I find it very inspiring visiting the homes of great people. Especially with authors, since their lives require them to be creative, I love to see what they surrounded themselves with and maybe, just maybe some of their awesome will rub off on me!
I’ve visited the homes of two great authors recently and is it any coincidence that their actual houses were just as impressive as what was inside of them, in fact maybe even more impressive. First there was Jules Verne’s house in Amiens, which had a huge round tower.
Then while I was in Scotland, I had to see the incredible Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott.
If you don’t know who he is (there will be no judging on this blog) Sir Walter Scott was a novelist, playwright and poet from Scotland he is best known for his books Rob Roy, Ivanhoe and The Lady of the Lake.
Scott actually refers to Abbotsford as his muse and his ruin. A life’s work and millions of Pounds created a beautiful and individual mansion, but the house bankrupted him and was the place he eventually returned to, to die.
Abbotsford is an incredible place, even in the rain.
Having been closed for the last three years for ‘development’, Abbotsford now boasts an impressive visitors centre, where you can shop, get a cup of tea, use the wifi and find out the history of Sir Walter Scott. Then you make your way to the house itself. There is an audio tour included in the admission price and it is definitely worth taking. As you walk around the house, you point the little device attached to your headphones at sensors around each of the rooms and they give you loads of information.
The Drawing Room was definitely my favourite room. That beautiful Chinese Wallpaper, the furniture, the whole feel of the room was just wonderful. I could have spent hours in there.
My only grumble was that we were sandwiched in between three coach parties, they did warn us when we bought our tickets, but we didn’t realise just how cramped it would be. We wished we had spent an hour in the cafe and waited for it to quieten down before we had gone in.
There were incredible details all around the house. The experience is one of a kind, a creative person’s vision transformed into wood, stone and glass. Scott’s vision continues out to the gardens, but the rain was that heavy, that we didn’t get to see much of it.
Tips for your visit:
// Abbotsford is open year round from 10am to 4pm
// Adult entry is £8.75
// Post code for GPS: TD6 9BQ
// There is a free car park next to the Visitors Centre
// For public transport use Rometorio to check out your options
// One wing of Abbotsford is now open as a hotel, they also have weddings there
// Find out more about Abbotsford on their website