"If thou would’st view fair Melrose aright..." Melrose by ettiewyn

Melrose Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 62 photos

This is a line from Sir Walter Scott's The Lay of the Last Minstrel, and I found it fitting as a title, as there is no way you can escape Sir Walter Scott on this page! Sir Walter Scott, according to a book title "the man who made a country" - the man who, through his stories and books, shaped the idea and imagination the world has of Scotland up to this day. Even if you have not heard about Sir Walter Scott, you will have heard about the Braveheart movie which immortalised William Wallace, the Scottish fighter for independence - just in a wrong way.
You will meet them all when you come to Melrose: Sir Walter Scott at Scott's View, his favourite viewpoint - William Wallace at the Original Wallace Monument, a 19th century monstrosity - Robert the Bruce, the true Braveheart, at Melrose Abbey, where his heart was buried. Scotland is the land of stories, and sometimes they all meet!

However, the biggest attraction is still Melrose Abbey itself, described in the above poem by Sir Walter Scott, but a beautiful, impressive building even if you cut out all the stories. It is such a majestic ruin, and to my mind certainly a must visit if you travel around this part of Scotland. Melrose itself is a pleasant country town - I only had a quick look around, but enjoyed its calm atmosphere and my chat to the friendly lady working in the ticket office of the abbey. Of course you cannot really differentiate between Melrose the town and Melrose the abbey - the town lives of it, in the past when it was a ecclesiastical centre, and today because of tourism.
I only spent an hour here, but I think it would be a good base for a trip several days. There are more interesting places around, like Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott, and Dryburgh Abbey and Jedburgh Abbey, two more ruins.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A fantastic ruin, a pleasant town, and interesting things in the surroundings
  • Cons:Off season, the heritage centre is closed
  • In a nutshell:A beautiful place where legend and history get intermingled...
  • Last visit to Melrose: Feb 2012
  • Intro Updated Jul 9, 2012
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Reviews (9)

Comments (5)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Another lovely little page about your adventures in Scotland. I know about the Wallace Monument near Stirling, but didn't know that Melrose has actually the first Wallace monument. Good to read that you find out about climbing the Abbey Tower.

    • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
      Oct 29, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      Thank you for your comment, Holger :-) Yes, I visited the Wallace Monument in Stirling, too, and it's much more impressive!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Fine photos and stories of Melrose Abbey! I really should go back and see some more of Scotland, especially since one of my grandfathers was a Cameron.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Pity you didn't have more time to explore the abbey a bit more at leisure, but at least you did see it, and it's beautiful, I love it!
    Did you go to Melrose in the Flinders Ranges? It could be named after this Melrose.

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Fascinating story about Robert the Bruce and I love the ruins of the abbey! I really do need to see more of Scotland :-)

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Thanks for sharing. Love the photos of Scott's View:D


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