Abbotsford extends season to celebrate Christmas in Sir Walter Scott’s 250th anniversary year

11th November 2021

One of the Scottish Borders’ most popular visitor attractions is extending its season into December for the second year running to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott and minimise the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic. 

And half-price entry is also being offered at Abbotsford, the historic home of 19th century author Sir Walter Scott, courtesy of VisitScotland’s Great Days Out promotion. There are nearly 3,000 half-price tickets to claim, but when they’re gone, they’re gone! 

Abbotsford, near Melrose, will keep its house and gardens open until December 19th and has lined up a host of activities to keep visitors entertained,

including Father Christmas’ first visit to the estate, Christmas Markets and Christmas wreath making workshops.

Giles Ingram, Abbotsford’s Chief Executive said: “Last year we extended the season for the first time in seven years, and we’ve decided to do the same again in Scott’s 250th anniversary year, making the event even bigger and better! 

“We’re delighted that for the first time ever Father Christmas will be on site to meet local children and our Christmas Market will now be over two weekends in November. The historic house will be open for longer, decorated for the celebrations and telling the story of a special festive season for Scott, when he celebrated the completion of his wonderful home.  

 “Although 2021 hasn’t been as difficult as 2020, we have missed our international and group visits, which were an important part of our income. Thankfully we have continued to welcome visitors from across the UK and our local market has been very supportive, especially helping us to celebrate Scott’s 250th birthday at Scottfest 2021 in August. We’re now inviting them to come again and celebrate a very special Christmas with us.” 

The celebrations at Abbotsford begin with a Christmas Market over the last two weekends in November, featuring local crafters and suppliers.  The Markets will run from 10.30am – 4pm (last entry 3.30pm) on Saturday and Sunday, 20th & 21st and 27th & 28th November. Christmas wreath making workshops are running on Friday 26th November. 

The historic house will close as usual on Tuesday November 30th and then re-open on Saturday 4th December, beautifully decorated with foliage from the estate and with a unique literary inspired Christmas tree in Scott’s magnificent Library.   

Also on Saturday 4th December, Father Christmas will arrive at Abbotsford for the first time.  Local children can meet him and his Elves in his festive grotto every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 19th December. 

A Christmas shopping evening will be held in the Abbotsford gift shop on Thursday 2nd December where visitors can find unique presents, including a range of exclusive items created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott, including Abbotsford gin & whisky.   

Ochiltree’s café will also remain open throughout December for visitors to enjoy their Christmas menu and festive treats.

The gift shop and café are open seven days a week, 10am-4pm, until 23rd December and 10am-3pm on Christmas Eve. They are also open 27th– 30th Dec, 10am-4pm, and 31st Dec, 10am-3pm. Visitors should check the opening dates and times before visiting. 

Full details of dates, times and tickets for events are on our Christmas at Abbotsford webpage.