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Scotland: Borders questions (abbeys, itinerary, eats), Dumfries & Galloway

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Hi,
Trying to figure out our Borders itinerary. We will be headed there on a Wednesday morning after two nights in D&G. Assuming we do something in D&G in the morning, I am planning on half a day Wednesday in the Borders (staying in Melrose), full day Thursday, and half day Friday. I know I tend to try to cram things in, but would like to be more relaxed this trip...we CAN save places on my list for future trips.

I think I've narrowed my big wishes down to Floors Castle, Traquair House, and Mellerstain House. Due to opening times Mellerstain, this has to be on Friday. Also, Dryburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey and Jedburgh Abbey. Plus visiting the towns themselves (Melrose, Peebles?, St. Abb's and nearby Eye mouth).

My question is, how long in general to plan for the abbeys? Do we do all 3 or cut one out. Do I also need to cut something else out (which would be Floors). Thinking Traquair House Weds and an abbey (or just Traquair), Floors Thursday and two abbeys (or all 3), and then Mellerstain Friday.

My other question is does anyone have a restaurant in The Borders (or D&G) that they particularly love? We are celebrating my father in laws 70th and also inlaws 40th wedding anniversary.

Finally, where to stop to break up the drive from Aberdeen to Dumfries and Galloway region at the start if the week?

Thanks as always

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