Borken is a Kreis (district) in the northwestern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany in the Münster region. Neighboring districts are Steinfurt, Coesfeld, Recklinghausen, Wesel, Cleves, Bentheim in the Lower Saxony and the Dutch provinces Gelderland and Overijssel.
During the era of the Holy Roman Empire the area was subordinate to the Prince-Bishopric of Münster for centuries. In 1803 the bishops lost this territory, and the short-lived Principality of Salm was founded. After the Napoleonic Wars the region became a part of the Prussian province of Westphalia in 1815. At that time the district was created, together with the district Ahaus. In 1923 the city Bocholt left the district and became a district-free city. In 1975 the district got its current size by incorporating the district Ahaus, the city Bocholt and small parts of the districts Rees, Recklinghausen and Coesfeld.
The district is located in the western part of the Münsterland, a rather flat and rural area.