Connections to Sir Walter Scott
St. Ronan's Wells Visitor Centre
St. Ronan’s Wells is a pavilion overlooking the Leithen valley, originally constructed by the Earl of Traquair as a retreat for visitors to the spa. Located just outside of Peebles, in the small civil Parish of Innerleithen, the visitor centre hosts temporary exhibitions as well as exploring the history of the local area.
The centre’s name comes from the founding legend of an itinerant pilgrim monk called St Ronan, who came upon Innerleithen on his journey up the River Tweed. The local story claims that “St. Ronan Cleik’t the Deil by the hind leg and banished him”, referring to the monks bringing Christianity to this part of the world. The origins of the unique ‘Cleikum Ceremonies’ held in the town every July are based on this story by Sir Walter Scott and are explained in the visitor centre, giving a unique insight into this wonderful and much-loved tradition.
The literary connections of the town to James Hogg and Sir Walter Scott are also explained in the permanent exhibition; Scott frequented the spa as a boy, and wrote a novel about the town called St Ronan’s Well, in 1824. The adjoining gardens provide a lovely setting to relax in, with sculptures, picnic areas and plants for sale. Hundreds of visitors still come each year to sample the spring water, which we have “on tap”!
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Plan your visit
There is free parking, disabled parking, bike rack and the museum is accessible by public transport. There are picnic areas and dogs are welcome in the grounds. Assistance dogs are welcome in the museum, there is a hearing loop and disabled toilets.
There are fax and printing facilities. Mini bus coach tours are welcome and there is a gift shop.
Admission is free: donations are welcome.