Scotland's Best Tours
Margot McMurdo, Blue Badge Scottish Tourist Guide.
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Splendour of Scott Country
A wonderful insight into the world of Sir Walter Scott with an opportunity to stay in a 16th century Scott residence or even in his own home of Abbotsford House.
The Splendour of Scott Country Tour can be designed to suit a one day tour or extended to suit any number of days as there is much to see and experience in the area.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
This great writer, through his books and poems, re-invented the lost Scotland of the Stuarts, clans, and wild romance. Some of his best known works are Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and Red Gauntlet.
Abbotsford House has re-opened its doors to the public following a multi milion pound sensitive restoration.
The Hope Scott Wing can now offer the visitor a real sense of what it would have felt like to be a valued guest in Scott's own home. The wing now has 7 luxury bedrooms, 6 en-suite bathrooms, a formal dining room, breakfast room, billiard room and private courtyard and patio garden. Walk in footsteps of Scott and his friends and soak up the atmosphere of this very special country house
There is a superb new Visitor Centre with Scott Exhibition, Ochiltree Restaurant and a Gift Shop adjacent to Abbotsford. The gardens can be explored and the house viewed from the gardens and centre.
Visit Sir Walter Scott's Courtroom in Selkirk where he was Sheriff of the county from 1799 until 1832. The courtroom has collections that tell of his life and work, and his time as Sheriff of Selkirkshire;his contemporaries, the explorer Mungo Park and poet James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.
Travelling on to Abbotsford, the Border home of Sir Walter Scott. Nowhere else in the world can evoke the romantic past more than Abbotsford, stunningly located on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. The house sits in the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and novels of its creator Sir Walter Scott. Unlike the homes of other great writers, this is a house that Scott himself designed, and as such, uniquely embodies a physical interpretation of the Romantic Movement that he helped to create.When you touch the stone and mortar of Abbotsford, you are touching the soul of Scott.
He was a great collector and the house contains an impressive collection of historic relics, weapons and armour, including Rob Roy's gun, dirk, sword and sporran, and an extensive library containing over 9000 rare volumes. It sits amid formal gardens and a wider landscape that Scott designed and planted.
Left; The Jensens at Abbotsford.
Tea/coffee and comfort stop!
We journey to the nearby town of Melrose, a delightful place, ideal for a stroll or to shop. The little town has much to offer - the ruined Abbey dates from 1136, Priorswood Garden specialises in dried flowers, and the Trimontium Exhibition gives an insight into the Roman occupation of the Borders.
Lunch and comfort stop!
Onwards to Smailholm Tower which Scott described in "Marmion":
"then rise those crags that maintain'd tower which charmed my fancy's waking hour". He spent some of his childhood at the adjacent Sandyknowe farm and in later years admitted his imagination had been fired by the Ballards and stories he heard as a child at Sandyknowe and by the sight of Smailholm Tower. Within the restored tower there is a permanent exhibition of costume figures and tapestries of extraordinary charm which illustrate Scott's "minstrelsy of the Scottish Border."
We then travel to Scotts' View, a spectacular view over the countryside to the Eildon Hills which was a favourite spot of Sir Walter. Finally, to Dryburgh Abbey where Scott was laid to rest on a dark cold day in September 1832. It was said that "when the the coffin was taken from the hearse and again laid on the shoulders of the afflicted serving men, one deep sob burst from a thousand lips"
Tea/coffee and comfort stop!
Return to Edinburgh or:
Stay overnight in the Buccleuch Arms, which was built in 1876 as a hunting lodge for the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. It has won many awards for food, comfort and hospitality over the years and has been the winner of Scotland’s Best Inn on 4 occasions.
You may prefer the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel located adjacent to the ancient ruins of Dryburgh Abbey and right on the banks of the River Tweed, or guest house Clint Lodge (below ) with its outstanding views over the countryside.
To enquire or book:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/fax +44 (0)1899 880207
Please see: Terms and conditions
- In order to avoid disappointment, please try to book at least 4 weeks in advance. If that's impossible contact me anyway, and I'll do my best!
Prices do not include entry fees to places of interest:
- Admission to Abbotsford. Prices range from £4.50-£8.75
- Admission to Melrose Abbey. Prices range from £3.30-£5.50
- Admissionto Dryburgh Abbey. Prices range from £3.00-£5.00
- Admission to Smailholm Tower. Prices range from £2.70 to £4.50
Concessions may sometimes be available for senior citizens; families; groups and children.
Events in the Scottish Borders in 2023
You may like to incorporate these events into your visit.
- Melrose Rugby Sevens 8th April
- Melrose Book Festival 15th-18th June
- Selkirk Common Riding 16th June