The Fall Abbotsford Retreat


August 29 - September 4, 2020

$2500, not including airfare

With Heather Radl and Suzie Briddsang

We love our spring walking adventures with RTT's merry band of travelers. The trips are challenging, with hikes averaging 8-15 miles each day. But that kind of walking trip isn't for everyone. How about a reduced-mileage version offered in the fall? Hooray! Introducing our 2020 fall retreat in the Borders of Scotland. We'll stay six nights at Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, author of Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and The Waverly Novels. From there, we'll explore the "rolling hills of the Borders" by walking through them together. We'll visit castles, abbeys and lochs. We'll saunter along the River Tweed. But we can't walk without spending some time on handwork, right? So we've invited our friend, Lindsay Roberts (aka "The Border Tart") to facilitate some fiber arts activity. She'll be teaching an Indigo dye workshop plus three stitching/multi-media sessions. Each day you can choose for yourself what you'd like to do. Take a workshop? Read a bit? Sit and knit in the garden at Abbotsford? Join in one or both of our In the Footsteps of Sir Walter Scott walks? It's up to you. And, lucky us! Massed Pipe Band Day is happening at nearby Floors Castle.  It features pipe & drum bands, food, dance and local artisans. This retreat is the perfect opportunity to relax, try our hands at something new and get to know the lovely Scottish Borders. Join us! Note: The Fall Abbotsford Retreat is easy to combine with Wool & Whisky 2020, for a longer stay in Scotland. Participants in both trips receive $100 off their total.

To view the registration form for MAKE-WALK-EXPLORE The Fall Abbotsford Retreat, click here.  The document can be found in your downloads. Open, view and print with any PDF reader.

If you have a question about the trip, please contact us.


Cost of Trip Includes

  • Accommodation at Abbotsford's Hope Scott Wing

  • Breakfast each morning, plus three dinners and three lunches

  • Admission fees and transportation for scheduled tour activities and events

  • Dye workshop and stitching sessions with Lindsay Roberts


but does not include

  • Soda, alcoholic drinks and personal items

  • Gratuities

  • International airfare

Tour Itinerary


Saturday, August 29th

Our group meets at Waverley Station in central Edinburgh. Together, we’ll take the train to Melrose. While the luggage goes by auto, we’ll stretch our legs with a leisurely walk over to our lodgings at Abbotsford, the former home of Sir Walter Scott. In the afternoon, fiber artist Lindsay Roberts (aka “The Border Tart”) will facilitate a hands-on indigo dye workshop. Our first day concludes with a celebratory welcome dinner. Walking: approximately 1.5 miles.


Sunday, August 30th

After a leisurely morning, we’ll head over to nearby Floors Castle, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. What’s going on? Why, it’s Massed Pipe Band Day! This yearly celebration of Scottish traditions offers up pipe & drum band performances, Highland games and dancing, produce, food and artisan stalls and demonstrations by local organizations. Later in the day, we’ll walk over to nearby Kelso for a bit of exploration and to get dinner. Walking: approximately 1.5 miles.


Monday, August 31st

Monday starts with a morning session on creative journaling with Lindsay Roberts. By mid-day, we’ll be out for a walk along the River Tweed with plenty of time for photography, writing, or sketching, plus opportunities to visit the abbey, shops and cafes of Melrose. We’ll enjoy a storytelling dinner back at Abbotsford with our friend, local guide and storyteller John Nichol. Walking: approximately 6 miles roundtrip.

Tuesday, September 1st

Our morning is unscheduled. Sleep in, enjoy a knitting or stitching

session in the garden, curl up with a book, take a solitary or shared wander. In the afternoon, we’re off to walk In the Footsteps of Sir Walter Scott (Part 1)! The hike takes us from Smailholm Tower to the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, where Sir Walter Scott loved to walk and is now buried. Walking: approximately 5 miles, 115 m ascent.


Wednesday, September 2nd

A morning stitching session with Lindsay Roberts, followed by lunch at Abbotsford. In the afternoon, we’ll offer a more challenging walk as we search the Eildon Hills for stories of fairies, Thomas the Rhymer and an Iron Age fort. Walking: approximately 6 miles, 422 m ascent.


Thursday, September 3rd

A full day is on the schedule for Thursday with In the Footsteps of Sir Walter Scott (Part 2). John Nichol joins us as we explore the places that inspired Sir Walter Scott’s novels. Be prepared to encounter a loch or two, castle ruins, and hear plenty of stories along the way. By the evening, we’ll gather for our farewell dinner back at Abbotsford. A mix of walking and touring on bus.


Friday, September 4th

After breakfast, participants will take the train back to Edinburgh for flights home or on to other adventures!

The paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace.

Sir Walter Scott

The Waverley Novels: The   Heart of Mid-Lothian

Meet Lindsay Roberts, aka "The Border Tart" She's a textile artist,  indigo dyer and owner at Blue Moon Indigo.  Lindsay has long been a hand stitcher. She enjoys nothing better than sharing her stitching practices with others through workshops. Take a look at her beautiful work on her website   The Border Tart   or on her Instagram feed @bordertart .

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