Before going to the Highlands: Borders, part I – by tourists a neglected Scottish pearl

In Galashiels, a small village south of Edinburgh, we stayed at B&B Craigilea – a place to be warmly recommended. Full Scottish breakfast and a very welcoming hostess. An excellent place for visiting Borders, the countryside closest to England.

Here we visited some of the most famous castles and abbeys of Scotland, once founded by David I in the 12th century but over the years plundered and finally torn down by Henry VIII.

I Galashiels, ett litet samhälle söder om Edinburgh, bodde vi på B&B Craigilea – ett fantastiskt trevligt och fräscht boende med möjlighet att besöka det vackra Borders – gränslandet mot England. Ett område bestrött med ruiner efter några av de mest framstående slott och kloster som uppförts i landet. De flesta kloster grundades av David I på 1100-talet, plundrades flera gånger och förstördes totalt av Henrik den VIII.

Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott is close to Galashiels, and so is Scott’s View – his favourite view of Borders. We were alone there, early in the morning, and could sit quietly absorbing the beauty of the view, listening to the birds and admiring the lushness of the landscape. I could easily understand him, Scott, and I almost felt the sound of his horses stopping there on his last journey to Dryburgh Abbey. According to the legend, they wanted their master to stop there this last time too.

Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford ligger här, och hans favoritutsikt över Borders, Scott’s View, är ljuvlig. Vi var ensamma där på morgonen och kunde sitta och njuta av stillheten och skönheten. Vila i tanken på hur han stannade till här varje gång han passerade och hur han älskade denna vy. Det sägs att hans hästar självmant stannade vid deras master’s favoritplats, på väg med katafalken på Scotts sista resa till sin begravning i Dryburgh Abbey vid stranden av Tweed.

Scott's View

Dryburgh Abbey,  founded on 10 November 1150, is Sir Walter Scott’s last resting place  on the river Tweed. The old trees in the park are magnificent, there is even a giant Sequoia with its characteristic layer upon layer trunk.

Dryburgh Abbey i strålande sommarväder – också det en fin upplevelse. Träden i parken här är mycket gamla. Ivy och till och med en Sequoia med sin karakteristiska mjuka lager- på- lager stam.

The crypt, once the room for the monks’ daily prayers. Magnificent play of light and stillness – you are in contact with your soul and your words are allowed to soar.

Kryptan, en gång munkarnas bönerum. Ljusspelet i tystnaden och lugnet – här finner man sig själv, och orden svävar lätt över de mjuka linjerna..

Exhibition of sculptures found in the torn down abbey. The exquisite Lamb.

Utställning med skulpturer man funnit i det nedrivna klostret. En berömd skulptur av Lammet.

In the gardens – The giant Sequoia – I den stora parken – en jättesequoia.

Next we visited the remains of powerful Melrose Abbey – where the hero Robert the Bruce’s heart was buried. This for Borders part II.

I Borders del II har vi kommit till magnifika Melrose Abbey – platsen där skottarnas berömde frihetshjälte Robert the Bruce lät begrava sitt hjärta.



10 thoughts on “Before going to the Highlands: Borders, part I – by tourists a neglected Scottish pearl

    • Thank you, Ese! I know you know the joy of travelling…This time I believe the scenery here is underestimated. Everybody goes straight for the Highlands. We heard this from our landlords as well.

  1. I really enjoy seeing old structures like this home and it’s history – you can feel the immense presence of souls as you took us through this castle.

  2. Oh my gosh, Ann-Christine. When I mentioned Sir Walter Scott in your post on Skye I had no idea you had been here. This is so exciting for me to see and gives me a greater understanding of his work and life. Thank you!

    • This was a treat for me as well. I understand his love for the view, and tears in my eyes when reading about his last journey where his horses stopped where their Master always had stopped.

  3. It’s such a beautiful area, and so close by to Edinburgh. As you say though, not many people visit. My in-laws lived in Galashiels for 15 years, so we were frequent visitors. I never tire of the old abbeys, so beautiful, they must have been stunning when complete and un damaged. Scott caught the energy and mystery of the land beneath his feet and shared it with us all 🙂

    • He did, Scott. And the splendour of those abbeys once – how I would have liked to see them ! We met some middle aged men who still hated the English for this…


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