Abbey St, Melrose TD6 9LG, UK
Photo courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland
Melrose AbbeyThe heart of Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots, is buried somewhere here, amid the magnificent ruins of Scotland’s first Cistercian monastery. Scholars believe Melrose Abbey dates back to the 7th century, though most of what remains today is about 500 to 600 years old. Being close to the border, it suffered at English hands during the Middle Ages. It was rebuilt in the 1380s, however, and used as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1590. Today, visitors can admire the graceful architecture, take in the charming sculptures (look out for the famous bagpipe-playing Melrose pig); step inside the chapter house, where Robert the Bruce’s heart is supposedly buried; and tour the Commendator’s House Museum in the abbey cloister, which houses a rich collection of medieval objects.