Initially a market town, Peebles played a role in the woollen industry of the Scottish Borders up until the 1960s and although one woollen mill remains this picturesque town is now a popular tourist destination. This move into tourism started early in Peebles with the increased interest in health tourism. The Peebles Hotel Hydro still continues offering visitors a healthy break - but thankfully with a more luxurious twist.
To the west of the town is Neidpath Castle, which can be reached on foot through Hay Lodge Park, this route offering spectacular views of the castle. On the south side of the High Street is The Chambers Institution which now incorporates the town's library, art gallery and local museum, deeded to the town by William Chambers a member of the Chambers publishing family which heralded from the town.
Traditionally a person born in Peebles was called a gutterbluid and although not gutterbluids themselves, John Buchan and Mungo Park - explorer and discoverer of the course of the Niger - both have commemorative plaques in the town. Mungo Park's house where he practised medicine is on the north of the Cuddy. Buchan, who practised law in Peebles, wrote John Burnett of Barns which includes a character who prefers to run up the scree of Cademuir for ever rather than die. Cademuir Hill, which overlooks Peebles and Glentress, is one of the most peaceful forests in the whole Tweed Valley Forest Park, making it ideal for spotting wildlife. There is a network of walking trails allowing you to explore this little gem of a forest.
For details of hotels, B&Bs and self-catering cottages in Peebles take a look at our accommodation page. If coming to the area specifically for mountain biking and are looking for mountain bike-friendly establishments, then take a look at our Mountain Bike Hospitality Scheme.
The annual local festival in Peebles is called the Beltane, and involves (as with many Borders festivals) a Common Riding. The Beltane culminates with the crowning of the Beltane Queen (a girl chosen from one of three local primary schools) along with her court and is held in the middle of June each year.
As befits a once bustling market town, Peebles provides a plethora of shopping experiences that encourage many a day trip to the town.
The wide range of shops includes chocolatiers, wine merchants, boutiques and gift shops as well as the everyday necessities of supermarkets, banks, chemists, garages and a main post office.