen. You can reach Peebles and Galashiels by bus within thirty minutes. Locally, you can climb the wonderful trails through the forest and up the many hills nearby.


Walkerburn Signs. PIC: NH

The local government is in the process of creating a cycle path to connect to Innerleithen, so children and adults alike can cycle between the two towns. This path extends to Cardrona making a fun family cycle or walk.

Down from the main street, which is lined with the homes of the town’s residents, is a wooden bridge. This makes it easy for kids and mothers to reach the park on the other side of the river without a difficult walk. Before reaching the park there is a lovely green space that has a red path looping the green – a great place to take a jog or a run. Within the path are goals so the kids can play football.

Life in Walkerburn

The town is so small that everyone knows everyone. It is the kind of place where you can let your kid go out to play in the street and know nothing bad will happen. Kids are always playing and jumping around in each others gardens.


Family Time in Walkerburn. PIC: NH

I moved to Walkerburn three years ago and I made many new friends because of that decision. It was the perfect place to bring a child into the world and have him spend his first few years of life.

The People

This is the kind of town where people go out of their way to benefit the community. Some kind people took it upon themselves to begin a Mother and Toddler group and sorted out ways to fund it. Families donated toys for the children to play with and the local school allows the group to meet in one of the classrooms.

You get a sense of belonging when you are part of this town, you make many new friends and are never far from some interesting gossip, a piece of history or a good friend. It is a place where your children grow up being able to safely play in the street.


Walkerburn is a place where you end up living next door to your Mum’s oldest friend, living doors away from your child’s Grandparents and minutes from all of your friends. The people here protect each other in the way brothers and sisters do. It is a beautiful community to be a part of.

The Jobs

For such a small town, Walkerburn has many jobs – here there are groundwork firms, factories, hotels, cafes, a school and a store. A lot of the people from the town work in the town.

Many people have started businesses and the locals support these businesses as they would their own family’s.


Walkerburn. PIC: NH

Overall it is a great place to live. You get a sense of belonging when you are part of this town, you make many new friends and are never far from some interesting gossip, a piece of history or a good friend. It is a place where your children grow up being able to safely play in the street. The community will help bring up your child, keeping him safe, fed and well taken care of.

Also check out, Living In Milton Keynes.

Natasha Haley

Natasha Haley

Natasha is a travel and social media blogger at Meldrums On The Move (www.meldrumsonthemove.com). She blogs about her family travels and aims to make family travel cheaper, easier and more enjoyable for other family travellers. Natasha grew up in Scotland and considers herself an expert on her local area.