The village is set in the valley with rolling hills and burns on both sides covering some fifty square miles. It incorporates settlements at Hearthstane, Cockiland, Menzion and Oliver. Oliver Castle was one of the strongholds, and later country estates of the Tweedie family, and there are notable gravestones in the parish churchyard.
It is home to the Crook Inn on the A701, one of many claimants to be the oldest inn in Scotland, and where Robert Burns wrote "Willie Wastle's Wife". The Talla Reservoir and Fruid Reservoir are nearby. In 1894 the Edinburgh and District Water Trustees decided to use Talla as the new source of water for Edinburgh. The surface and the gradient of the main road were unsuitable for carting the quantities of material that would be needed for the new reservoir, so the Talla Railway was built from Broughton to Talla. While work on the railway and the reservoir was in progress, a large number of workmen lived in Tweedsmuir parish, dramatically increasing the population. The valve-closing ceremony was held at Talla on 20 May 1905, and on 28 September, when the reservoir was about two-fifths full, there was an inaugural ceremony. The large company was brought from Edinburgh in two special trains, which were hauled for the last stage of the journey, from Broughton Station, by small service engines on the Talla railway.