This small town is located 23 miles (37 km) south of Edinburgh and 18 miles (29 km) west of Galashiels in the old county of Peeblesshire on the Eddleston Water (the Cuddy). One of Scotland's royal and ancient burghs, Peebles was a major centre for brewing (18th Century) and wool production (19th and 20th centuries) while today it is a market town and holiday resort with fishing, golfing, tennis and pony-trekking. The Beltane Festival (Riding of the Marches) is held on the last Saturday of June. Peebles was formerly the headquarters for Tweeddale District Council (1975-96).
The castle which stood here was used as a royal residence and hunting lodge by Alexander III who also founded the Cross Kirk (1261), a Trinitarian Friary and the parish church (1887). St Andrews Church (1195) was damaged in the wars with the English (1545) and the town was later burnt in an accidental fire in 1607. Cromwell's troops quartered here in 1656. Notable constructions include the red sandstone Peebles Hydropathic Hotel (1878-81) - popularly known as the 'Peebles Hydro'; the elaborate Chambers Institution (c.1859); the Mercat Cross (14th century); and the Tweed Bridge (15th century).
Born here were the publishers and brothers William and Robert Chambers (1800, 1802), and John Veitch (1829), philosopher, poet and historian; the explorer Mungo Park lived here for two years before leaving on his final trip to Africa; and visitors have included James I, James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Buchan.