Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale with lavishly decorated masonry.
The abbey grounds, cloister and museum are open.
Due to access restrictions in place as a precautionary measure while we undertake high level masonry inspections, there is currently no visitor access to the abbey church.
Probably the most famous ruin in Scotland, the abbey was founded by David I in 1136 for the Cistercian Order, and it was largely destroyed by Richard II's English army in 1385. The surviving remains of the church are of the early 15th century, and are of an elegance unsurpassed in Scotland. Objects found during excavation are displayed in the Commendator's House.
The exterior of this magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig.
The abbey is also thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds.
An alternative route around the abbey avoids steps. The church, cloister and museum grounds are suitable for visitors using wheelchairs or those with limited mobility. Audio tour tapes are available, including a version for visitors with learning difficulties.
Very occasionally the property has to close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions or other reasons out with our control. Please check the Historic Scotland closures page for any unexpected site closures https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/check-for-closures/. You can also follow closure tweets from @welovehistory using #hsclosure. Alternatively please call the site before setting off to check they are open.
Transport and Parking
Baby Changing Facilities
Public Toilet Facilities
The content of many of our web listings is provided by third party operators and not VisitScotland. VisitScotland accepts no responsibility for (1) any error or misrepresentation contained in third party listings, and (2) the contents of any external links within web listings ((1) and (2) together hereinafter referred to as the "Content"). VisitScotland excludes all liability for loss or damage caused by any reliance placed on the Content. The Content is provided for your information only and is not endorsed by VisitScotland.