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Top 5 Stately Homes to Visit near Melrose, Scottish Borders

Nestled amongst the picturesque landscapes of Scotland, the historic town of Melrose is surrounded by beautiful stately homes that showcase the rich heritage of the Scottish Borders. It’s well worth taking time to explore these architectural wonders and learning the intricate stories of the families that once lived there. Here are our top five stately homes to visit near Melrose in the Scottish Borders for your next stay at Bowden House.

1. Abbotsford House

The magnificent Abbotsford House, once home to the famed Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, is a must-visit stately home in the Scottish Borders. Combining various architectural styles, including Gothic and Palladian, Abbotsford offers an exquisite glimpse into Scott's extraordinary life and the vivid imagination that inspired his timeless literary works.

2. Mellerstain House

Mellerstain House is one of Scotland's finest stately homes built in the 18th century. It is a unique example of Robert Adam's design with stunning interior decoration, representing a picture as of the Baillie's family home some 240 years ago.

Particularly interesting is The Library which is considered a masterpiece of Classical decoration and colour with fine detailed plasterwork incorporating marble busts by Roubiliac.

The house is located within 100 acres of mature parkland with formal gardens and a beautiful courtyard with a lovely cafe. The guided tours bring the whole architecture of this Robert Adam gem to life and are highly recommended.

3. Floors Castle

Floors Castle is not only the largest inhabited castle in Scotland but also a breathtaking stately home that showcases the rich history of the Roxburghe Estate. The enchanting gardens, collection of fine European paintings, and the grandeur of the castle's architecture make it a popular destination for history enthusiasts visiting the Scottish Borders.

4. Traquair House

Dating back to 1107, Traquair House is known as the oldest inhabited house in Scotland. It has witnessed more than nine centuries of Scottish Borders' history and was visited by 27 Scottish kings/queens. This fortified stately home has also served as a royal hunting lodge, with visits from Mary, Queen of Scots (her original bed is still on display!) and her infant son, James VI. With fine furniture, stunning grounds including a maze and brewery, Traquair House is an essential addition to your Melrose itinerary.

5. Thirlestane Castle

With over 400 years of history, Thirlestane Castle is one of the oldest and finest stately homes in Scotland. Once home to the influential Maitland family, it played a vital role in the history of the Scottish Borders. Visitors can admire the impressive State Rooms decorated with ornate mouldings and Flemish tapestries while learning about the lives of the nobility in centuries past.

6. Manderston House

Manderston House is a splendid Edwardian stately home near Melrose, offering opulent interiors and a captivating history. Featuring the world's only silver-staircase and elegant marble flooring, this luxurious residence is an excellent example of the extravagance of the Edwardian era. Unfortunately it is only open for visitors in March/April. :-(

There is no shortage of great stately homes to visit near Melrose, each with its own charm and fascinating history. As you explore these magnificent residences, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the history and heritage of the Scottish Borders. 

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