Even in its ruined state Melrose Abbey exudes an air of authority. The site, a product of the 12th-century ecclesiastical building boom, was built for the Cistercian order during the reign of King David I. The graceful arched window frames are a product of later rebuilding in the Gothic style, and the intricate stone carvings of that era are still very much in evidence.
As well as its spiritual role, this is an important historic location as the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart. The site was much envied by the English who attacked it repeatedly over the centuries, and you can still see marks left by Oliver Cromwell’s cannons during the English Civil Wars.
The town of Melrose is on the River Tweed, around an hour’s drive south of Edinburgh.