Abbotsford

Abbotsford, Melrose: Hours, Address, Abbotsford Reviews: 4.5/5

Historic Sites • Architectural Buildings
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Abbotsford is the extraordinary home of the 19th century novelist and ‘Great Scott’ who popularised tartan, saved the Scottish banknote and rediscovered his country’s Crown Jewels. In 2021-2022 Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott. Visit Abbotsford during this special occasion to meet the man behind the monument, whose imagination and patriotism shaped the Scotland of today. Discover a treasure trove of fascinating objects which inspired his greatest poems and novels. Learn about Scott's life, browse the gift shop, enjoy seasonal food in our cafe or simply relax in the beautiful formal gardens and tranquil woodlands.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

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4.5
1,119 reviews
Excellent
725
Very good
294
Average
71
Poor
17
Terrible
13

Rosamundaud
London27 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
A very interesting visit to the home of Sir Walter Scott. The audio guide was excellent and really brought the experience to life. The rooms are exactly as they were when Scott lived there. All staff were very friendly and helpful. The gardens and grounds are lovely. Very good cafe and shop.
Written 28 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gilly
Scottish Borders, UK1 contribution
Jun 2022 • Friends
Just received a parking fine due to me putting the wrong car registration in by mistake. Not happy and I will not be returning. The ticket machine is like taking an exam and I’m quite sure I’m not the first person to input a wrong registration by accident. This is going to put people off visiting the restaurant and house/grounds. So rather than getting more people to visit it may have the opposite affect and be detrimental to the visitor numbers.
Written 28 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul P
Locks Heath, UK29 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
House and gardens were very good, a great exhibition of Scott’s life was a good introduction. The staff were all very friendly and helpful but we left with a bad impression due to not being able to get lunch. We planned everything out at after touring the house and gardens went up to get lunch but we’re told we couldn’t be accommodated as two coach parties were due in. This in our view is not acceptable, there were four in our party, paid full adult price and for enough hours in the car park to have lunch. The coach party should not have been given preference over us and we left dissatisfied after having a good tour.
Written 27 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

newengland50
Franklin, MA459 contributions
Jun 2022
The museum was careful to encourage distance space between visitors.

Abbotsford is absolutely beautiful. The building is filled with Scott's books, guns, and collections. It was sad to learn that Scott struggled in his later years to maintain the property and its significant expenses. He worked hard to keep it beautiful.

In addition to all that can be learned about Scott, his life, and his family while enjoying the exhibits, the grounds are beautiful. Visitors could include them in their tour.

It was a highly enjoyable visit.
Written 19 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

staoineag
2 contributions
Jun 2022
House and new visitor exhibition excellent - world class stuff.
But why only 3 stars?
Tried to get a seat and coffee/scone in the cafeteria (which was empty). Met at the door with: "Have you booked? Well no? Then no entry please". They were completely closed for arriving coach parties. Whoever has heard of tourist sites denying entry to visitors like this?? Was directed to a carry out desk below for cardboard carton drinks to take outside in the rain - no thanks.
All this is compounded by a lack of seating (other than in the cafeteria...) and it's a rural setting - don't expect to find anywhere else nearby.
I also have misgivings at charging for parking - OK it's £2 but really on top of £12.50 each?
In summary for the management: go and look at the NTS Burns Visitor Centre in Alloway - free parking, open access to the cafeteria - it works!
Written 17 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Good morning, thanks for your feedback. We're so glad you enjoyed our historic house and visitor centre exhibition. Sorry you were unable to get a table in our café on this occasion, tables in our café are temporarily reduced due to works to improve our balcony. This has meant occasional short closures of our café when we have large groups in.
Written 20 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Thowdmon
Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK579 contributions
May 2022
A truly worthy visitor centre for a great Scott, with a modern, clean, cafe upstairs. The young staff looked after us well.
I had the haggis with poached egg and sauce. Everything was just as it should be, especially the whisky sauce, which I loved.

The house did the great man credit. Fascinating. very informative.

The parking procedure could be used to baffle contestants on Taskmaster.
Written 13 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rebecca G
Blackpool, UK189 contributions
May 2022
Fantastic place overall, but first impressions echo the thoughts of other reviewers.

The parking payment process was confusing, with conflicting signs and even staff were unsure - do you pay before or after visit? We opted to pay before and chose a longer time period to really cover ourselves.

The visitor centre was well staffed by four ladies, but they seemed to operate as a huddle and it was difficult to attract the attention of a single lady to ask questions.

The cafe was quiet, but even so, the two members of staff were overwhelmed and service was slow. Each table received good attention at point of contact and staff were polite, but receiving a single drink was a drawn out experience. Great views of the house in the valley from the elevated position of the cafe at the top of the hill.

Grounds are extensive and footpaths well managed. Picnic table area on the way down to the house. Seating in the formal 'front' garden, with beautiful borders.

Volunteers are approachable, friendly and knowledgeable, bursting with a willingness to share their experience. Audio tour was great, with high volume for hard of hearing.

Each room is an experience, with a lot of detail to take in, so don't rush round.

The rhododendrons in May made the national newspaper whilst we were there, so worth a walk around the grounds.
Written 12 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your feedback. We’re glad you enjoyed our house, gardens, estate walks, audio tour and speaking to our staff and volunteers. As a small independent charity, we have recently introduced modest parking charges to help us recover financially from the pandemic, allow us to expand our car park in the future and contribute to the costs of maintaining our free paths and facilities. We are currently reviewing our car park signage in order to make it as clear as possible for all visitors. There can be a wait to speak to a staff member at busy times. We’re sorry you found service in the café to be slow, we will pass your comments on to our catering team.
Written 13 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HonoraryScot
London31 contributions
Jun 2022
Interesting house with a few rooms open to the public. What makes the visit enjoyable is the excellent, professional and enthusiastic staff!
A couple of minor issues. I’m fine with the closure of the cafe when there’s a large visiting party in, however there needs to be at least two staff at the outside catering box as one poor bloke doing his very best to cook sausages and bacon whilst making hot drinks and taking payment just doesn’t work. We managed to get a coffee after a considerable wait, but we’re glad that we didn’t try to get any food as this was chaos! There are plenty of nice cafes in Melrose.
Why not put the qr code for the tour in a few different locations (shop, cafe for example)? Waiting to pay whilst people struggled with the qr code and their phone was frustrating.
Written 6 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your feedback. We’re glad you enjoyed your visit. Very occasionally we do need to close the café for short periods when we have large groups in, which can make our outdoor catering busy for a short time. We will pass your comments on this on to our catering team. The QR code for our audio tour is emailed out to all visitors after booking online and is also available to scan in the house as well as the visitor centre.
Written 13 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Palmaluz
Scottish Borders, UK12 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Visited Ochiltrees for a coffee a couple of weeks ago. We paid for 1 hour’s parking and left again within the the hour. Last week was amazed to receive a parking fine of £100 alleging that we hadn’t paid to park. As no ticket was issued from the machine we have no evidence of payment for parking. Abbotsford staff have been helpful and have indicated that this isn’t the first query on this issue and are looking into this for us. We have been regular customers of the coffee shop since it opened but unfortunately following this I will be very reluctant ant to return.
Written 24 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your feedback. Our apologies for this, we are looking into your fine with Parking Eye and will get back to you. As a small independent charity, we have introduced modest parking charges to help us recover financially from the pandemic, allow us to expand our car park in the future and contribute to the costs of maintaining our free paths and facilities.
Written 27 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RCI
Scottish Borders, UK41 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
We visited the coffee shop on 12/5/22 and I paid for 1 hours parking at pay machine. Left after 55 minutes. Have to day received a £100 parking fine letter. This shows my entry and exit times and a total parking time of 55 minutes. Tried to contact parking company but only number they give is to pay the fine. Made an on line appeal where you have the opportunity to submit "evidence' As the parking machine does not issue a paper ticket you have no proof of payment. I am absolutely furious at this wrongful charge. I contacted staff at Abbotsford who were exceptionally helpful and understanding. Have also taken photographs of the parking regulation sign. This is about 2.5 metres from the ground and many will be unable to read the "small print". We visit Abbotsford coffee shop on Avery regular basis but due to this incident will not be back. I would encourage Abbotsford staff to ask that the type of payment machine be replaced with one which issues a ticket. Would also ask that if people buy from coffee shop or gift shop the parking fee is deducted. It seems that many others have been fined since the parking charge was introduced very recently. I await the result of the appeal.
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Written 21 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Ian, thank you for your feedback. Having spoken to you, we are investigating this case with parking eye and will get back to you once this is complete. We are also currently reviewing our car park signage in order to make it as clear as possible for all our visitors.
Written 24 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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