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Scottish Borders

Relax in the beautiful surroundings of Melrose

The name of Melrose or Mailros was first given to a loop in the River Tweed at the location of present day Old Melrose. It was at this site that the first Melrose monastery was founded in 650AD. The monastery was eventually destroyed and some time later, an order went out to rebuild it. However, instead of building the monastery on the same site as its predecessor, the builders chose to build it two miles west at a settlement called Fordel. Though it was not built in Melrose as such, the new monastery was still named Melrose Abbey and Fordel soon adopted the name of Melrose and became a town.

Invading English armies plagued the abbey in the 1300s and 1540s and the Abbey saw its end in 1560. But the town had already become a centre of wool and linen production in the area and it struggled on. Today Melrose is a small, pretty little town where a person could easily slip into obscurity – though it can be quite busy at times! It is the perfect place to get away from it all and is bypassed by most major routes in the area. Most visitors come to see the various historical sites which dot the town. Melrose Abbey is perhaps the best known attraction. Not far is the Priorwood Garden which focuses on flowers that are suitable for drying. The Trimontium Exhibition, which is centered on the Roman heritage of the area, makes for a fascinating historical tour. The four mile circular walk is open from April to October.

Once every year, Melrose sees a lot of visitors for the annual seven-a-side rugby tournament. Teams come from all over the world for the week-long games and some top-quality rugby is seen at the event every April. If you are visiting in the second week of April, you should make it a point to spend some time at the Melrose Rugby Football Club and take in the spectacle.

Melrose might not be an obvious choice when touring through Scotland, but it certainly is worth a visit. With a long history and a large number of interesting attractions – as well as the small town feel and friendly people – you can be sure that you will consider a visit to Melrose to be time well spent.