Every year in April the border town of Melrose becomes the focus of international attention. The occasion is the Melrose Sevens a rugby event devised and first played in the town in 1877. The Sevens is one of the biggest events held in the Borders and attracts followers from all over the world. But this small town has plenty of other claims to fame and is well used to welcoming visitors from all over the world.
Close by is one of the biggest Roman presences in Scotland, the supply camp of Trimontium, and wherever you go in Melrose the Abbey is never far away. The abbey was founded in 1136 by the Cistercian monks from Rievaulx in Yorkshire. St Cuthbert was part of the abbey community before he moved on to the island of Lindisfarne.
Melrose is the starting point of the popular 64-mile St Cuthbert’s Walk which criss-crosses the borders on its way to Holy Island. It is also the resting place of Robert the Bruce’s heart after it had been taken for use as a talisman by Scots fighting to remove the Moors from Spain.
For cyclists a 57 mile route forms the Border Abbeys Cycle Route, although there are some picturesque routes of a shorter distance. A must is to cycle over Scott’s view to Smailholm Tower and Mellerstain House and for walkers the stretch of the Borders Abbeys Way from Melrose to Dryburgh Abbey passes by the picturesque Eildon Hills and offers easy access to stunning scenery.