10 bars and breweries to visit on the ultimate Borders Railway pub crawl

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 4:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 2:40 pm
Tweedbank station is the last stop on the Borders Railway, which opened in 2015 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Opened in September 2015, the Borders Railway connects Edinburgh city centre to the Scottish Borders, stopping off at various small towns along the way.

There are eight stops between Edinburgh Waverley and Tweedbank Station, and travelling from the city centre to the end of the line takes just under an hour.

If you'd like to make a day of it and acquaint yourself with the Borders by train, here's a ready-made pub crawl that you can take part in by alighting at each station along the railway.

Edinburgh Waverley

Before leaving Edinburgh, make time for a drink at the rather grand but still charming Cafe Royal, which has been serving customers for the last 155 years.

Hidden behind Princes Street on West Register Street, the bar is less than a five minute walk from the station.

Brunstane

South of Portobello, Brunstane Station is close to both the Jewel and Esk College and Edinburgh College campuses.

Leave the train here and take a leisurely 10 minute stroll along Milton Road East to the Kings Manor Hotel.

Run by Best Western, the hotel has a friendly and spacious bar where non-guests are welcome to relax and enjoy a pint or a glass of wine.

Newcraighall

Disembark at Newcraighall and make the five minute pilgrimage to traditional pub, The Cuddie Brae.

If you're lucky enough to get good weather, you can enjoy your drink at a table outside. If not, warm yourself by the open fire before returning to the station.

Cafe Royal, which has been serving customers for the last 155 years (Photo: Shutterstock)

Shawfair

It's the longest walk on this list from Shawfair station to The Cockatoo in Millerhill, but you can reward yourself with a slap up meal at this family-run pub.

Tuck into contemporary pub classics (with the odd Scottish twist) like gourmet burgers, fish and chips, and haggis fritters.

Wash it all done with a beer from The Cockatoo's impressive selection.

Eskbank

If you happen to be doing your pub crawl on a Friday or Saturday, you might be lucky enough to catch the Cross Borders Brewing taproom when it's open - just three minutes from the station.

Attached to the brewery, the recently unveiled taproom is currently open fortnightly between 4pm and 10:30pm on Fridays and 2pm to 10:30pm on Saturdays, pouring the brewery's own beers in a trendy environment.

If the Cross Borders boys aren't serving, Justinlees Inn is your alternative, located 10 to 15 minutes walk up the road from Eskbank.

Newtongrange

Wander half a mile from Newtongrange station and you'll stumble upon traditional Scottish boozer, The Dean Tavern, on Main Street.

The pub was originally built for local miners and their families, and community is still at the heart of this friendly bar.

Meet the locals and enjoy a pint before you head back on your way.

There are plenty of places to wet your whistle along the Borders Railway (Photo: Shutterstock)

Gorebridge

The unique Stobsmill Inn in Gorebridge hasn't changed much over the years, but it's located just five minutes from the train station and is well worth a visit.

Both the staff and regulars here are friendly, and you can soak up the quintessential village pub atmosphere as you sink a pint (or two) of ale.

Stow

North of Galashiels, disembarking at Stow station lands you in a relatively rural (and beautifully green) area.

Thankfully, the fully licensed Cloudhouse Cafe is just a five minute walk away - across the Gala Water - and serves food and drinks until 3pm ever day.

Homely and inviting, you might struggle to get back on the train again after a stop here.

Galashiels

Located on Galashiels High Street, The Mill House pub and kitchen is popular with locals of all ages, and is open as late as 1am at weekends.

Their varied food menu includes everything from hanging kebabs to carbonara, as well as bar favourites like burgers and deep fried scampi.

Don't pigeonhole yourself to pints on your crawl - The Mill House have an extensive cocktail list, including French martinis, pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris.

Located on Galashiels High Street, The Mill House pub and kitchen is popular with locals of all ages (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tweedbank

Open until 5pm during the week, our last and final stop is the Tempest Brewing Co bottle shop, located at their Tweedbank brewery.

Just five minutes walk from the train station, you might not be able to drink your beers on-site here, but you're welcome to take them home to enjoy, or even crack one open on the train back to Edinburgh.