A postcard from… the Scottish Borders

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.

Have you got a favourite place in the Borders?

10 thoughts on “A postcard from… the Scottish Borders

  1. There is something so appealing about going to a place in Scotland that is much less “touristy”. I think a couple weeks in and around the Borders would be an absolutely lovely trip.

    1. I completely agree with you 🙂 As much as places like Glen Coe and Skye are revered (and rightly so) there are so many other beautiful spots that deserve our attention! Definitely add the Borders to your list 🙂 Have a lovely weekend! x

  2. Reading this and seeing the pictures took me back to the time I visited Abbotsford. It looks so beautiful in the autumn colours and light! Also, totally agree with the library comment, I felt the same way 😉 xx

    1. Aw thank you so much! It’s such a wonderful place isn’t it?! Could you imagine having a library (and a house, and gardens…) like that?! The dream! Hope you have a fantastic weekend (it’s sunny here in Edinburgh woop!) x 🙂

  3. We were particularly impressed by the knowledgeable and friendly staff at Abbotsford House. So much to see in the Borders. I may have had my best ever egg salad sandwich in a little tea house in Melrose and later, when climbing up in the Abbey, we had a wonderful view of the countryside.

    1. Hi Dolores! Thanks so much for commenting, glad this blog brought back such lovely memories of Abbotsford 🙂 It’s a fantastic area of Scotland, especially in autumn… Ahh, I want to go back too now 🙂

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