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Melrose Town Trail

Tweed Cottage


Tweed Cottage

Taking care, cross the road and descend the steps. (Those with pushchairs or wheelchairs should note that by returning along Waverley Road, High Cross Avenue and approaching St Mary's from High Street, only a short section of the walk is missed. Should you wish to get a view of the River, access can be gained by going up Weirhill Place.) In front of you is Tweed Cottage, which is built of concrete and was originally called "Concrete Cottage" and later "Laundry Cottage". This section of road was once known as "Laundry Corner". This was the residence of the pumpman for the Waverley Hydropathic Hotel 500m to the west. The spring water for the hotel came from St Helen's Well and its flow was controlled from here. This was one of the holy wells - named after saints - which supplied Melrose with drinking water. Others included St Dunstan's, St Mary's and St William's. The water from these consecrated wells was considered to be a "sovereign remedy against cholicks".

The hotel (now the Waverley Castle Hotel) opened in 1869 and is also constructed from concrete. In conjunction with Tweed Cottage, these two buildings may represent some of the earliest use of in-situ concrete construction in Scotland. Waverley Castle Hotel is built on 'Skirmish Field', the site of a battle in July 1526 at which the young King James V was present as a prisoner of the Douglas family. The combined forces of the Scotts, Kerrs and Elliots fought unsuccessfully to free the king.



Gattonside Village

Turn right and walk along the path at the top of what is known locally as the 'Scaurs'. Please note that this can be muddy during the winter months. From this path you can gain a fine view of the River Tweed. You can also see the Chain Bridge to the east. You should head towards this. From this point to the Chain Bridge, you are following the Southern Upland Way which stretches 340km (212 miles) from Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway to Cockburnspath on the Berwickshire coast.

A particularly fine view of Gattonside village over the river can be gained from the highest part of the path. Melrose Cauld can be seen at close hand from the steps behind the bowling green. Care should be taken here as the wall is low and the water is fast running. A cauld was built here by the monks to divert water into the mill lade. The water powered the mill and a supply was diverted off this for the Abbey wash house and sewage system. The sluice gate is still there and maintained. As you continue towards the chain bridge, you can see what remains of the lade on your right hand side.


Next: Chain Bridge and Toll House


Melrose Town Trail

Walking in Melrose

walking in scotland with scottish walks.co.uk