Abbotsford, Tweedbank

Outdoors

Ready for a fantastic day out? Follow this handy itinerary to explore the hidden gems along the recently launched Borders Railway route. Opened in September 2015, the railway connects Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, regions famed for their rich cultural history and stunning scenery. On route you'll pass picturesque towns, rolling hills and the sparkling River Tweed.

So what are you waiting for? Let's get you off to the train station, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy!

Did you know? If you have a Spirit of Scotland Travelpass, you can travel along the Borders Railway free of charge!

Transport

Bus Walk

Days

1

Miles

37

Route

From Edinburgh to Tweedbank by train, then from Tweedbank to Melrose either by bus or on foot.

Highlights

Historic sites, breathtaking scenery, charming towns, great attractions

Areas Covered

South east

see full route

Day 1

overview

Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scottish Borders

Your trip begins at Edinburgh Waverley Train Station, right in the heart of the Scottish capital. Hop on a train headed for Tweedbank and feast your eyes on the views of the stunning landscapes of Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. The entire journey lasts around 55 minutes, but there are a few stops worth making to explore more. Don't just take our word for it - find out for yourself!
  • Miles

  • Km

  • Stops

  • Transport

    Bus Walk

Melrose Abbey, Melrose

Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World

Just outside Eskbank (less than 20 minutes from Edinburgh), this wildlife centre is teeming with thousands of fascinating creatures from around the globe. See vibrant butterflies and glowing scorpions, watch fish and quails being fed, or handle millipedes and tarantulas - if you dare! Don't miss the weekly snake feeding sessions, every Saturday at 4pm.

National Mining Museum Scotland

Only a few minutes away is the town of Newtongrange where you can discover the history of Scotland's miners. The award-winning National Mining Museum is based at the Lady Victoria Colliery, one of the best surviving examples of a colliery in Europe: see the largest steam engine in Scotland and hear anecdotes from real former miners on a guided tour of the pithead.

Alternatively, if you're only in Scotland for a few days and fancy playing a round of golf, why not pick one of the Scottish Borders' courses? Galashiels and Torwoodlee golf clubs are within a short walk from Galashiels Train Station, which is about 30 minutes by train from the town of Eskbank.

Abbotsford

On arriving at Tweedbank, why not stretch your legs with a refreshing stroll? At less than 20 minutes' walk from Tweedbank Station, Abbotsford is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. A jewel in the crown of Scottish architecture, this luxurious mansion was once home to none other than Sir Walter Scott. Explore the elegant rooms where he hosted literary glitterati such as William Wordsworth and James Hogg, see the remarkable library and Chinese drawing room, discover the writer's life and words in the free exhibition in the award-winning visitor centre, or enjoy a delicious afternoon tea using locally-sourced produce in the stylish restaurant.

Once you've finished exploring, cross the River Tweed and take a short walk to the nearby Kingsknowes Hotel which offers a great wine list and where you can tuck into a fantastic range of locally-sourced foods, including venison sausages and sirloin steak, in the Courtyard Bar.

Melrose Abbey

Enjoy a long walk (around 45 minutes) from Tweedbank to Melrose, or jump on a number X62, 62B, 72 or H3 First bus (not included in your pass) and be there in less than 15 minutes. One of the four Borders Abbeys, the ever-magnificent ruin of Melrose Abbey was founded by King David I in 1136 and is famed as the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart. Nearby, the beautifully kept Harmony Garden and Priorwood Garden are filled with colourful blooms.

If you're feeling a bit peckish, you can stop at the nearby Abbey Mill, a former corn mill that now serves as a lovely shop and café. Enjoy refreshments then browse the shop for quality Scottish food and drink, gifts and clothing to take home.

If you wish to continue exploring the south of Scotland, take the 95 / X95 First bus from Galashiels to Carlisle and follow the Glasgow to Gretna Green itinerary.

Summary

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