Mary Queen of Scots, Abbotsford and the Da Vinci Code.

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Today was the last day of my backroads tour into England, Wales and Scotland. I can’t believe how quickly this 9-day tour has gone.

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Russell stopped the bus in the middle of the road, which was ok because there was absolutely no traffic here. We were winding our way around the hilliest, most spectacular country. I was really glad that I chose this tour, as there’s no way a big coach would be able to get to some of the places we’ve been.

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This sort of scenery id how I’ve imagined Scotland to look like.

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Then we came here to stretch our legs, as this last day has a lot of driving in it. The modern-day reivers were out in force, with someone popping out of a little hut demanding money for us to walk around it. I politely declined and went back to sit in the bus.

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But here’s the explanation of why it would’ve been nice to have a look. Still…!

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We arrived at Abbotsford at lunchtime. Not a convent like at home, but the house where Sir Walter Scott lived. He was huge in his day, with people reading his books by the ton, but honestly… I’d vaguely heard of him, I knew a few book titles but I hadn’t come across him before. I leafed through a couple of his books in the gift shop, but the print was very small, the pages were very numerous and the paragraphs were very large. I decided to keep my ignorance of his works intact.

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He was quite a good-looking man in his heyday.

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As mad as a hatter though. He’s like the early version of those

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Here’s a section of his entrance hall. Maybe Scott could take some decorating tips from this guy?

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His library was till as he’d left it. No glass in front of the books, just crossed wire.

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In a large cabinet in the library were some fantastic artifacts. Some of the photos will have reflections from the lights they had above the cabinet, sorry. Sir Walter Scott was very big on history.

Napoleon’s pen case.

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More Outlander. Souvenirs from Culloden.

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Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair?!?!

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The one I was most excited about was Mary Queen of Scot’s crucifix.

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The whole library was floor to ceiling books.

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Here’s a view from the second floor of the river Tweed. When I was a kid we used to go and visit my grandparents up in Queensland and we’d walk along the Tweed river with my Grandma. I decided to walk to the river and have a look at the original version. Sir Walter Scott, in my headphones, kept banging on about how good it was and how he wanted to die within sight and sound of it, so I thought it might be a good thing to do.

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I asked a friendly gardener the way.

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Look! A hollow tree!

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The river with a birdy thing on the other side.

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The view to the left was ok.

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Then our last stop on the tour was a trip to the Rosslyn Chapel. This was brought back to the public eye by The Da Vinci Code. I hated the book; thought it was badly written, so I didn’t bother to see the movie, which has scenes shot here. I wasn’t fussed about seeing the chapel, but this is why it’s good to go on these tours, as I never would have hunted this out, but I’m so glad I’ve seen it.

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Being a chapel and a place of worship, they don’t allow photos inside. They DO, however, allow a black and white cat called William to sleep there on a pew all day. 🙂 Have a look at the link about the chapel that I placed in the paragraph above. The whole place is covered with the most intricate carvings. It’s a riot of whimsy, artistry and religion. It’s magnificent.

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This was the only carving I could get close to. The inside of the chapel is isane… the carvers here must have had an absolute wow of a time coming up with all their ideas. It would’ve been a very creative and competitive space to work.

Then I was met in Edinburgh by Pam. I jumped off the bus, after we’d dragged her on to say hi to everyone, and then I went back to Pam’s place to begin the next stage of my Big Adventure… Edinburgh!

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