The town of Galashiels is very unique in that it manages to take on an incredibly beautiful appearance despite the fact that it is a very important sector in terms of economy and commerce. This is anomalous because, in Scotland, many of the most beautiful towns have very little to do with the inner workings of the country. In other words, the gorgeous villages and cities in the country are often just that: Gorgeous. They do little more than sit there and look pretty and the best and most popular among these towns are usually just stopping points for tourists who want to visit the Highlands or one of Scotland's many breathtaking lochs or national parks. Galashiels, on the other hand, manages to capture the beauty that makes Scotland famous around the world but it still is an indispensable part of the country's economy.
Galashiels is very famous for its textile industry. For years the mills at Galashiels were second to none in the area and some of these historical landmarks, like the Mill Lade, still stand so that interested tourists and residents can learn a bit more about this fascinating trade. Galashiels is still home to the world famous Heriot-Watt University School of Textile and Design and all around the town there is still a general admiration for the trade that helped Galashiels become what it is today. In addition, there are many other fine schools in the town including Galashiels Academy and the famed Borders College is also quite near the city.
Galashiels, as mentioned above, is still beautiful despite its industrial slant and this is what truly sets it apart from nearly every other town in Scotland. While there are still the same amenities in the city that are seen in larger towns (filling stations, shopping malls, etc.), there are also plenty of unique and quaint features that help Galashiels to maintain its beautiful and individual nature. One of the most unique aspects of the town is the fact that it is home to one of the smallest graveyards in all of Scotland. This tiny cemetery is located in Johnston's Close but sadly it is not available to the public. Still, it is visible for those walking nearby and a quick snapshot can be taken with little to no repercussions. Galashiels is also unique in that the street and road signs are painted purple to match the color of their local rugby team. This is actually an increasingly common trend in the Borders area of Scotland but all the same it lends a bit of individuality to these towns and it further reminds us that, no matter how much business it does or how many textiles it produces, Galashiels is still a lovable place that adheres more to the happiness of its residents than to the satisfaction of local governments. Hopefully all the towns in Scotland can take a cue from Galashiels someday and then the nation truly will be happier than it has ever been.