The Estate

The 19th century saw Sir Walter Scott establishing an international reputation as Scotland’s most prolific and successful writer, but his abiding interest – the one that gave him most pleasure – was tree-planting.

At Abbotsford Scott assembled an extensive woodland estate specifically adapted to its setting along the banks of the River Tweed. The landscape that Scott developed, laid out across expanses of previously unimproved land, was unique in scenic and horticultural terms.

Today, the Abbotsford Trust looks after 120 acres of land beside the Tweed, made up of meadow and native woodland, planted by Scott and his factotu Tom Purdie. Scott's own accounts of the herculean efforts put into establishing his plantations are of significant value to the historical and sylvucultural nature of the countryside around Abbotsford, especially because at its highpoint, the estate spanned 1400 acres. The sumptuous, rolling landscape and speckled woodlands you find in this area are still irrevocably Scott's own.

Free and open to all, the Abbotsford Estate has a diverse mix of habitat, supporting a richness of species, from orchids and butterflies on the Haugh to badgers and bats in the woodland. Relax and enjoy a walk around the Abbotsford estate with our way-marked paths through Scott’s woodlands or along the banks of the River Tweed. You may even be lucky enough to encounter some of our more shy residents including otters in the River Tweed and red squirrels in the woodland; do let us know if you see them. Throughout the spring and summer the estate is full of bird song with goldfinch, nuthatch, chiff-chaff and swallows to name just a few. You might also hear the woodpeckers and tawny owls! Special mention though, should be reserved for the trees that have inhabited the Abbotsford estate since Sir Walter Scott’s time at Abbotsford.

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