Rather like Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders are a part of Scotland that may not feature on your immediate itinerary if your travel aims are to bag big mountains, wild coastlines and iconic castles. However — especially with the golden light and changing trees of autumn — the Scottish Borders are understated yet beautiful.
Last weekend we decided to drive just an hour south of Edinburgh for some fresh air at Abbotsford, the former home of author Sir Walter Scott. It was the day after the clocks changed with a nip in the air and the afternoon’s fast-fading light. We stopped at the café for ridiculously nice scones, jam and cream before lacing up our walking boots and heading into the greenery. Here are a few photos from our wander around the grounds.
Entering the walled garden at Scott’s Abbotsford near the lovely town of Melrose. There’s much dying off at this time of year, but a few varieties of roses still bloomed their scent with browning petals. It was so silent here; after our walk we sat on a bench at the top of the garden looking back across the turreted house (dreaming about it being ours, I’ll admit).
Details of the changing seasons. Those berries were the most beautiful colour; next to the rose even more striking. Further into the trail, we spotted more red berries from holly bushes, seeming to signal the festive season’s imminent arrival.
Abbotsford in its full glory. This 200-year-old estate really is something out of a fairytale (or in reality, the imagination of esteemed author Sir Walter Scott). Now, with a modern visitor centre and café, you can explore the history of this house via an audio guide (and after seeing the library, you’ll never be content with your paltry bookshelves again).
Late afternoon light by the River Tweed. From Abbotsford’s walled garden, we passed through a door to the front lawn which looks onto the river. Walking against the water’s flow, we joined a gravel path which took us into a thick carpet of leaves. The light — beaming through the oranges and yellows of the autumn trees — really is something else at this time of year.
Admiring the architecture. Every time I come here, I snap these rose bushes which grow, hugged, by the speckled arches which separate the house’s driveway from the adjacent gardens. It always surprises me that the red remains, bursting and wilting into the fading light that signals the approach of the colder seasons.