Melrose Abbey and Rosslyn Chapel

posted September 28, 2010 by Holly Hayes
part of trip: UK + Western Europe 2010

Sunday morning in Melrose we enjoyed a full Scottish breakfast, which includes all the usual suspects of the full English (ham, sausage, eggs, tomato, mushrooms) plus a potato scone, haggis and black pudding. The potato scone is a delicious, soft pancake-type triangle of mashed potato and flour fried in oil, haggis is made of sheep organs, oats and spices all cooked up inside a sheep's stomach, and black pudding is a sausage made from cooked blood. Click the links for more gory details.

I very much regret that we didn't think to bring our cameras to breakfast. I had the full Scottish with no black pudding or tomato; David had the full Scottish with no haggis. So I tried the haggis and he tried the black pudding, and we both liked our respective dishes more than we expected - and found each other's choices just as repellent as expected! I've tried haggis from grocery stores a few times before but this one seemed to be homemade; it was the first one that actually tasted pretty good. The worst thing is that it had a ton of black pepper. David thought my haggis was as disgusting as the rest of them, and I thought his black pudding was über nasty.

Melrose Abbey

Our stomach full of weird and wonderful local meats, we walked down to Melrose Abbey to visit during opening hours, including a fun climb up to the roof.

View from above


Despite much hopeful squinting at the sky, the sun made no appearance until the end of our visit, when I was on the second floor of the abbey museum. I ran down the stairs and sprinted all the way across the abbey grounds, camera in hand, leaping over tombstones, to the part that was lit by the sun. I was only able to fire off four shots before the sun went away, never to appear again. Sounds nuts, but sunlight makes all the difference to a photo and it was totally worth it!

Before - boring.

After - pretty!

Rosslyn Chapel

Fortunately, Sunday was a much less ambitious day than Saturday, so we got to relax a bit. After leaving Melrose, all we had to visit was Rosslyn Chapel, a small Gothic chapel built by a local lord in 1446 a few miles outside Edinburgh. It is filled with really unusual and interesting carvings, which were made famous by The Da Vinci Code's claims that they contain a secret code concerning the Holy Grail.

It is a really interesting place, but not that fun to visit because: it is covered in scaffolding on the outside; it is crammed with visitors; and photography is not allowed (a policy that just started in 2008 - grr!). At least that made it a quick visit! But it was still interesting and unique, and fun to see a place I'd spent some time researching for my website, so I'm glad we visited.


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Melrose Abbey and Rosslyn Chapel
Holly Hayes
Date Published
September 28, 2010
Last Updated
April 22, 2022
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