Scotland's Best Tours

Margot McMurdo Margot McMurdo Tourist Guide

Margot McMurdo, Blue Badge Scottish Tourist Guide.

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Abbotsford House

Splendour of Scott Country

A wonderful insight into the world of Sir Walter Scott with an opportunity to stay in a 16th century Scott residence or even in his own home of Abbotsford House.
The Splendour of Scott Country Tour can be designed to suit a one day tour or extended to suit any number of days as there is much to see and experience in the area.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

This great writer, through his books and poems, re-invented the lost Scotland of the Stuarts, clans, and wild romance. Some of his best known works are Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and Red Gauntlet.

Abbotsford House

Abbotsford House has re-opened its doors to the public following a multi milion pound sensitive restoration.

The Hope Scott Wing can now offer the visitor a real sense of what it would have felt like to be a valued guest in Scott's own home. The wing now has 7 luxury bedrooms, 6 en-suite bathrooms, a formal dining room, breakfast room, billiard room and private courtyard and patio garden. Walk in footsteps of Scott and his friends and soak up the atmosphere of this very special country house

There is a superb new Visitor Centre with Scott Exhibition, Ochiltree Restaurant and a Gift Shop adjacent to Abbotsford. The gardens can be explored and the house viewed from the gardens and centre.

The Jensens at Abbotsford

Visit Sir Walter Scott's Courtroom in Selkirk where he was Sheriff of the county from 1799 until 1832. The courtroom has collections that tell of his life and work, and his time as Sheriff of Selkirkshire;his contemporaries, the explorer Mungo Park and poet James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.

Travelling on to Abbotsford, the Border home of Sir Walter Scott. Nowhere else in the world can evoke the romantic past more than Abbotsford, stunningly located on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. The house sits in the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and novels of its creator Sir Walter Scott. Unlike the homes of other great writers, this is a house that Scott himself designed, and as such, uniquely embodies a physical interpretation of the Romantic Movement that he helped to create.When you touch the stone and mortar of Abbotsford, you are touching the soul of Scott.

He was a great collector and the house contains an impressive collection of historic relics, weapons and armour, including Rob Roy's gun, dirk, sword and sporran, and an extensive library containing over 9000 rare volumes. It sits amid formal gardens and a wider landscape that Scott designed and planted.

Left; The Jensens at Abbotsford.

Tea/coffee and comfort stop!

We journey to the nearby town of Melrose, a delightful place, ideal for a stroll or to shop. The little town has much to offer - the ruined Abbey dates from 1136, Priorswood Garden specialises in dried flowers, and the Trimontium Exhibition gives an insight into the Roman occupation of the Borders.

Lunch and comfort stop!

Smailholm Tower

Onwards to Smailholm Tower which Scott described in "Marmion":

"then rise those crags that maintain'd tower which charmed my fancy's waking hour". He spent some of his childhood at the adjacent Sandyknowe farm and in later years admitted his imagination had been fired by the Ballards and stories he heard as a child at Sandyknowe and by the sight of Smailholm Tower. Within the restored tower there is a permanent exhibition of costume figures and tapestries of extraordinary charm which illustrate Scott's "minstrelsy of the Scottish Border."

We then travel to Scotts' View, a spectacular view over the countryside to the Eildon Hills which was a favourite spot of Sir Walter. Finally, to Dryburgh Abbey where Scott was laid to rest on a dark cold day in September 1832. It was said that "when the the coffin was taken from the hearse and again laid on the shoulders of the afflicted serving men, one deep sob burst from a thousand lips"

Tea/coffee and comfort stop!

Return to Edinburgh or:
Lessudden House - stay overnight in Lessudden House which was the home of the Scotts of Raeburn in the 17th century, and still very much a delightful family home today.
The original house was rebuilt in the late 16th century after being destroyed by the invading armies of Henry VIII. The house was acquired by the Scotts of Raeburn in the 17th century and it was visited by the young Sir Walter Scott.
Eildon Hills and Lessudden The present owners Angela and Alasdair Douglas-Hamilton are very welcoming hosts and Angela is a superb cook, producing delicious meals enjoyed in the atmospheric dining room surrounded by portraits of the present family and the Scotts. The bedrooms have all modern conveniences but are steeped in history and make for a very enjoyable stay, one night or longer.
Experiencing living Scottish History at Lessudden House is a wonderful addition to your vacation and the Splendour of Scott Country.

Options: (based on an Edinburgh pick-up point)

1. Guiding Only

You supply a fully insured coach and driver that is qualified to drive on our roads and I will guide.

2. Driver-guiding

I driver-guide you in a luxury, air-conditioned Mercedes Viano cdi X-clusive which is fully insured (maximum 6 passengers).

3. Minibus/coach with driver and guide (For groups with over 6 passengers)

I will arrange a suitable fully insured vehicle for your group with my business colleague who has many years driving experience. They will be your driver and myself as your guide.

Prices for the above options on application.

To enquire or book:

Email or call/fax +44 (0)1899 880207

Please see: Terms and conditions

Prices do not include entry fees to places of interest:

Concessions may sometimes be available for senior citizens; families; groups and children.

Events in the Scottish Borders in 2020

You may like to incorporate these events into your visit.

  • Melrose Rugby Sevens 10th April
  • Melrose Book Festival 11th-14th June
  • Selkirk Common Riding 12th June

Margot McMurdo Blue Badge Scottish Tourist Guide. Email:

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