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Scottish Borders nightlife venues

There’s plenty to do on an evening in the Scottish Borders and here are some of the best venues for live music, theatre, cinema and comedy. If a night at the movies is more your thing, in Galashiels, there’s The Pavilion Cinema, a family-run independent cinema with four digital screens. It is the only purpose-built cinema in the Borders, but there are also a few multi-purpose venues offering occasional screenings: Tait Hall, Kelso; Heart of Hawick; Eyemouth Hippodrome; Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre, Peebles; and Hemelvaart Bier Café, in Ayton (a small town just outside of Eyemouth).

In Kelso, Scotland’s first micropub, Rutherfords, is a ‘must’ for lovers of craft beer, artisan gin and Scottish whiskies. A micropub is a small free house which serves cask ales and promotes conversation by shunning all forms of electronic entertainment. Rutherfords can cater for up to 30 people inside (a mix of seated and standing) and dogs are welcome.

Melrose has a fine selection of hotels with bars, and one pub, The Ship Inn, which has late opening, until 1am, on Fridays and Saturdays. Sporting events are shown on the six large screens, and there’s a state-of-the-art surround sound system. If you fancy a dram of fine whisky while in Melrose, the Henderson family at Burts Hotel will happily talk you through their dedicated menu which boasts 90 single malts. Their restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes every year since 1995. Directly opposite Burts Hotel, is its sister hotel, The Townhouse (also run by the Henderson family). Both hotels are stylish and welcoming, each with its own characteristics. Also in the centre of Melrose is the Kings Arms Hotel, a charming 300-year-old former coaching inn. In the summer, visitors can enjoy a drink on the decking or, if you fancy a game of pool or darts, you can enjoy a pint in the games room.

In Peebles, the Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre season is bursting with performances of comedy, theatre, dance, films, talks, live music, screenings of Covent Garden operas and ballets, relayed live from the Royal Opera House, and National Theatre screenings. The Tweeddale Shoot Bar at The Tontine Hotel in Peebles has a fantastic range of tempting drink options. They serve Broughton Cask Ale from the local Broughton Brewery, St Mungo’s lager, old-fashioned cocktails and more. And for the young and the young at heart, The Indigo Rooms lounge bar and nightclub in Galashiels is the ultimate in Borders nightlife.

Our picks

Dryburgh Arms
Pints on bar

Newtown St Boswells, Melrose TD6 0PN

The wonderful friendly pub at the Dryburgh Arms is at the heart of the village community and the location in the heart of the Borders means that the pub also welcomes many visitors to the Borders too. With a cosy open fire and an equally warm welcome, you are spoilt for choice with a fine selection of local ales, craft beers and spirits. Gin lovers won’t be disappointed either with over 30 different gins to choose from at the last count! With a superb location in the very heart of the Scottish Borders and on the famous walking route, St Cuthbert’s Way, it is the perfect place to stop by and enjoy a well-earned refreshment or a hearty meal along the way. Dryburgh Arms promotes local real ales and believe in using quality local produce in the menus so why not pop in for a drink, coffee and cake, lunch or an evening bar meal? It is also dog friendly, so whether you are out for a stroll with your four-legged friend or are enjoying something a little more energetic, be sure to drop by and say hello. Visit website

The Tontine

High St, Peebles EH45 8AJ

The Tontine uses only the freshest, locally-sourced produce in their dishes. Keep an eye out for the golden crown symbol on the menus, that means that the produce has been sourced locally. So whether you fancy a light bite for lunch, laid back dining, or an elegant dinner, they have it covered at The Tontine Hotel. For classic cocktails, a carefully-selected wine list, locally-sourced ales, and a variety of soft drinks unwind after an active day in the Tweeddale Shoot bar. Visit website

The Contented Sole

Old Quay, 3, Harbour Rd, Eyemouth TD14 5HS

The Contented Sole is a traditional pub based in the picturesque town of Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders, from bare bricked walls to low beamed ceilings, the pub is steeped in natural heritage. There are a few pubs to choose from in Eyemouth, but The Contented Sole has everything you could want and more. The bar is open seven days a week and the bar menu caters for all tastes and appetites; from full portions to lighter bites, children’s portions to toddler’s meals. The Contented Sole is family-friendly and allows children and pets in the bar area. Visit website

Wine glasses

20 Harbour Rd, Eyemouth TD14 5HU

Oblò is an award-winning bar and bistro situated on the harbour front of Eyemouth. From its first floor location, with a street-facing floor to ceiling ‘porthole’ and balcony, Oblò provides the perfect surroundings in which to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. Open from early morning until late, Oblò offers a fantastic range of food, snacks, coffees and drinks throughout the day, served in modern, ambient, urban surroundings. Visit website

The Plough Inn
Gin and tonic

Main St, Leitholm, Coldstream TD12 4JN

In the heart of the beautiful Scottish Borders countryside, The Plough Inn serves the surrounding area and villages as well as welcoming all visitors. Enjoy the warmth of the cosy, real fires in the winter or the pub garden in the summer with open views across the village and Border countryside. The Plough has a lovely relaxed atmosphere where you can eat and drink after a day walking in the hills. The comfortable rustic restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, and offers an eclectic menu of beautiful, fresh, locally-sourced food which is seasonally changing.

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Scottish Borders attractions

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Image credits: ©Chuttersnap/Jakub Dziubak/Wine Dharma/Unsplash; Kieferpix/Lev Dolgachov/

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