As the crocuses and daffodils begin to show, Erica Crompton says there’s no better time to take a day trip to the Estate of the Scottish poet.
Having recently toured the eclectic home of Scottish poet Sir Walter Scott, I can recommend a visit. It’s wheelchair friendly, too! I went with my boyfriend Paul who uses a wheelchair and we were impressed by the step free access to the building.
“Rambling,” “whimsical,” and “picturesque” were expressions Scott used at different times to describe the building and they very much fit the process, too. He filled in the courtyard to the west of the farmhouse with a study, a dining room, an armoury (which he referred to as his ‘Boudoir’) and a conservatory.
Paul was most impressed by the boudoir with its sword and weapons collection: “Who was this guy?” He whispered quizzically as we took a tour. For me, the warmth and splendour of the open fireplaces were the perfect accompaniment to a chilly afternoon stroll through the gardens, Scott’s pride, along with his writing.
The 19th century saw Scott establishing an international reputation as Scotland’s most prolific and successful writer, but his main focus– the one that gave him most pleasure – was tree-planting. Scott was in such a hurry to turn the bare bank of his home into a paradise that he was already planting trees before taking full possession in May 1811.
The Abbotsford Estate has a diverse mix of habitat, supporting a richness of species, from orchids and butterflies on the Haugh to badgers and bats in the woodland. Relax and enjoy a walk (or wheel!) around the Abbotsford Estate and encounter a Red Squirrel along the River Tweed, if you’re lucky. You can also enjoy the concerto of Woodpeckers, Tawny Owls, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Chiff-Chaff and Swallows around the estate, too.
While spring and all its new life, birdsong and pretty flowers come into focus, Abbotsford Estate is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day and one full of wonder, while in Scotland.