Established around a 12th-century monastery, Melrose is a charming town in the Scottish Borders region. It is renowned for its Roman fort of Trimontium and its garden dedicated to dried flowers, as well as the monumental country house, Abbotsford, where Sir Walter Scott once resided.
Things to do in Melrose
On the northern edge of Melrose is St. Mary’s Abbey, a partially ruined Cistercian monastery constructed in 1136 under the reign of King David I. Admire its intricately decorated exterior carved with saints, dragons and gargoyles and see the inscription of the town motto “Keep in mind, the end, your salvation”. Legend states that Robert the Bruce’s heart is buried within the abbey and is marked by a memorial stone.
On the grounds of St. Mary’s Abbey is the Priorwood Garden, which is the only garden dedicated to flower drying in Scotland. In addition to its seasonal displays of flowers and herbs, it features an old orchard where around 70 varieties of heritage apples are grown. Plums, pears and greengages are also planted here and there’s a shady woodland area to explore.
Backed by the Eildon Hills is Trimontium, a Roman fort complex established as a frontier post in the 1st century AD. The Trimontium Museum tells the story of the site and exhibits excavated treasures that include both Roman and Iron Age artefacts. Join one of the museum’s guided walks through the Trimontium site where interpretive panels explain where the fort’s buildings once stood here.
Getting around Melrose
Melrose is an hour’s drive from Edinburgh and Edinburgh Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Buses connect to Melrose from towns and cities across the Scottish Borders region while the centre of Melrose can easily be explored on foot.