Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Veteran Cars in Peebles, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on today’s large group day trip from Glasgow to Peebles (65 miles S.E.of Glasgow) and then back to Glasgow via a stop at Garrion Bridges Garden and Antique Centre.

Eastgate, Peebles, Scotland

Green Tree Hotel, Peebles

Dining at Green Tree Hotel, Peebles, Scotland

River Tweed, Scottish Borders

Browsing antiques at Garrion Bridges

Furniture at Garrion Bridges

Antique glass at Garrion Bridges

Art for sale at Garrion Bridges.

Image of Christ at Melrose Abbey

This evening, I am focusing on Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders region, about forty miles south of Edinburgh.

Melrose is one of a  group of four ruined abbeys which date from medieval times, the others being Dryburgh,Jedburgh and Kelso.

Melrose Abbey

History of Melrose Abbey

The founding of Melrose Abbey on its current site (superseding a previous building located about two miles away) was inspired by King David I of Scotland in 1136 AD. The Abbey was built by a group of Cistercian Monks from Rievaulx in Yorkshire, England. Construction is believed to have taken ten years.

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

Because the Abbey enjoyed Royal favour it continued to flourish despite suffering damage in the Anglo-Scottish wars and being rebuilt in the 15th century. It fell into ruin after being ravaged by English soldiers and Scots Protestants. The last monk died in 1590.The Abbey is noteworthy for:

  • Quality of the stone carvings which include an unusual effigy of a pig playing the bagpipes.

Bagpipe playing pig at Melrose Abbey

  • Burial place of the heart of King Robert the Bruce.

Burial place of the heart of King Robert the Bruce

  • Museum with evidence of the Roman presence in the area.

Visiting Melrose and Borders.

The Abbey is a popular attraction with visitors, many of whom go on to visit the other three abbeys. The adjacent small town of Melrose is a pleasant place to enjoy a stroll, visit the shops and avail of refreshment. There is a garden, Priorwood which specialises in producing dried flowers.

Aerial view of Melrose from atop Abbey tower

Melrose Abbey is a usually a key constituent of a tour of the Borders region.

Glasgow’s Riverside Museum from Govan

Today, I undertook a photo themed walk around Govan in the West of Scotland.

Very briefly, Govan has a proud shipbuilding heritage which continues today, albeit well below peak levels of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Govan is far removed from tourists’ expectations of lochs, castles, clans, mountainous scenery and whisky distilleries. Here, measurements such as alcohol deaths, life expectancy, youth unemployment and adult unemployment combine to present challenges to lift living standards and prosperity. Population is 30,000.

Sir William Pearce, a 19th century shipbuilding magnate and philanthropist

Starter Packs for homeless people

Lighting up outside the Old Harmony Bar

The Old Govan Arms Pub

Govan Road, Govan

Elder Park, a green oasis for Govan locals

The sandstone building below is now a museum. However, the white shed on the right houses modern shipbuilding, predominantly military vessels.

Fairfield Shipbuilders

Modern architecture

Sandstone tenements and shops

St Anthony’s R.C. Church, Govan

Inside Govan Old Church is a carved stone sarcophagus which dates from the 9th century AD and as such ranks as the earliest artwork in Glasgow.

Govan Old Church: A Victorian building which sits on a very ancient Christian site dating back about 1500 years.

Aggies Bar on waterfront-but there is no bar!

Modern housing on River Clyde

Bank of Scotland Branch in central Govan