When Sir Walter Scott transformed a modest farmhouse (Cartley Hall) into the world-renowned ‘romance of stone and mortar’ that he renamed Abbotsford, he must have known its stunning location on the banks of the River Tweed would set it apart for many decades to come.
A keen fisher – but more excited by the prospect of ‘lighting the water’ (that is, fishing with torches and spears by moonlight) – Scott loved to relate personal tales of fishing and hunting in his novels. And one of the most vivid of these has to be that of the landing of a 30lb salmon, a ‘brave kipper’, which was speared by a fisherman ‘up to his middle in water, jingling among broken ice’! (This account comes from the novel, Guy Mannering.)
Goodness knows whether the man survived his icy plunge, but fortunately these days, comfort and luxury go hand-in-hand with the experience of fishing the beats around Abbotsford. Perfect for accessing Boleside, Upper and Lower Pavilion, Abbotsford is now in its second year of offering five-star luxury accommodation at the Hope Scott Wing.
The hospitality is second-to-none, as is testified to by the repeat bookings of fishing enthusiasts, who, this November, found fish every day – and having booked last year, are now re-booked for the next two years.
Marianne Rustad, House Manager – a pretty keen fisher, but herself more used to nets on the Oslo fjord than flies on the Tweed – comments, “This year, our second season, we’ve hosted a huge variety of house parties – everything from weddings to ‘vacations-of-a-lifetime’. And guest feedback has been more than we could have hoped for. We do have an incredibly special setting here, and the quality of the refurbishment gives our guests a really relaxing stay.’
‘Although we are self-catering, our team at Ochiltree’s (the café/restaurant on-site) are fantastic at delivering whatever bespoke catering a group may wish for – whether that’s hearty breakfasts, formal dining, or an evening meal that’s oven-ready after a long day on the river. So in a way, you get the best of everything here: hotel luxury, a historic setting, privacy for your group, and the natural beauty of the 100 acres that today forms the Abbotsford estate.’
Prices for two/three nights for exclusive hire of the Wing start at £1995. The Wing comfortably sleeps 14, having 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. You can book direct by phoning 01896 752043, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or booking online If you quote ‘Fishpal2016’ at the time of booking, then we will give you £100 off any full-wing booking.
A short film about Abbotsford House