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Abbotsford House

Find Scotland Tours that visit Abbotsford House.

Address: Abbotsford, Melrose, Roxburghshire TD6 9BQ
Operated by: Independent
Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week: Visitor centre open all year, but house only open as follows.
1 - 29 March: 10 am to 4 pm
30 March to October: 10 am to 5pm
November: 10 am to 4 pm
Last admission is 1 hour before closing time.
Admission: House & Gardens £11 adult, £10 concession, £5 child (under 17), Under 5's free, Family (2 adults + 3 children) £28
Garden only Admission is £5.50 per Adult, £5 Concession, £3 Child, £13 Family
Parking: Yes
Languages: English Audio guides also available, plus information sheets in several languages.
Accessibility: Ground floor, gardens
Toilets: Yes, also disabled toilets
Shop: Yes
Cafe/Restaurant: Yes, brand new restaurant just opened in 2013.

Abbotsford House was built by Sir Walter Scott as his grand home in the Scottish Borders. The property, set on the banks of the River Tweed, was bought in 1811 and then modified to the tastes of Sir Walter Scott. The writer died here in 1832, and the house was opened to the public just five months after his death.

The rooms that you visit today have been left virtually untouched since his death and a visit to Abbotsford House gives you an intimate insight into the personality and interests of this great man. Some of the most interesting apects of the house are the personal collections of Sir Walter Scott which include unusual items such as the weapons of Rob Roy, the case book of Napoleon and even a bullet and piece of oatcake taken from the site of Culloden Battlefield.

Visitors can see Sir Walter Scott's Study, Library, Drawing Room, Entrance Hall, small Armoury and the Dining Room where he died on 21st September 1832. The dining room contains paintings of several generations of the Scott family. Unfortunately, the last of his bloodline died in 2004 and the care of house has now been taken over by the Abbotsford Trust.

There are fact sheets in each of the rooms, but we recommend that you ask the guides for more information as they have a wealth of anecdotes about the life of Sir Walter Scott and you will get much more from their explanations than you will by simply reading the information sheets. In particular, you should ask about the painting on the easel to the right of the door that exits the Drawing room. This painting depicts a brief meeting between the 14 yr old Sir Walter Scott and his literary hero, Robert Burns.

Abbotsford House is notable for its originality, even the 18th century Chinese wallpaper in the Drawing room is original and amazingly unblemished.

Abbotsford House is a visit that we strongly recommend. You do not get to see a large number of rooms, but you will get a great deal from your visit if you take the time to study the detailed information in the rooms. The guidebook (~£5) is also worth buying as it gives you the full history of Sir Walter Scott and his family as well as providing detail about the house that helps to animate the visit.

There are also attractive and well maintained Gardens, with riverside and woodland walks.

Abbotsford viewed from gardens

Abbotsford library

Walter Scott's writing desk

Chinese wallpaper at Abbotsford


Abbotsford House Abbotsford House Gardens Abbotsford House Turrets

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