National paper lists St Boswells in top 10 of best places to live in Scotland

St Boswells is in the top 10 best places to live in the Scottish Borders, according to this weekend's Sunday Times newspaper.
St Boswells is in the top 10 best places to live in the Scottish Borders, according to this weekend's Sunday Times newspaper.

The sleepy Borders village of St Boswells is set to hit the headlines this weekend, as it has been named as one of the top 10 places to live in Scotland.

The Sunday Times’ annual feature saw Melrose crowned in the top spot last year ... but it has been edged out of the top 10 this year.

Billy and Rachael Hamilton outside the Blue Coo Bistro at the Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells

Billy and Rachael Hamilton outside the Blue Coo Bistro at the Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells

The city of jam, jute and journalism, Dundee, wins the coveted top spot in the newspaper’s Best Places to Live in Scotland 2019 competition.

But residents of St Boswells have declared their delight at being featured in this Sunday’s newspaper (April 14 issue).

The guide assesses a wide range of factors, from employment, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.

Helen Davies, The Sunday Times Home editor said: “Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health.

Main Street Trading Company owners Rosamund and Bill de la Hey pictured at their business in St Boswells.

Main Street Trading Company owners Rosamund and Bill de la Hey pictured at their business in St Boswells.

“Wherever you are on the property ladder, The Sunday Times has championed 101 locations across the UK, and crowned one lucky winner, that we think is a great place to make a home.

“This year we were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture.

“There is so much going on around the country, and so many great places that the choice was a hard one.”

The judging panel consisted of Helen, and her colleagues at the paper, Eleanor Mills, editor of The Sunday Times Magazine, and writer Tim Palmer.

Rachael Hamilton, the MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, co-owns the village’s Buccleuch Arms Hotel with husband Billy, and said she was delighted at the news.

She told us: “St Boswells is the best of Borders, it really does deserve to be in the top 10 best places to live in Scotland.

“Whether it’s the beautiful walks along the Tweed, the quaint village feel or the local independent shops, the village has a lot to offer.

“This accolade is testament to the hard work, too, of the local community council in making the village look its best.”

John Pollock is chairman of that particular authority and he told us: “Of course St Boswells is among the best places to stay.

“Set nicely amongst the Borders hills, it is certainly in a beautiful location.

“But for such a wee place, it is a very active one, with many villagers being very active in the community.”

Just this week, we reported on how the village had a spring clean, thanks to volunteers from the village.

Community Council member Alan Frank was also happy with the distinction, although he was not at all surprised.

He said: “I came here four years ago now with my two dogs.

“It really is the most amazing place ... brilliant for walking the dogs, either up the Eildons or along the banks of the Tweed.

“It is really staggering, the beauty of the countryside we are lucky enough to live in.

“It’s just glorious ... why would anyone want to live anywhere else?”

Business owner Rosamund de la Hey, who, with her husband Bill, runs the highly successful award-winning book store, the Mainstreet Trading Company.

She said: “We’re delighted to see the village recognised as one of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2019.

“We launched The Mainstreet Trading Company in 2008, just as the recession hit.

“Many thought us crazy, but we knew it was a special place, almost a crossroads in the Borders, and a beautiful village with a stunning view of the Eildons.”