Across the Valley


Jinglin Li, Chu Wu


As a central town of Borders region, Galashiels has some certain geographical advantages for touring– a valley hugged by mountains, a Tweed river which can produce the best salmon in UK. However, there is ZERO tourism here.

The future railway is expected to bring average 6000 flow of people monthly for Galashiels from 2015, we decide to regard this as an opportunity, to utilize the town’s geographical advantages and develop sustainable tourism through wellbeing, to offer more working opportunities and achieve economic and social sustainability in the future. Local residents will also be encouraged to get involved into this urban regeneration project.



Figure 1: Feedbacks from workshop

A series of researches and the feedback from the residents in Galashiels, show that there are some issues happening in this town, which can be concluded into following 4 aspects.

  -The effect of new railway station

According to the workshop in Galashiels, the new railway station under construction will bring a flow of average 6000 people to come to Galashiels monthly. However, this town can not afford the tourism of so many people. Residents start to concern about what will happen if the large number of tourists arrive here after completion. As the current situation shows, there is no attractions and services to support further tourism development, for instance, restaurants, car park and hotels. Therefore, the town are facing a big challenge which may be positive or negative.

  -The potential of university

In Galashiels, university is an important part of the whole town, located in the edge of eastern. On the basis of researches, students here are provided some convenient facilities, including own library, accommodation, museum and car park. Student accommodation, Jean Muir Student Village, guarantees all new entrants a place in university and offers places to students from other universities as well (Heriot-Watt University: Accommodation at Scottish Borders Campus). Besides, there is an traditional rugby club nearby, which benefits all residents. However, those abundant resources have not been used effectively.

  -The blank area

Walking along the main street, from town center to university campus, it is easily to be found that the majority of infrastructures are located around town center. There is a blank area between university and town center without any business, services and even small shops.The public service system is broken here but some of them appears closely to university again, which makes the town center and university area into two separate parts with weak connection.

  -The value of River

The only river passing through Galashiels, Gala River, is one branch of Tweed River. It is 97 miles long and flows primary through the scenic Borders region of Scotland. The importance of this river shows on some aspects, like energy, social activities and fish production. From historical resources, the tweed has a deserved reputation as one of the world’s great salmon fisheries and it has been famous since anglers started sport fishing in the 17th century (Fishtweed). According to data, in the east of Galashiels, the confluence of Gala River and Tweed River, which belongs to the middle Tweed, is arguably the best combination of good fishing and photogenic scenery. Whereas, Galashiels does not realize the potential of this river currently and even it is not accessible to walk along the river and mill lades. The value of the river is waiting to be utilized.

EDINA MasterMapPlan Map

Figure 2: Issues


A Network of Wellbeing-tourism

In order to support future flow of people brought by the new railway and revive Galashiels as a central town in borders region, we propose a series of small regeneration projects engaged with the riverside area (including Gala Water and Tweed River), to fulfill the potentials of riverside, to properly utilize the university facilities, to fill the blank area between town centre and university, to form a wellbeing-tourism network.

Case Studies

Titisee, Germany

Train Station – Services Area – Mountain Activities

Located in Baden – Wuerttemberg Germany, small town Titisee is a typical case of developing tourism through wellbeing. By having an advantage of natural environment, which is, surrounded by the Black Forest Mountains, this town is famous for its forest glacial lake Titisee. In summer, walking along the lake or boating inside it both are good choices. In winter, mountain hiking and cross-country skiing are popular. As a town with small population like Galashiels, most of the activity participators come from outside, such as within the state, the country or even abroad, this is exactly what will the future railway bring for Galashiels.

The major transport link with outside is the train station., all the way from the train station through the town centre to reach lakeside comprehensive service area, there are ski equipment stores, restaurants, coffee shops, information guidelines center, souvenir shops and so on. After resting in this area, tourists can start mountain hiking along the lake. There are two forest parks up on the mountain, which have connections with settlements nearby respectively. The whole network of liking train station, services area and mountain activities is exactly what we want for Galashiels in this project.


Figure 3: Case Study Titisee Germany

 Titisee Hiking Route

Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

City Centre – Services Area – Arashiyama

Arashiyama is a famous touring area in the west side of Kyoto City, Japan. There are a dozen of traditional temples and shrines left by history scattered from the foot to the top of mountains, generally tourists will choose to walk or take bikes to go sightseeing.

The most worthy part of the case to learn is the orange area (as shown) on the edge of city and the foot of mountain, and it is an interesting integrated distribution area. With public transport stops connected to the city centre (metro and bus), information points, restaurants, souvenir shops, and small museum and art galleries in the traditional Japanese architectural form, even with primary school and hospital for the Arashiyama residential community, this area not only links the city centre with the touring sites, but also shares living business facilities with the residential community in some points. It is this area as an opportunity to encourage local residents to participate in commercial activities, such as the creation of a family hotel, bikes renting services, to promote employment through wellbeing-tourism, to achieve community and tourism’s sustainable symbiosis. We expect Galashiels can be able to achieve these too.


Figure 4: Case Study Arashiyama Kyoto

Arashiyama Walking Route

Therefore we propose to reconstruct the blank riverside area between town centre and the university into a comprehensive services area for touring, and redevelop some traditional wellbeing activities through utilizing natural environmental advantages.


Figure 5: Proposal

Business Services

Including equipment shops, cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, guest houses and hotels.

Public Services

Including bus stop connect to town centre, car parks and information point.


Including riverside walking, mountain hiking, rugby game (university sport field),and fishing.


 Sustainable Tourism


Revive town business through touring activities, such as hosting a fishing festival and attract businessmen who are interested in fishing to invest this project; encourage local residents to participate in and offer more working opportunities in this town through this project.


Create linkage between town centre and the university and make the public service system as a whole; improve wellbeing for the town and the residents; attract more people to come to Galashiels, encourage human flows like immigrations.


Establish a healthy relationship between the nature and settlements; properly use Galashiels’s natural beauty and publicize it; reorganize the riverside environment.



Figure 6: Location

In order to achieve wellbeing tourism, a series of small sites and the area along the river are selected to create the wellbeing network. This tourism trail is predicted to start from Tesco to the east end of Galashiels.


1. Fishing in Tweed:

2.Arashiyama Walking Route:

3.Titisee Hiking Route:ürttemberg/Titisee-Neustadt/

4. Black Forest Hiking Route:

2 thoughts on “Across the Valley

Add yours

  1. well done – you have reflected the discussions well and compared to other examples – lets hope some of this can happen.


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