Top things to do in Melrose

Top Choice Historic Building in Melrose


Just outside Melrose, this is where to discover the life and works of Sir Walter Scott, to whom we arguably owe both the modern novel and our mind's-eye view of Scotland. This whimsical, fabulous house where he live…
Top Choice Ruins in Melrose

Melrose Abbey

Perhaps the most interesting of the Border abbeys, red-sandstone Melrose was repeatedly destroyed by the English in the 14th century. The remaining broken shell is pure Gothic and the ruins are famous for their deco…
Top Choice Ruins in Melrose

Dryburgh Abbey

This is the most beautiful and complete of the Border abbeys, partly because the neighbouring town of Dryburgh no longer exists (another victim of the wars) and partly because of its lovely site by the Tweed in a sh…
Sports in Melrose

Melrose Rugby Sevens

Rugby followers fill the town to see this famous one-day sevens competition.
Scottish in Melrose


The brasserie and restaurant here turn out just about the best gourmet cuisine in town and offer decent value. There's some rich, elaborate, beautifully presented fare, with plenty of venison and other game choices,…
Literature in Melrose

Borders Book Festival

This book festival is run in Melrose over four days at Harmony House, a 19th-century mansion in a pretty garden.
Gardens in Melrose

Harmony Garden

This well-laid-out formal garden is a pleasant spot to while away a sunny afternoon, with views to the Eildon Hills and a riot of flowers in spring. The Georgian manor house presiding over the lawns can be rented fr…
Cafe in Melrose


Drop into the Cellar for a caffeine hit. It's also a good spot for a glass of wine on the town square, as well as food platters and speciality cheeses. Out front is a more-than-decent shop selling wine and whisky.
Gardens in Melrose

Priorwood Garden

By Melrose Abbey, this pretty walled garden has a venerable apple orchard with over 90 varieties as well as a garden dedicated to flowers for drying.