Now you’ve had a chance to explore Edinburgh, why not go beyond and see what the borders have to offer? With many iconic landmarks to choose from, the Scottish Borders are rich in heritage and many of its attractions are already included in our Beyond Edinburgh Pass. The Pass also includes local discounts, and can be purchased along with access to the Scottish Borders Open Bus Tours which provides access to many of main points of interest!
Still used as a place of worship today, Rosslyn Chapel is an impressive 15th century build first founded in 1446. Made famous by Dan Brown’s infamous novel, The Da Vinci Code, the Chapel has been the subject of many specular theories regarding the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail, some of which have also been dramatized in the DC comic book Batman: Scottish Connection. Open all year long, purchases made in the gift shop go back into the conservation of the Chapel, and Chapel visitors can also enjoy access to the Visitor Centre. For those in need of refuelling, there’s also the Chapel’s coffee shop, where you can take in the stunning scenery of Roslin Glen.
Getting there is simple – buses run every day from Roslin Village which visitors can get to by taking the Lothian 37 bus service from Edinburgh. Trains also run from Edinburgh Waverly to Tweedbank via the Borders Railway.
Presentation of your Beyond Edinburgh Pass will get you a 10% discount in various establishments based in Tweedbank, including the Whistle Stop Café, Born in the Borders train outlet and the Tempest Brewing Co.
The private home of Sir Walter Scott, this exquisite manor has become a literary shrine and pilgrim for curious readers and tourists alike. Built between 1817-1850, in addition to the main house, this luxurious estate boasts a free to access visitor centre, café and extensive grounds. The “conundrum castle”, as Scott called it, blends reality and fiction, culminating in breath-taking views pulled straight from the pages of a storybook. Even Queen Victoria was reportedly so enamoured with Abbotsford that she decreed Balmoral to be built in a similar fashion. Individual audio guides are available for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the stunning, baronial architecture.
To get to Abbotsford, buses run from Edinburgh to Carlisle via Galashiels where you can catch the Open Top Tour Bus. If arriving by train, the estate is only a 20-minute walk from Tweedbank station.
And if you fancy a 10% discount at the Ochiltrees café and dining at nearby Kingsknowes Hotel, just show your Beyond Edinburgh Pass!
Winner of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions “Best Visitor Experience” 2009 and 2013, this museum is a must-see attraction, situated just 5 minutes from the Edinburgh Bypass and a 5-minute walk from Newtongrange train station. Fun for all ages and a Grade “A” listed site, The Lady Victoria Colliery, home to the National Mining Museum, was the first super-pit in Scotland and operated from 1895-1981. Visitors can embark on a tour with an ex-miner guide, who will share their expert knowledge and real-life stories to help paint history of the colliery for modern audiences to experience.
To get to the museum, hop on the frequent X95 service from Edinburgh to Galashiels and get off at Newtongrange. To go back, just hop on the X95 again.
The Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World is home to many different species of creepy crawlies, bugs, beasties and exotic reptiles. As one of the world’s longest running butterfly houses, it’s no wonder that the Butterfly & Insect World has become one of Scotland’s favourite tourist and educational attractions. Tours allow you to dive into the lush dimensions of tropical rainforests and get up close and personal with all your favourite mini-beasts – all from within the confines of Dobbies Garden World!
Located in Midlothian, the attraction is easy to get to by car and offers free parking. There are also buses that run from Edinburgh bus station to Midlothian.
In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, a Roman-native complex was established just a mile away from the centre of Melrose. “Trimontium”, the place of three hills, marks this place. The museum, with its genuine, historical artefacts and annual lecture series, is a must-see attraction for antiquarians, budding Latinists or all round, general history geeks and classicists. And if you’re wanting a real-life taste of ancient civilisation, you’re in luck as the museum has “iconic objects” on loan via The National Museums in Edinburgh. They even offer the chance to see mint-condition, Roman denarii up close!
Situated in the heart of Melrose, buses run from Edinburgh to Carlisle via Galashiels where visitors can avail of the Open Top Bus Tour which departs from Galashiels Transport Interchange.
With a Beyond Edinburgh Pass visitors can enjoy 10% discounts at nearby Melrose Abbey, Marmions Brasserie, Provender Restaurant & Bar, Dryburgh Abbey & the Greenhouse Café.
With interesting live commentary from the driver, and the opportunity to hop on and off to visit major points of interest on the tour, The Scottish Borders Open Top Tour Bus offers the best possible way of experiencing the rich heritage that the Borders have to offer. City Buses will operate from 25 May until 24 September, with tours commencing daily from Friday 29 June until 12 August.
Departing from Stance 2, Galashiels Transport Exchange, iconic landmarks on the tour include Abbotsford House, Tweedbank, Melrose, St Boswells, Dryburgh Abbey, Wallace Statue and Scotts View. Visitors are welcome to hop on and off at any of these stops.
Tickets can also be bought independently of the Beyond Edinburgh Pass and can be purchased inclusive of a ScotRail train ticket.
Founded in 1136 by the Cistercian Order during the reign of David I, St Mary’s Abbey, which once housed over 100 monks, now lies in picturesque ruins amid the stunning town of Melrose, Roxburghshire. Thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, there is a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds, and the Abbey itself is marked with many unusual sculptures. Audio guides are available to help visitors make the most of their experiences, and accessible pathways, gift shop and public toilets are all offered on site.
Although purchase of the Beyond Edinburgh Pass does not offer full admission to this attraction, it does offer a 10% discount on admission tickets and the attraction is included on the Scottish Borders Open Tour Bus.
A remarkably complete medieval ruin, Dryburgh Abbey lies on the banks of the River Tweed and is the final resting place of David Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan, and Scotland’s beloved literary hero, Sir Walter Scott. First established in 1150, the Abbey boasts some of the best Gothic architecture in Scotland and exhibits paintwork in its chapter house that dates back to its construction. Surrounded by stunningly tranquil grounds, Dryburgh is also a great spot for some bat watching as it’s home to three main bat species: Pipestrelle, Daubenton’s and the Brown, Long-Eared bat.
As with Melrose Abbey, the Beyond Edinburgh Pass includes a 10% discount to this attraction and it is also included as a stop on the Scottish Borders Open Tour Bus.