I have lived in the Scottish Borders most of my life. (short stint in Edinburgh when I was 7-8)
As a child I did find it a bit of a bore, however on the other hand I can look back and reflect on all the great things I done which city kids never get a chance to do. (running round the woods, playing at the tarzi-swinging off trees, splashing in Tweed, catching butterflies, playing with frogs and tadpoles, making gang huts etc etc).
As a teenager I guess it doesnt matter where you live as you just act like a teenager and nothing is good enough.
However now I am 26 and a parent.
I couldnt think of bringing my child up anywhere else. It really is the best place to be . There are good schools, good towns to choose from and its not too far from Edinburgh so you can still go for big shopping trips, go to the Playhouse or nights out in the city etc. And remember, the trains are coming back.
The Borders is getting a little better at providing things to do. There are 2 large supermarkets open 24 hours and a 24 hour petrol station. More and more businesses/shops seem to be opening up in the area and I find myself commuting to Edinburgh less and less for shopping. There are kids indoor and outdoor activity places, plenty of garden centres to visit, houses/grounds of interest to visit (Traquair House is one of my favourites as its full of Scottish history and a magical, mystical atmosphere), There are plenty of pubs in every town no matter how small and places to drink till 3am if you go out in Galashiels. I would say the Indigo Rooms is probably the busiest and the streets are normally busy at 3am when they close.
All typical amenities are available in the Borders, and things like- mobile networks and broadband services etc are readily available (unless you live in the very back of beyond).
I prefer Galashiels (although I dont live there anymore)which is now the biggest town in the Borders. It has grew rapidly in the last 5 years in both the housing and business markets. Unemployment is very low and overall its a good place to be.
Galashiels and surrounding area
Galashiels lies right at the very heart of the Borders. Historically the town's prosperity was founded in the textile industry. For those of you familiar with Galashiels, The best known feature of the town is the impressive war memorial with its massive Border Reiver horseman. The Braw Lads Gathering in late June is the focal point of the local calendar commemorating the history of Galashiels.
Old Gala House, home of the Lairds of Gala for several centuries, is now a museum and art gallery set in landscaped gardens. Gala Aisle has been the burial place for the Lairds of Gala since the 17th Century and has recently been restored.
Rugby followers can catch home games of The Borders professional team, as they take on national and international opponents at Netherdale Stadium. Cyclists can join the 90-mile Tweed Cycle Way in Galashiels, while hikers can join the Southern Upland Way as it passes through.
Two miles east of the town is Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott's mansion on the banks of the Tweed. Nearby Stow is a village with history dating back to early Christian times and associations with King Arthur.