Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Exposure: Scott's View

Is it really Sir Walter Scott's favorite view?


But the story goes that Scott passed by this overlook so often that his horses knew to halt here even without his command. Together they would look down the steep hill, across the meandering River Tweed, and out to the rolling hills and farmlands.

Scott's View above the River Tweed in the Scottish borders
Sir Walter Scott's favorite view: over the winding banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish borders. A loop of the river carves a nearly circular valley below.
Sir Walter Scott's tomb in ruins of Dryburgh Abbey
Sir Walter's Scott's tomb amidst the ruins.
The viewpoint lies near the town of Melrose in the Scottish borders. A few miles to the east lay Scott's grandarents' farm, where Scott spent a few early childhood years convalescing after polio left him lame. In the later decades of his life Scott built a home, Abbotsford House, upstream on the banks of the Tweed, a few miles west of the view. At his death, Scott's funeral procession passed by this spot on its way to his burial in the nearby Dryburgh Abbey, one of the glorious ruined border abbeys in southeast Scotland.

The three-peaked hill in the distance, Eildon Hill, is the remnant of an eons-old volcanic eruption. It lies on the path of St. Cuthbert's Way, a popular hiking trail. A small monument to Scott stands atop the middle peak. Scott's view of the hill is lovely, though better in the morning with the sun at your back than in the afternoon when you may be gazing toward the sun.

Nowadays, to enjoy Scott's View you don't need to hike or ride a horse. It's marked and accessible on a small road, B6356, a mile from Dryburgh Abbey and a few miles from the town of Melrose.

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