The charm of marvellous Melrose

Stock pic. Melrose town centre. Taken 31/07/12

Stock pic. Melrose town centre. Taken 31/07/12

picturesque Melrose is a delightful market town, full of character and charm.

With a wide range of high-quality shops, accommodation, food outlets and eateries, it is a first-choice shopping and visitor destination for many locals and tourists.

Stock pic. Melrose town centre. Taken 31/07/12

Stock pic. Melrose town centre. Taken 31/07/12

Whether you are searching for the finest food, unique fashion or shoes, quality crafts, or even music lessons or musical instruments – you will be spoilt for choice and find excellent value for money, with a genuine warm welcome and helpful, friendly advice.

The town is a magnet for walkers, with the triple peaks of the Eildon Hills the most distinctive single landmark in the Borders.

At their feet in the valley of the Tweed lies Melrose and its abbey. Melrose Abbey dates from 1136 and a casket discovered within the grounds is believed to contain the heart of Robert the Bruce. The discovery was marked by a re-burial ceremony and commemorative stone tablet.

Melrose has a rich history, with architectural attractions, museums and exhibitions, having been inhabited for thousands of years.

The Roman army arrived in AD79 or 80 and built a major fort nearby named Trimontium, ‘Place of the Three Hills’. A signal station or shrine was built on the summit of the Eildon Hill North. The Three Hills Roman Heritage Centre houses the Trimontium Museum which is dedicated to Roman life in Scotland.

Having visited some of these sites, why not stop off at one of the quality hotels, restaurants or coffee shops for refreshments and to recharge your batteries?


Rugby enthusiasts will probably know the town well, the home of Melrose Rugby Football Club – founded in 1877 – and it is in the Premiership Division One. The new Melrose Hornets team is bringing rugby to a new generation. Melrose Sevens is the original seven-a-side rugby tournament.

Visitors of a green-fingered nature can visit one of the two National Trust for Scotland gardens in the area. Priorwood has an apple orchard which cultivates many historic varieties and Scotland’s only dedicated dried flower garden, while Harmony Gardens is a beautiful walled garden with magnificent views over the abbey and Eildon Hills.

Around three miles west of Melrose, on the banks of the Tweed, is Sir Walter Scott’s romantic mansion of Abbotsford. Around £12million has been spent on restoring and upgrading facilities at Abbotsford House, where Sir Walter lived, died and did much of his writing. A fascinating exhibition can be found in the new visitor centre.

Every year in June, the week-long Melrose Festival takes place. This involves appointing a Melrosian who has lived in the town for most of his life; and a queen and her court are chosen from among local schoolchildren.

Melrose also hosts the annual Borders Book Festival which also takes place during June. Past guests have included Michael Palin, Michael Parkinson and Ian Rankin, while Rory Bremner is a festival patron.

All in all, Melrose has something for everyone. So why not pay a visit this weekend and see for yourself?

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