Follow VisitScotland

Rugby in train-ing!

Press Release   •   Mar 20, 2017 10:20 GMT

Don't pass up the opportunity to travel to this year's historic Melrose Sevens tournament using the Borders Railway

VISITORS to the oldest and most famous rugby sevens in the heart of the Scottish Borders are being urged to kick the car to touch this year and travel by train.

The opening of the Borders Railway in September 2015 means that the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens tournament is now more accessible than ever before. Spectators can travel along the 30-mile route between Edinburgh and Midlothian to the Scottish Borders to this year’s 134th anniversary annual event taking place on April 8th.

The history of rugby 7s as a sport can be traced back to Melrose where it was created in 1883. The seven-a-side game is now played around the world and was debuted at the summer Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Melrose Sevens – set against the stunning background of the Eildon Hills and a stone’s throw from Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House – attracts around 10,000 spectators and participants from all over the world each year. Around 1,200 people used the Borders Railway to travel to the event last year, with more expected to make use of the railway and shuttle bus links again this year.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “The re-establishment of the railway line from Edinburgh through Midlothian to the Scottish Borders has had a massive impact on the local economy. In the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, visitors will be able to travel directly to the region to enjoy world-class events like the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens.

“This year Scotland will celebrate both our tangible and intangible heritage – everything from our buildings and archaeological sites to our diverse stories, traditions and culture. Scotland’s history and culture are among the top reasons for visiting Scotland and we hope to encourage visitors to make the journey on the Borders Railway to soak up the atmosphere at one of the key events in the country’s sporting calendar.”

Trevor Jackson, President of Melrose RFC, said: The Borders Railway is a fantastic way for visitors to travel to The Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens. Visitors will be able to relax and enjoy the scenic route all the way from Waverley Station, through Midlothian and into the Scottish Borders. Once at Tweedbank people will have the choice of jumping on a shuttle bus for the short trip to Melrose or enjoying a beautiful walk along the River Tweed to get to the event.”

ScotRail Alliance Commercial Director Cathy Craig said:It’s great that Borders Railway can help rugby fans travel to watch the Melrose 7s and I hope we’ll be welcoming many more of them this year.

“The new line grows in popularity and every single day it’s enabling people to commute, visit family and friends and travel to the likes of the Melrose 7s. I ask everyone who’s intending to travel by train to the matches on 8 April to plan ahead, buy their tickets in advance and arrive at the station in plenty of time as services will be busy that day.”

The Borders Railway opened in September 2015 following a £294 million investment by the Scottish Government to re-establish passenger railway services between Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank for the first time since 1969.

The development includes 30 miles of railway and seven stations with a timetable offering half-hourly services on weekdays and Saturdays, including peak time cross-Edinburgh services to and from Fife.

Tickets for the 134th anniversary annual Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens are available frommelrose7s.comTwenty teams from across Scotland will compete in the tournament, alongside guest teams from Harlequins and Sweden this year.

For more information on the event, visit:

Pictured are Melrose Rugby Football Club players Grant Runciman and Bruce Colvine in the new Sevens playing kit with Rebekah Mooney at Edinburgh Waverley Station.

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to
    2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017