The name, Galashiels, is derived from shiels or shielings which means dwellings and is usually preceded by a place or personal name, hence Galashiels, which means dwellings by the Gala Water. Although Galashiels is a small town, there are plenty of activities available to enjoy; a short walk away you will find Gala Water Retail Park, where occupiers include M&S Simply Food, Next, New Look, Boots, Pets at Home and Clarks. The retail park sits adjacent to Tesco Extra and ASDA. For those who enjoy leisure activities, Tweedbank Sports Centre and The Borders Sport and Leisure Centre will keep all members of the family entertained on a day out. Cyclists can join the 90-mile Tweed Cycle Way in Galashiels, while hikers can join the Southern Upland Way as it passes through.
Galashiels is home to a number of primary schools, one secondary school, Heriot Watt University and The Borders College.
You’ll find the Scottish Borders is easy to reach from every direction, with major routes from all directions touching its boundaries. Leave behind the motorways and ring roads and in little more than an hour by car from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Carlisle you’ll discover that driving is a pleasure again. Traffic free roads and quiet country lanes reveal new breath-taking vistas which change with the seasons, the weather and the light. The Borders Railway line is set to be up and running by summer 2015 with half hourly service at peak times over seven days of the week. The rail line will run from Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders to Midlothian, Edinburgh Waverley, connecting to the national and international rail network within an hour.