Sunday, 26 February 2017

Dryburgh Abbey Snowdrops

Hi, how are you? Have you enjoyed a snowdrop visit yet this year? We always try to go somewhere different every year, so far we've been to Kailzie, Dawyck, Hailes Castle and Howick Hall. While I was researching somewhere different to go and see snowdrops this year, Dryburgh Abbey popped up. We were last down in this area a year ago when we walked up to Scott's view and along the River Tweed but by the time we got back to the car parked at the abbey it was closed, so missed out on visiting it then.  It takes about an hour to drive there from home along the tweed valley through Peebles, Innerleithen and on through Galashields and .Melrose which alone is a lovely drive. 

Dryburgh Abbey through the trees

The Abbey is run by historic Scotland (now known as Historic Environment Scotland) and you can get visit details here. There is an entry fee if you aren't members, but the best thing was dogs on leads are allowed in so Bracken got to come too. We were very lucky to get good weather with blue skies and sun, making it feel much warmer.

Looking through one of the many arched doorways of the Abbey

We followed the trail of snowdrops which are mainly concentrated in the grassy area and a deep ditch running from the abbey towards the River Tweed. Mixed in with them are many many winter aconites adding a bright splash of yellow amongst the white of the snowdrops. As you can see in the photographs it makes quite a sight.

A river of snowdrops and winter aconites

Double snowdrops in the grass, Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'

I haven't seen so many winter aconites in quite a while, they really are something

The River Tweed, running past the Abbey

A carpet of colour

Galanthus nivalis growing along the walls

The abbey ruins

The abbey was founded in 1150 by cannons and an abbot from Alnwick Abbey, it was burned by English troops in 1322 and subsequently restored, only to be burned again by Richard II in 1385. The abbey flourished in the 15th century and was finally destroyed in 1544 when it was given to the Earl of Mar by King James VI. In 1786 the 12th Earl of Buchan bought the land. You can read more here.


Winter Aconites a plenty

Some parts of the abbey ruins were enhanced and "restored" by the Earl of Buchan in the 1700's, in fact if it wasn't for him there might be nothing left for us to visit. He also created park land around the ruins and planted trees. Many of which now make excellent specimens, particularly the Cedars. You can climb up a tiny tower in the ruin which gives you a fine view over the abbey and you feel you are amongst the branches of the cedars.

One of the fine cedars in the grounds

View from the tower

The chapter house, where you can still see remnants of the painted walls

Another archway

Himself, the doglet and me

Sir Walter Scott and Earl Haig are both buried in the abbey

The abbey and parkland beyond in black and white

Where forward thinking and planning gives future generations trees

A bull finch in the abbey grounds

A Soaring roof above Sir Walter Scott's grave

We spent ages exploring the ruins, climbing up to the second floor where the dormitories would be and up a tiny spiral staircase to look out over the ruins. It was well worth a visit, with or without snowdrops. You can always add on a walk along the River Tweed to the suspension bridge and temple of the tree graces. You can read about our walk along the Tweed a year ago here.

Lunch, cake and coffee

We visited the Main Street Trading Company again for lunch where the food was excellent and we browsed the book shop, deli and homeware store. Definatly pop in here if you are passing St Boswells. We followed the sunset back home along the Tweed Valley back through Peebles.

Sunset over Peebles


Previous blogs on snowdrop visits


Where's your favourite snow drop place to visit? Why not share it in the comments below.







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