Bestselling children’s author, Vivian French and the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival invite everyone to take the Borders Railway and enjoy a great day out with the family at the book festival this year.

The stunning Harmony Gardens in Melrose will be full of fun and entertainment over four days from 15th to 18th June, when it welcomes some of the biggest names from the world of books, entertainment and politics

For book lovers of all ages, the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival has something to offer the whole family.

Philip Ardagh, Guy Bass, Vivian French, Petr Horacek, Chae Strathie, Barry Hutchinson and Derek Landy, bestselling author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, are just some of the favourite names from the world of children’s books, who will entertain and energise the younger crowd for the hugely popular SBHA (Scottish Borders Housing Association) Family Book Festival, which includes kids craft activities and creative workshops throughout the Saturday and Sunday.

This year adults get to go free to any SBHA Family Book Festival event so long as they are accompanied by at least one child!

On Father’s Day (Sunday 18th), Dads can be treated to a spot of wildlife adventure with Steve Backshall; politics with Tim Shipman; the story of the Melrose Rugby Sevens; crime fiction with Ann Cleeves or an evening with TV legend Michael Parkinson.

Entry to Harmony Gardens is free and there’s plenty to do and enjoy between events with live music; a street market offering food, drink and gifts; a family-friendly tented food village with some of the finest produce from across the Borders and Scotland; champagne and whisky tastings, as well as a bookshop to browse in and free events including kids’ storytelling, circus skills and stilt walkers.

Best-selling children’s author, Vivian French, who will be participating in the SBHA Family Book Festival, was at Edinburgh Waverley Station today with children from Preston Street Primary School (images supplied by Writer Pictures).   The author said:

I’ve always loved the Borders Book Festival! It’s so very special; the setting is glorious, the atmosphere is amazing, and there really is something for everyone. Even a downpour doesn’t stop adults and children from having a wonderful time … and now there’s the magical Borders Railway to take me there. Perfect!” 

Travel from Edinburgh by train in less than hour through the stunning scenery of the Scottish Borders to Tweedbank Station, a handy one and half miles from the book festival.   From there take the bus to Melrose or follow the signs and enjoy a leisurely stroll to Harmony Gardens.

The festival timings fit with the Borders Railway timetable, even making sure the last event of the day is in time for people to make the train back home.

Giles Ingram, Chairman, Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group

“It is wonderful to see the Borders Book Festival grow year on year. With the Borders Railway it has allowed visitors to come from near and far which has an excellent impact on the Scottish Borders tourism industry. This is a wonderful event for all ages and there truly is something for everyone. The Borders Book Festival really has put the region on the map in terms of first class festivals and events.

The festival is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said:

“The Borders Book Festival promises to be a great family day out; offering talks, readings and entertainment for visitors of all tastes and all ages. The Borders Railway is a fantastic way to get there and will ensure an unforgettable visit to the beautiful grounds of Harmony Gardens this June.”