To the Point of Scott’s View

by Keith Savage · 8 comments


Scott's View of the Eildon Hills, the Scottish Borders, Scotland

Just east of Abbotsford lies one of the Scottish Borders’s greatest viewpoints: Scott’s View. This was the place where Sir Walter Scott would stop on his way home to Abbotsford and take in the gorgeous Tweed Valley and Eildon Hills. He halted here so often, the story goes, that his horse would stop of its own volition, and, in fact, this is said to have happened after his death as the horses carried his body to Dryburgh Abbey. Over time the view acquired his namesake, and I imagine it is as stunning today as it was back in the early 19th century. There are few places that provide a better feel for the heart of the central Borders.

You can find Scott’s View overlooking the east bank of the River Tweed due east of Melrose and due north of St. Boswells, upon Bemersyde Hill, along the B6356. The road curves right past the viewpoint and there are a handful of parking spots abutting a stone wall inset with a panoramic map. This is primarily just a viewpoint, but if you clamber over the wall onto the grassy slope you’ll see a comfy bench perfect for having lunch upon standing before a wall of gorse. Directly below the gorse is one of the last remaining fragments of natural woodland in all the Borders.

Since the view faces west, I recommend you visit early in the morning to catch it illuminated by the rising sun, or in the evening for a moody sunset shot. As is true all over Scotland (and possibly everywhere), the lighting really changes the appreciation of the view. Compare the pictures in this post to see what I mean.

It should come as no surprise that Scott’s View is a popular spot for photographers. When I last visited I bumped into the Kelso Camera Club, who arrived in a convoy laden with tripods and massive telephoto lenses. They were a friendly lot and gave me many recommendations for things to do with my time in the Borders.

It only takes one visit to understand what enthralled Sir Walter Scott about this view. The way the sun paints the valley and turns the air into soft fuzz is quintessential Scotland. The close proximity of the viewpoint to Melrose, St. Boswells, and Kelso makes it an easy stop if you are based in those towns or just traveling in the area to the various abbeys.

It would take countless visits to tire of Scott’s View. If you ask me, there’s no better entertainment than sitting on that bench with a bottle of brew and watching the sun set over the Eildon Hills.


Tina Somberg-BuiksNo Gravatar December 26, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I fully agree that this is one of the most beautiful spots in the Borders! Id love to go there every time we visit Scotland and am sure we’ll have a different Scott’s View again and again, which makes it so special!

MaeNo Gravatar December 12, 2014 at 1:41 PM

When my husband and I went to Scotland in May, we stumbled upon this location completely by accident. It was a cloudy/drizzly day but still incredibly beautiful. We are planning a return trip next fall – that’s how much we’ve fallen in love with Scotland!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM

My first visit was also rainy – good idea to give it a second chance!

AlexNo Gravatar November 25, 2014 at 9:05 AM

These landscape pics you have are fantastic. I have yet to make it to Scotland, I’m finding your posts very inspirational. Definitely on my list at this point. Keep up the good work!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar November 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Thanks Alex.

De'JavNo Gravatar November 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Looks spectacular definitely would be amazing watching the sunset with a glass of wine or a beer.

KenNo Gravatar November 20, 2014 at 7:13 AM

This is simply breathtaking! If I ever get back I have to spend some time in the Borders. I’ve greatly enjoyed your posts on this part of Scotland. The Borders is so central to the history of Scotland, as well. The morning and sunset photos would make a great diptych.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar November 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM

The Borders are such a beautiful, homey part of Scotland. They remind me a little bit of Speyside in that way.

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