The Scottish Borders enchants tourists from all over the world as it has several small-town holiday destinations – Melrose is one of them. This picturesque town is located next to the famous triple peaks Eildon Hills the most distinctive landmark in the Scottish Borders. Read our complete guide to find out our favourite things to do in Melrose.
This vibrant little place has lots to offer the tourist’s that visit here. Traditional Scottish hospitality, five start tourist attractions and endless wilderness lie in this wonderful part of the UK.
Learn more in our ‘Complete Guide to Melrose’.
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Things to do in Melrose
If you are wondering why Melrose is such as tourist trap – there is a list of actives and sights to see here.
Many know the town as the birthplace of the rugby sevens, others love to visit to explore the forests that surround the town.
My Voyage Scotland lists its top things to do in Melrose below.
Eildon Hills are a great thing to do in Melrose for outdoor enthusiasts.
Embrace nature during your trip to Melrose. The iconic triple peaks of the Eildon Hills are popular with hillwalkers and many travel to the town just to visit this well-loved landmark in the Scottish Borders.
These hills have a rich history.
The Roman army arrived at the hills in AD79 or 80 and began building a major fort named Trimontium, this translated to the ‘Place of the Three Hills’.
If you want to learn more about Melrose’s roman history, visit the Three Hills Roman Heritage Centre which now houses the Trimontium Museum.
Roulotte Retreat Caravans
If you are looking for majestic locations in Melrose, stay a night at one of the town’s most unique locations…
This French-style roulotte caravan park near Eildon Hills are very ‘Instagramable’.
Visitors love the park’s selection of brightly-coloured caravans, and it is a great choice for couples on a romantic retreat. On the grounds, you will find also find a charming Horseshoe cottage and beautiful bowtop gypsy caravans.
Tweed Valley Forest Park
There is an abundance of things to do in Melrose for outdoorsy people.
Tweed Valley Forrest Park is only an hour away from Melrose. Scattered around the River Tweed there are seven forests, each have something to offer their visitors.
Whether you and the kids want a quiet spot for a picnic or want to take on a tree-top adventure you will find something to do in these enchanting forests.
Many visitors travel to the Tweed Valley Forest Park for mountain biking. Riders often visit Glentress and the Innerleithen 7Stanes trail centres.
National Trust for Scotland gardens
If you know your peonies from your foxgloves, then the National Trust for Scotland gardens around Melrose will be high on your list of things to do in Melrose.
This part of Scotland is home to not one but two National Trust for Scotland gardens.
Green fingered guests from all over the UK come to visit these spectacular and romantic grounds.
Priorwood gardens in Melrose is home to a well-loved apple orchard.
What’s unique about Priorwood is that it is the country’s only dedicated dried flower garden.
Next stop is Harmony Gardens.
This enchanting walled garden offers fantastic views over the abbey and Eildon Hills, so make sure you bring your camera along to this trip!
Did you know that Melrose is the home of rugby sevens?
Locals are extremely proud of this fact and during Spring the town hosts annual rugby tournament which celebrates its rugby history.
The first Melrose Sevens tournament was in 1883 and its popularity continues today.
The action-packed attracts teams from all over the world, players travel from places such as New Zealand, South Africa, England, France and Portugal to take part.
Accommodation in the town books up fast during this celebration so make sure you book your B&B or hotel in Melrose in advance if you are travelling during Springtime.
One of the best things to do in Melrose and probably our favourite is Melrose Abby, which is a five star VisitScotland attraction.
This magnificent ruin is not to be missed if you are visiting the town.
History geeks will love visiting the ruined Melrose Abbey which dates from 1136.
The abbey which is one of Scotland’s most famous ruins was largely destroyed by Richard II’s English army in 1385.
This fascinating tourist destination exterior is decorated by unusual sculptures such as hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig.
If you are wondering what makes this abbey so special, locals believe that it was the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart. Within the grounds, there is a commemorative carved stone dedicated to the Scottish hero.
The buzzing little town of Galashiels is only a ten minute drive away from melrose.
Galashiels is a popular tourist spot in the Scottish Borders.
It has a range of activities for families with young children and couples that want to get away for an outdoorsy break.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the town is the Old Gala House which was built in 1583.
Within the Old Gala House grounds, you will find a museum and gallery which is dedicated to the town and the people that have lived and worked there throughout the years.
The gallery section of the museum features several exhibition spaces which are open to its visitors.
Daytrippers travelling to Galashiels can learn more about the town in our ‘Complete Guide to Galashiels.’
Day trip to Peebles
If you are travelling through the Scottish Borders, Melrose is a forty minute car drive from the idyllic town of Peebles.
Just like Melrose, Peebles offers tourists beautiful scenery, fun events throughout the year and outdoors activities in the nearby forests.
Peebles is also a popular spot for glamping. Glentress Forest Lodges near Peebles s budget-friendly accommodation option if you are travelling to the Scottish Borders.
This is the perfect place to pitch up if you have plans to explore the areas surrounding forests as the lodges are adjacent to the 7stanes mountain biking trails and Go Ape.
These cosy lodges have everything you’ll need for a short stay including a drying room, heating, a fridge and storage for bicycles.
More Things to do in the Scottish Borders
- Things to do in Coldstream
- Things to do in Galashiels
- Things to do in Kelso
- Things to do in Hawick
- Things to do in Peebles
- Things to do in Selkirk