Clan Scott itinerary

The Scott clan has its origins in the Scottish Borders, once a turbulent place but now a gentle, forgiving landscape, notable for farming and tourism. One of the most illustrious members of the Scott clan is the novelist Sir Walter Scott.

This itinerary takes his life and times as inspiration, beginning in the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh, before heading southwards to the fertile lands that border Scotland and England.

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  • Looking towards the House and gardens of Abbotsford, Melrose
    Abbotsford House, Melrose
  • Looking up the drive to Drumlanrig Castle at sunset
    Drumlanrig Castle at sunset
  • The Scott Monument
    The Scott Monument
  • The exterior of the Writers' Museum as seen from Makars' Court located off the Lawnmarket in Edinburgh's Old Town
    The Writers' Museum in Edinburgh's which celebrates the works of Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns

Arrive in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. The seat of government and, for centuries, home to renowned writers, scientists, philosophers, artists and entrepreneurs, Edinburgh has a wealth of places to visit for those keen to explore their Scottish heritage.

Don't miss Edinburgh Castle (although given its imposing location, it would be hard to do so!) and the Writer’s Museum which celebrates the lives of three of Scotland’s greatest literary figures – Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. And be sure to visit The Scott Monument on Princes Street. This impressive tribute to the writer is one of Scotland's most famous landmarks and towers to over 200 ft. Climb the 287 steps to the top - be warned, the internal staircase is very steep and narrow - you’ll be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views over the city.

Head south from the capital to the Scottish Borders region where many of the Scott family holdings can be found, particularly in the old county of Roxburghshire. Hawick, Jedburgh and Kelso are pre-eminent among the many towns and villages associated with the clan; all are important historical towns and all are very picturesque. Other places with strong Scott connections include Maxton, Kirkton, Kirk Yetholm.

The Scotts of Buccleuch can trace their Borders' connections back over seven centuries. The head of Clan Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch, resides in the clan's ancestral home in Selkirk, the stunning Bowhill House and Country Estate. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the house and walks of the grounds, before relaxing in the courtyard tearoom.

No exploration of Sir Walter Scott's life would be complete without a trip to Abbotsford, the house he had built for himself in the early years of the 19th century. Abbotsford is home to Scott's impressive collections of historic relics, including armour and weapons and over 9,000 rare books and papers. Visitors can tour his library, study, drawing room and the dining room overlooking the Tweed where he died on 21 September 1832.

From Abbotsford, travel south west to the town of Moffat. If you're feeling fit, you might like to explore a little of the Sir Walter Scott Way, a 92-mile pathway through the open countryside that inspired many of his great poems and novels, and where he spent a large part of his life. It stretches from Moffat in the west to Cockburnspath on the south east coast.

The current clan chief is the Duke of Buccleuch, a member of the Montagu Douglas Scott families who can trace their connections back almost a thousand years.

The magnificent family castle of Drumlanrig in Dumfries and Galloway is home to a fine art collection - although some way from the Scott family heartlands of the Scottish Borders, the beauty and sheer grandeur of the place is well worth the trip.