Guided tours of Melrose Abbey are included in the admission price, but must be booked in advance. If you plan to visit other historic Scotland attractions like Edinburgh Castle and Linlithgow Palace, pick up the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass to save on admission. Guided day trips to Melrose Abbey often leave from Edinburgh and include round-trip transportation as well as visits to other Scottish Borders area attractions like the Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian’s Wall.
Things to know before you go
- An admission fee is required to visit Melrose Abbey.
- Admission is free with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass.
- Visit the Commendator’s House Museum to view artifacts unearthed in the abbey cloister.
- The Melrose Abbey museum, church, and cloister are wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
Located near the Scottish-English border, the Melrose Abbey lies 59 miles (95 kilometers) south of Edinburgh and 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Newcastle, England. The easiest way to get there is by car and pay parking is available at the nearby Melrose Abbey car park. Melrose Abbey can also be reached via train and bus from Edinburgh and most major cities in Scotland.
When to get there
Melrose Abbey is open daily with slightly shorter hours during the winter season. It closes for a few days around Christmas and New Year. The Abbey is busiest on weekends and midday during the week so visit outside those times if you’d like to avoid the crowds.
The Legend of King Robert the Bruce’s Heart
Robert the Bruce is one of Scotland’s most famous warriors, having led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence with England. After King Robert’s death in 1329, his heart was removed and embalmed, then taken on a tour of the Holy Land before ultimately being buried at Melrose Abbey. A heart has been uncovered and reburied at Melrose Abbey, but no one knows for sure if this is in fact King Robert’s heart. A plaque marks the burial spot.
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- Preston Mill & Phantassie Doocot
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