September 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Sir Walter Scott Express

visit-scotland-image.jpgThe reopening of a historic railway line in Scotland, a boon to locals and tourism officials, also snagged a global audience today when Queen Elizabeth II boarded a train at Edinburgh's Waverley Station. The occasion marked her fulfillment as Britain's longest-reigning monarch (23,226 days and counting).

To celebrate the milestone, Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, rode the £294-million Scottish Borders Railway, which opened to the public on Sunday. The new scenic railway takes visitors on a 30-mile, 55-minute journey from Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders.  

Many of those visitors, it is hoped, will be literary pilgrims. According to Borders Railway, "Worldwide interest in Sir Walter Scott will be a huge draw, as visitors can follow in the footsteps of the renowned writer, starting in Edinburgh with The Scott Monument and The Writers' Museum, before taking the Borders Railway through the landscapes that inspired his writing." Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott's home, is a short walk from Tweedbank.

Image via Borders Railway.