We leave Edinburgh and journey south across the Lammermuir hills to the south east of the city. As we venture into the borders we first stop at Scotts View, a stunning lookout that was reputed to be one of Sir Walter Scott’s favourite views and one which gave him inspiration for his love of Scotland. From here we travel to his stately home and now preserved living museum at Abbotsford House.
From here we take the short journey to Melrose and Melrose Abbey a ruined Cistercian monastery built in the mid 12th century. Notably it is believed that the embalmed heart of Robert The Bruce’s heart is buried at Melrose although this claim has been challenged and remains a mystery to this day.
From Melrose we venture the short journey to Floors Castle by Kelso. Floors is more a country house than a fortified castle with extensive gardens and is the largest inhabited Castle in Scotland. It is the home to the Duke of Roxburghe and is an excellent example of a relatively modern 18th century mock castle overlooking the River Tweed. It is lavishly presented with rich interior finish, tapestry’s and and ornate decor.
Having travelled back towards Edinburgh and if time permits, we will visit the 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by its mysterious links to The Knights Templar and more recently the setting for the Dan Brown Novel The Da Vinci Code and the Tom Hanks film by the same name. The Chapel is adorned by incredibly intricate stonework and the apprentices pilar carries with it a gruesome story of jealousy and murder. It has been rumoured that a crucifixion cross buried under the chapel is the cross that Jesus was killed on and that the head of Jesus, the holy grail, and the knights Templar themselves may all be hidden under the floor of this mysterious and majestic attraction.