Located in the heart of the beautiful Borders countryside, Abbotsford was built by Sir Walter Scott in the 19th century as a family home, work space and private museum and his interests can be seen in the amazing gothic architecture and interiors jam-packed with fascinating curios, artefacts, books and stories galore. The estate is a place of cultural and historical significance, and plays a vital role locally, regionally and nationally. The 200,000+ visitors it has welcomed since its post-restoration re-opening in 2014 contributed many millions of pounds to the local economy and supported hundreds of jobs across multiple business sectors.
The Abbotsford Trust, an independent Scottish registered charity, had to shut Abbotsford’s doors to visitors on 20th March 2020 and they remained closed throughout the Summer of 2020. Even though it was closed to visitors, the running and conservation costs of the Category A listed buildings, gardens and collections remained virtually unchanged. Abbotsford’s gardens were reopened on 1 July as the first phase of exiting lockdown. Changes were made to comply with government guidance including a one way system and donation entry. They were then able to re-open the visitor centre, including our exhibition, shop and cafe on 15 July, with one way systems and reduced capacity in the cafe to allow for social distancing. A £224,200 Heritage Emergency Fund grant helped to pay for a range of essential day-to-day costs including salaries, utilities, garden upkeep and security at Abbotsford, until the Trust were able to open up the house to visitors once again for Sir Walter Scott's on 15 August. Then from September, Abbotsford was able to open 7 days a week for pre-booked visits.