The Border Abbeys

Tripoto
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie
Photo of The Border Abbeys by Nathalie

From a blog entry in September 2013:

Over the weekend, I went to the Border Abbeys, simply because I wanted to take a trip somewhere before school started. I hadn't done much traveling down south, and thought it would be interesting, so made a list of places I'd like to see. I then plotted them out on a map, and looked up bus routes to see what was feasible for a day trip- the Border Abbeys (four ruined religious buildings from the 12th century) made the most sense. I got on my first bus around 6:30, and was in Edinburgh by around 8:30. I ran a few errands in the city, then took my second bus to Melrose, where the first abbey was located.

•  Melrose Abbey was very impressive, even in its state of disrepair (it was being worked on when I was there). I saw the memorial plaque for Robert the Bruce- his heart was supposedly buried somewhere on the premises. I also got a glimpse of the Melrose pig- a bagpiping pig sculpture near the top of the building! It was difficult to see between the scaffolding, but I got a picture.
 
•  Next, I took a bus to the nearby town of Newtown St. Boswells and walked a couple miles on a forest trail to get to Dryburgh Abbey. There was a really pretty suspension bridge over the River Tweed that I passed by, as well as a very ornate and impressive gate with a cow pasture behind it. When I got to the abbey I found that I had it all to myself- I love that semi-remote or lesser known landmarks rarely have any tourists, especially on rainy days. I did my usual "ruins rounds"- making sure to go up all the decrepit spiral towers, tunnels, and to find the best gothic architectural features. Then I went and paid my respects to Sir Walter Scott, who was buried there at his request.
 
Photo of The Border Abbeys 1/1 by Nathalie
Red= expected route, Blue= actual route
•  The final portion of my trip did not go as planned- I wanted to take a short bus ride to Jedburgh Abbey, but when I got on the bus the driver did not clearly explain that I had to get a transfer halfway through. Instead I assumed it was a loop route, and that we were going to go back the other direction if I waited long enough. It didn't help that my phone GPS decided to stop working. Instead I ended up in Northern England at Berwick-upon-Tweed (I did get to see a glimpse of Kelso and Smailholm tower though, so it wasn't all bad). Luckily, there was a straight-shot train to Edinburgh, so I took that and ended up getting back to St. Andrews before I would have if I had done my original plan.
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