Dryburgh Abbey

Top choice in Borders Region

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 sheltered birdsong-filled valley. Dating from about 1150, the abbey belonged to the Premonstratensians, a religious order founded in France, and evokes 12th-century monastic life more successfully than its nearby counterparts. The pink-hued stone ruins are the burial place of Sir Walter Scott.

The abbey is 5 miles southeast of Melrose on the B6404, which passes the famous Scott's View outlook. Hike there along the southern bank of the River Tweed, or take a bus to the nearby village of Newtown St Boswells.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Borders Region attractions

1. Priorwood Garden

3.08 MILES

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.

2. Melrose Abbey

3.09 MILES

Perhaps the most interesting of the Border abbeys, red-sandstone Melrose was repeatedly destroyed by the English in the 14th century. The remaining broken…

3. Harmony Garden

3.33 MILES

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…

4. Smailholm Tower

3.44 MILES

Perched on a rocky knoll above a small lake, this narrow stone tower provides one of the most evocative sights in the Borders and keeps its bloody history…

5. Abbotsford

5.43 MILES

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…

6. Mellerstain House

5.78 MILES

Finished in 1778, this is considered to be Scotland's finest Robert Adam–designed mansion. It is huge and famous for its classic elegance, ornate…

7. Floors Castle

7.66 MILES

Grandiose Floors Castle is Scotland's largest inhabited mansion, home to the Duke of Roxburghe, and overlooks the Tweed about a mile west of Kelso. Built…

8. Mary, Queen of Scots' Visitor Centre

7.79 MILES

Mary stayed at this beautiful 16th-century tower house in 1566 after her famous ride to visit the injured Earl of Bothwell, her future husband, at…