Melrose Abbey boost

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MELROSE Abbey received a boost in visitors over the festive period despite the weather.

The abbey saw 331 people pass through its ancient ruins between Boxing Day and Hogmanay and on January 3 and 4 – up 13 per cent from 331.

Peak days were December 27 and January 3 and Historic Scotland says the figures rounded off an impressive 12 months for the 78 properties under its heritage sector wing. April to September was the best on record and the abbey was one of the top-performing sites, recording an 11 per cent rise in visitor numbers.

Historic Scotland’s visitor chief, Stephen Duncan, commented : “Despite the extreme weather throughout much of December, the abbey has performed extremely well over the festive season, mirroring what has been a hugely successful season to date.”

Scotland’s Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, added: “These figures are testimony to the continued appeal of our heritage attractions and the hard work of staff.”

Melrose Abbey is regarded as one of the best late 14th century churches in Britain.