“This Cozy Biel O’ Tibbie Shiel.” Tourism Development and Rural Hospitality in the Borders of Scotland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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Northey, Andrew
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University of Guelph

This thesis uses a collection of visitors’ books, travel guidebooks and newspaper articles to explore the Scottish Borders and its role in supporting tourism initiatives from the late eighteenth century into the twentieth century. The fascination with the Highlands overshadowed earlier interest in the Borders. Where the Highlands represented new experiences, the Borders became more familiar to English travellers, which caused travellers to focus on the Highlands. As a result, the Borders slipped into the background of the tourist’s view, which made their historical experience as a tourist destination largely unexplored. In reality, the Scottish Borders facilitated the exploration of Scotland through its road systems and places of accommodation asit developed industrially and economically. This project explores changes to Scotland’s image as it evolved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and how the Borders played a role in this development. This project also investigates the convergence of gender, tourism and hospitality in the Borders, using a case study of Tibbie Shiel’s Inn at St. Mary’s Loch, Selkirkshire. It explains how Tibbie Shiel’s Inn became integrated with the broader network of travel accommodations in nineteenth-century Scottish Borders and how Tibbie Shiel’s Inn became an iconic tourism attraction.

Scottish Tourism, Inn Culture, Victorian Era, Infrastructure Development, Scottish Borders, Gender Studies, St. Mary's Loch, Scottish Identity, Borders Culture, Borders Counties, Visitors' Books, Tibbie Shiel, Scottish Poets