Abbotsford

Route: Melrose and Abbotsford Circular

Area: Scottish Borders

Date of walk: 30th April 2018

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 8.5 miles

Ascent: 700 feet

Weather: Sunny

The Scottish Borders are a new walking area for me and, as if to remind me what I’d been missing until now, displayed their beauty today in glorious sunny weather. The walk we followed would normally be started from Melrose, but we were based in Gattonside (at the wonderful Fauhope Country House) on the other side of the River Tweed, and so we parked the car by the nearby Chain Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge opened in 1826, and crossed over the Tweed to walk into Melrose

After a fascinating meander around ancient Melrose Abbey, where the heart (but not the body) of Robert the Bruce is buried, we made our way through the attractive town to the former Melrose Station. From here we followed the route of the old railway line along a daffodil lined path, with the Melrose bypass on our left. Beyond Darnick we left the path to follow a quiet country lane, which eventually brought us down to Abbotsford, the furthest point of the walk

Abbotsford is famous as the home of Sir Walter Scott. Having purchased a farm and some land in 1811 he gradually added to the estate over the years, and the house and gardens are now open to the public. We didn’t have time for a full visit, so contented ourselves with a short stroll around the walled garden before setting off on the return leg to Melrose

This final section was perhaps the highlight of the whole walk, as we followed a delightful path along the bank of the River Tweed which took us back into Melrose. On arriving back in the town we re-crossed the Chain Bridge to end a highly enjoyable walk, and a perfect introduction to the delights of the Scottish Borders

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