Abbotsford is the ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century novelist and poet of "Waverley", "Ivanhoe", and "Lady of the Lake".
Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford remains today as one of the most famous houses in the world, it reflects, almost as no other place, the mind, enthusiasms and preoccupations of the man who built it. Constructed on the ample proceeds of a literary career without parallel, it is an enduring monument to the tastes, talents and achievements of its begetter. The stones of Abbotsford speak eloquently both of triumph and disaster: first of literary and worldly success, then of the fortitude with which adversity was faced and ultimately conquered in Scott’s debt-ridden but noble final years.
Stunningly located on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford sits at the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and novels of its creator. Unlike the homes of other great writers, this is a house that the writer himself designed and as such, uniquely embodies a physical representation of the Romantic Movement that he helped to create. When you touch the bricks and mortar of Abbotsford, you are touching the soul of Scott.
Visit the exhibition on the life and legacy of Sir Walter Scott and follow the story of Scotland’s greatest man-of-letters for yourself.
There is something for tourists and locals alike, at Abbotsford’s Gift Shop. Choose from a range of souvenirs designed exclusively for Abbotsford and inspired by the artwork and treasures on display in Abbotsford House. Browse our selection of antique and new Scott and Scottish books that will remind you of your visit. At Abbotsford we strive to source the best of British, in particular Scottish quality products that regularly change with the seasons.
Dining at Abbotsford
Ochiltree’s Dining (named after Edie Ochiltree, a character from The Antiquary by Scott) is situated on the first floor of the Visitors Centre with stunning views over the Walled Garden and the historic house. Ochiltree’s is open daily and is fully licensed. Our team of chefs source the best local produce to create a fresh, seasonal menu. Serving hot and cold beverages, cakes, light bites and snacks a lunch menu and afternoon tea. Alfresco dining is offered in the summer months on our terrace balcony.
Designed to complement the woodlands surrounding the historic house, the Family Play Trail follows a winding route through the trees, past a medieval woodcutter’s village complete with playhouse on stilts, a cradle swing and balancing activities. The path leads to the focal point of the Play Trail – a wooden fortress with a seven-metre pyramid tower accessed via a mini suspension bridge. Children will be able to pull themselves up to storm the fortress ramparts and then escape via a seven-metre tunnel slide.
Accommodation (New for 2013)
Opening in August 2013, the Hope Scott wing of Abbotsford’s main house offers the unique opportunity to stay in one of the most historic houses in Scotland. This sensitive £2.3 million refurbishment retains the intimacy and integrity of what was the private home of Scott, his grand-daughter Charlotte Hope Scott and her descendants, while introducing all the luxuries of modern-day comfort.
Our aim is to offer visitors a real sense of what it would have felt like to be a valued guest in Scott’s own home. Each of the luxury en-suite bedrooms is one of a kind, individually styled and named after family members and other distinguished guests who stayed here, including Queen Elizabeth II’s aunt, Princess Alice, who was a regular visitor.
The public rooms include a sumptuous sitting room – originally the withdrawing room of Scott’s wife, Charlotte – a formal dining room seating 16 and featuring one of Scott’s most treasured views over the Tweed, a reading room and a billiard room.
As part of the refurbishment, many of the original features have been retained, as well as some of the family’s original artworks and furniture, creating a unique combination of the personal and the historical in this intimate country retreat. Sleeping 14, the Hope Scott Wing is an ideal gathering place for families, groups of friends or colleagues celebrating a special occasion. It is also the perfect destination for those simply looking to escape to the Scottish Borders in style.
Weddings & Special Occasions
“Romance in stone and mortar” is how Sir Walter Scott described Abbotsford. From a small intimate ceremony in the historic house to the most lavish of receptions in a marquee overlooking theTweed, Abbotsford is a romantic, unique and exceptional venue for that special day. Our wedding co-ordinator is available all year to work with the bride and groom from the initial enquiry through to the big day itself.