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More of our sites are now available to pre-book in advance of their opening later this month. We are working hard to open other sites in the coming weeks

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Access

Special arrangements are currently in place at Melrose Abbey, to comply with Scottish Government guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic. These arrangements are detailed below, and will be regularly updated. Last updated: 14 August 2020.

Although things may be a little different, we hope that you will have an enjoyable visit and will be greeted with a warm and friendly smile by staff.

Safety measures

  • Our staff have been trained in hygiene and physical distancing and have been provided with the necessary PPE
  • Signage is on site to guide visitors, including one way systems and marked areas that are currently closed to visitors
  • We have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, including our toilet facilities, to make visitors feel comfortable while visiting
  • In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are now mandatory if you are visiting any indoor/enclosed spaces at our sites including retail and catering areas (subject to some exceptions)

Watch our video on what to expect when you visit our sites

Carers tickets

In line with best practice in the visitor attractions industry and as advised by Capability Scotland, visitors with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with all other visitors and entry is charged at the appropriate admission category rate - Adult/Concession/Child. Proof of disability is not required.

We offer free entry for carers accompanying visitors with disabilities. To book a free carer ticket, please email ticketing@hes.scot and quote your order number.

Parking

There is a Pay and Display public car park 75m from the abbey (run by Scottish Borders Council) with two accessible bay. There is also on-road parking nearer to the site.

Approach to the site

During the pandemic, visitors are being asked to form a socially-distanced queue along the pavement next to the abbey. They will then be admitted to the site by staff.
The site is approached along a level tarmac path.

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas.  

Visitors' dogs are allowed at Melrose Abbey, but are not permitted in roofed areas. 

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs.

What will be open during your visit

  • One-way route for entrance through the ticket office and exit through the burial ground gates
  • Free roaming around the Abbey and external spaces
  • Commendator’s House - Capacity limit on entrance (ground floor rear rooms closed)
  • Toilets

What will remain closed during your visit

  • Tower and Sacristy within the Abbey
  • Commendator’s House - ground floor rear rooms

Visiting the site

Visitors will be able to move through the buildings without following a specific route, though physical distancing measures will be in place. Access to some spaces may be limited.

  • The ticket office has a 78cm wide door with 7cm step at the threshold. Its exit is down a flight of eight stone steps with handrails on both sides
  • There is a level/ramped access route into the site via a gate to the churchyard. The steward can unlock this on request. The gate is 2.8m wide. The ground is uneven
  • The path from the ticket office to the church is a level, cobbled surface. There is also ramped access (1:10 gradient) to the church from the graveyard
  • The top of the tower will not be accessible at this time. Panoramic views from the top will be accessible to access online, using visitors own devices
  • The cloister has a grass path around it and a grass ramp access from the church’s nave. It can also be accessed from within the church down a ramp (1:7 gradient). From the cloister you can also visit the remains of the chapter house down a ramp (1:8 gradient)
  • The Commendator’s House and the grounds around it are reached down four stone steps down from the cloister level, then up seven stone steps with a wooden handrail on one side. Visitors then pass through a gate with a sliding latch, cross Cloister Road and enter through another sliding-latched gate. There is a 42m long gravel surfaced path to the house (1:24 gradient)
  • There is a ramp (1:11 gradient) crossing the threshold of the Commendator’s house. There is a heavy wooden door which is 88cm wide. The first floor is reached by a wooden staircase of 15 even steps and three stone steps 84cm wide with a handrail on the inside only
  • There are two picnic benches; one at the abbey and one in the Commendator's House grounds

Toilets

Toilets are at the east end of the site via 6 stone steps with no handrails. The nearest adapted toilet is on Abbey Street, 170m away.

Historic Scotland

Opening times

19 Aug to 31 Oct:
Daily, 10am to 4pm
Last entry time slot 2.30pm

Advance booking required.

Winter opening times to be confirmed.

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