Life is filled with disappointments and things that don’t turn out as expected. Abbotsford, the Scottish home of classical British author Sir Walter Scott isn’t one of them.

From the gray stone gateway with its towers at the front of the house, to the suits of armor and walls lined with swords, to his spacious library and the windows overlooking the nearby River Tweed, every aspect of his house is what you’d imagine for the man who created the world of the chivalrous Ivanhoe, friend of the infamous Robin Hood.

This was also one of the best audio tours I’ve ever experienced. The guide device offers you three versions of the tour to choose from: a serious option, another one narrated by a voice actor pretending to be Walter Scott (which I tried and recommend), and one from their perspective of his dog and cat (which seemed a bit too whimsical for me). Instead of relying on the usual system of punching in numbers, the audio guide devices needed to be pointed at specific little activation points, which would then activate that part of the tour. It may sound complicated, but it was simpler (and I think more effecient) than entering numbers.

Sadly, we were a bit short on time, and it started raining during our trip, so we didn’t get to see much of the grounds that Scott prided himself on.

The desk where so many of Scott’s great literary works took on life


If Walter Scott didn’t have a wall of swords in his house, I would have been disappointed.


A bust of Walter Scott approved and displayed by the author himself
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Like an echo of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, this suit of armor still guards its master’s house