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Focus on Selkirk Beverley Brown takes a closer look at what Selkirk has to offer as a lifestyle location

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The Ancient and Royal Burgh of Selkirk might not be the largest town in the Borders – that distinction goes to Hawick – but it is arguably the most scenic, owing to its setting high above the largely undiscovered valleys of Ettrick and Yarrow. The beauty of the countryside coupled with the area’s rich heritage have inspired artists, writers and poets for centuries, among them Sir Walter Scott, who served as Sheriff of Selkirkshire for 33 years and whose courtroom in the town is now a museum. The Ettrick Valley was also the birthplace of poet and writer James Hogg, otherwise known as the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’. Selkirk has an ancient and fascinating history. This is where William Wallace, who was declared guardian of Scotland in the town, launched raids against the English. It’s also a place of legend, where the wizard Merlin sought refuge after a bloody battle near Carlisle. The best place to rediscover Selkirk’s sometimes turbulent past is in Halliwell’s House, the town’s oldest dwelling, which is now appropriately the local museum. Halliwell’s House and Close are named after Robert Halliwell, a wig maker who owned all the buildings in the Close at the beginning of the 18th century.

Records dating from the 1600s reveal a wide variety of trades have thrived in Halliwell’s Close down the centuries, including weavers, butchers, ironmongers, tailors, bakers, coopers and shoemakers. Much of the original medieval street plan is still evident, with narrow closes – similar to those leading from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile – providing useful short cuts to other roads and lanes radiating from the town centre. Early industry centred on shoemaking and people from the town are known as Souters, which means cobblers or shoemakers but after the first woollen mill opened in 1767, Selkirk, like its neighbour Hawick, developed a thriving and lucrative textile industry. Many of the mills that sprang up along the banks of the river Tweed have more recently been converted to accommodate different businesses, an example being Ettrick Riverside Business Park. Further economic regeneration is likely to be stimulated by funding for Selkirk by the Scottish Government for essential repairs and improvements to its historic heartland. The funding, which is distributed to 12 council areas in Scotland through Historic Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), aims to encourage local authorities to invest in their historic environment, whilst helping to stimulate economic regeneration.

Nowadays there’s a more creative vibe in Selkirk that can be seen in Rob Elliot’s handcrafted furniture, Lindean Mill Glass and the award winning Twists Glass Studio. Textiles and knitwear, including the finest cashmere, still have a presence in the town at the Lochcarron Scottish Visitor Centre. Another former mill, St Mary’s Mill Studios, is home to Wasps Artists Studios and Galleries, which has a strong community of artists who organise open events, free of charge, throughout the year. This is rugby country and Selkirk Rugby Football Club has, to date, produced 12 Scotland internationalists. The town also hosts the Selkirk Common Riding – a tradition that dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries and the land border wars with England and other clans. Nowadays this annual event is celebrated in many Border towns as a way of keeping history and tradition alive. Rideouts can involve hundreds of horses – 300 to 400 in the Selkirk Common Riding, which is held on the second Friday after the first Monday in June and is one of the oldest in the Borders, dating back to the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

“The general overview in Selkirk and the surrounding areas, such as Ashkirk, is positive, with more buyer activity and more new properties coming to market.”


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Below are just a small sample of the many different house styles being marketed across the price spectrum in the Selkirk area by BSPC firms Acacia, Shawpark Road, Selkirk, TD7 4DS Offers Around £247,500

This semi-detached Victorian house is spacious with beautifully proportioned rooms (and plenty of them, with four bedrooms, three public rooms and a large, fully floored attic with conversion potential), original features combined with a pristine, modern interior, enclosed rear garden, single garage, and a quiet but central location.

Gowanlea, Hillside Terrace, Selkirk, TD7 4LT Offers Around £207,000

Highlights include natural timber floors, a cast iron multi-fuel stove and inglenook fireplace in the dining room, super-sized bedrooms, and a good bathroom with over-bath shower. See page 26

Balmacara, Roberts Avenue, Selkirk, TD7 4JF In Region of £155,000

This modern semi-detached house benefits from an attractive interior – and an unexpectedly large rear garden that includes two sheds, a raised, decked dining area, garage, and a timber summerhouse. Inside, the two-storey layout has an open-plan living/dining room with a wood-burning stove, and a recently upgraded fitted kitchen and downstairs shower room.

The interior is beautifully presented with neutral decoration throughout, and the property also has well stocked front and back gardens and a suntrap patio. See page 30

5 Humes Close, Selkirk, TD7 4BJ Fixed Price £145,000

Distinctively different by design, this modern, three-storey townhouse offers adaptable accommodation that would be ideal for a growing family.

The property also has external storage and a secluded, well-stocked south -facing garden. • See page 40

82 Linglie Road, Selkirk, TD7 5BD Guide Price £110,000

In beautiful condition throughout, this spacious ground floor apartment enjoys a quiet cul-de-sac setting. It also has private off-road parking for two cars and a garden/drying area shared with only one other property. The layout includes a good-sized living room with hardwood flooring, breakfasting kitchen with contemporary units, master bedroom with en suite shower room, second double bedroom, single bedroom/study, and a spacious bathroom with over-bath shower. Ready to move into and start living. See page 45

Upgraded by the present owners, this end-terraced house is in pristine condition throughout and has a lovely position on the edge of the town. The accommodation extends to a hall, living room, nicely fitted breakfasting kitchen, rear hall, and a sizable conservatory fitted with bespoke blinds. Upstairs are three bedrooms – two double and a single bedroom/study with a staircase leading up to a versatile attic/craft room and a partly tiled bathroom with over-bath shower. The rear garden is particularly attractive. See page 45

Off the ground floor hall there’s a 17ft dining kitchen with integrated appliances, cloakroom, and fourth bedroom; the second floor has a large living room with doors to a balcony and a double bedroom, while the third floor has two further double bedrooms and a tiled shower room. Outside is a fully decked garden. It’s big, bright, and can also be sold with furniture included by negotiation • See page 41

1 Dunsdalehaugh Square, Selkirk, TD7 5EE Offers Around £105,000

Tucked away in a delightful leafy setting this end terraced house will appeal greatly to anyone looking for a home that has character and charm along with a very attractive and stylish interior. It has two public rooms (living room with an inglenook fireplace housing a multifuel stove), three bedrooms (one with a recently re-fitted en suite), a lovely dining kitchen with doors to the garden, and a bathroom with roll-top bath.

Upstairs are three bedrooms – one with excellent built-in storage – and a family bathroom. This attractive home is also close to Knowepark Primary School and Selkirk High School. • See page 38

69 Back Row, Selkirk, TD7 4AQ In Region of £135,000

Gowanlea is deceptively spacious detached Victorian villa situated only a short walk from the centre of Selkirk. Upgraded to a high standard yet retaining original period features the main accommodation comprises three public rooms and three bedrooms, in addition to an attractively fitted kitchen, utility, hall cloakroom, and a bright upstairs bathroom with bath and separate shower.

5 Cannon Street, Selkirk, TD7 5BW Guide Price £90,000

Occupying a quiet setting on the outskirts of the town, this well presented ground floor flat has a deceptively spacious interior and a small but pretty garden that requires little or no maintenance and includes a shed. Ideal as a starter home but equally suitable for downsizers, the layout comprises hall, living room, fitted kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms, one with en suite facilities. In excellent condition throughout, this is an easily managed home in a good location. • See page 47

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£250,000 TO £150,000 / WWW.BSPC.CO.UK

As a place to live Selkirk ticks other boxes apart from spectacular scenery – good schools, shops, hotels and restaurants - according to Carla McColgan, who lives in the town and works at the local Hastings Property Shop, The Woll is one venue that is very popular for lunches and evening meals. Carla also highlights Borders Youth Theatre, which runs workshops across the region, as does WASPS art group. Selkirk’s sports and leisure facilities include rugby, swimming, angling, golf (with both nine and 18-hole courses), horse-riding, walking, mountain biking and cycling. The town is also home to Scotland’s oldest horse racing track, the Gala Rig, on the outskirts of the town.

Properties in the vicinity of the town centre tend to be older styles, including original artisans’ dwellings – those that have been modernised and upgraded are always highly sought after – an end terraced house currently for sale at 5 Humes Close backs onto Halliwells Close, in one of the oldest parts of Selkirk, next to Halliwells museum. There are also larger, more impressive properties close to the town centre, while along the High Street and down Bleachfield Road is Raeburn Place, with the Shaw Burn running nearby. Here the housing mix includes charming terraced cottages and larger semi-detached Victorian villas.

Bowhill House, three miles west of Selkirk, is a Georgian mansion set in extensive grounds with beautiful woodland walks, an adventure playground, and a theatre that hosts drama and music performances.

The town’s location on the A7, between Galashiels and Hawick and only a short drive from Melrose, makes it a popular choice for commuters. The A68 is also within easy reach and a regular bus service operates north to Edinburgh and south to Carlisle.

The Southern Upland Way is also easily accessible and there’s world class fishing on the Tweed, while St Mary’s Loch, the largest natural loch in the Scottish Borders, and its sister the Loch of Lewes, offer a range of outdoor activities including fishing, sailing and water sports.

Commenting on the local property market, Sally Leslie at Hastings Property Shop in the town, says: “The general overview in Selkirk and the surrounding areas, such as Ashkirk, is positive, with more buyer activity and more new properties coming to market.

Selkirk’s residential property market offers a wide choice of traditional and modern styles to suite all ages and stages, from flats and apartments that are ideal for first time buyers and those looking to downsize, to family houses and those more suitable for retirees.

There seems to be an upturn in viewings, possibly linked to better weather experienced recently, and this is likely to be a continuing trend as we move into spring and gardens start to look better and daylight hours become longer.

Mid price range houses are attracting good interest and we are beginning to see signs this is gearing up to extend to all price levels in the coming weeks. On the rental side, properties do not linger long and the letting market is strong with a good turnover and choice among the new flats and houses coming forward regularly. Current news reports about falling inflation rates will also help to lend confidence to house buyers, which could also have a positive impact on the local property market.”

LOCAL BSPC MEMBER FIRMS Bannerman Burke (BB) 32 High Street, Selkirk, TD7 4DD Tel. 01750 700026 Fax. 01750 725672 Email. Website.

Collie & Co (COL) 26 High Street, Selkirk, TD7 4DD Tel. 01750 723868 Fax. 01750 723866 Email. Website.

Douglas Gilmour & Son (DG) 20 Market Place, Selkirk, TD7 4BL Tel. 01750 720271 Fax. 01750 722686 Email.

Hastings Property Shop, Selkirk 22 Market Place, Selkirk, TD7 4BL Tel. 01750 724160 Fax. 01750 725673 Email. Website.

Borders Country Lets 22 Market Place, Selkirk, TD7 4BL Tel. 01750 724160 Fax. 01750 725673 Email. Website. Images courtesy of Visit Scotland Borders, Scottish Viewpoint, Grant Kinghorn Pics:, Hastings & Co.

BSPC Property Guide - Focus on Selkirk  

BSPC take a closer look at what Selkirk has to offer as a lifestyle location. The Ancient and Royal Burgh of Selkirk might not be the large...