The layout of Innerleithen is dominated by the surrounding hills and it's no surprise that the town is now renowned for its world class mountain bike trails both here and nearby at Glentress.
The area has been inhabited since pre-Roman times and the remains of an Iron-Age hill fort are still visible. However the town itself is said to have been founded by an itinerant pilgrim monk called St. Ronan in A.D.737, who came to Innerleithen via the River Tweed in a coracle. The legend was actually formalised by Sir Walter Scott who wrote about the town in his 1824 novel, St. Ronan's Well.
The industrial revolution and wool milling doubled Innerleithen's population and at one point it had five significant wool mills.
Tourist attractions within the town include Robert Smail’s Printing Works, St Ronan’s Wells Visitor Centre and Traquair House. The area is famous for fly fishing (both trout and salmon), and there is a fish ladder near the golf course, just outside the town boundary on Leithen Road. This proves a popular stopping point for locals and visitors to watch the autumn and winter runs of salmon.
For details of hotels, B & Bs and self-catering cottages in Innerleithen and Glentress take a look at our accommodation page. And if visiting specifically for mountain biking and are looking for mountain bike-friendly establishments then take a look at our Mountain Bike Hospitality Scheme.
St. Ronan's Festival, which also includes the St. Ronans Borders Games is the town's flagship event. The games date from 1827 and are the oldest established games (or sports) in the Scottish Borders. These happen in the first or second week in July and still draw significant local and tourist participation.
Innerleithen Music Festival takes place in the middle of August and since its inception in 2002 has built up a reputable following with those interested in traditional music.
Of course, with Innerleithen boasting some top-class downhill trails as part of the 7Stanes, the town has hosted many national mountain biking events since the 1990s.
Innerleithen is renowned for its antiquarian book shops and antique dealers, the largest of which holds 19,000 titles.
In recent years, to accommodate the increasing numbers of mountain bikers visiting the area a number of high quality bike shops have opened, offering the best in equipment, repair centres and bike hire facilities.
A must for all visitors is Caldwell's shop on the north side of the High Street, which is famous for its home-made ice cream from an old family recipe.
For the essentials, the town has a supermarket, a chemist, bank with ATM plus an excellent butcher and greengrocer.