Abbotsford House, Melrose TD6 9BQ, UK
Photo courtesy of The Abbotsford Trust
AbbotsfordThe former home of Scottish historical novelist Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford contains a treasure trove of objects that the great 19th-century author collected during his eventful life. Having popularized tartan, saved the Scottish banknote, and rediscovered his country’s crown jewels, Scott ended up with a variety of unique mementos—from Mary Queen of Scot’s crucifix to Rob Roy’s hunting knife—that inspired his greatest poems and novels. Tour the house where he spent some of his most productive writing years, and take note of the arched entrance copied from Linlithgow Palace and the door from Edinburgh’s Old Tolbooth building incorporated into a side wall. Then walk through the Regency-style gardens, where you’ll find a greenhouse based on a medieval jousting tent. Also on-site is a visitor center that hosts rotating exhibitions as well as a permanent display on Sir Walter Scott, a gift shop, and a café serving tea, cakes, and snacks.