Nunraw Abbey

[Nunraw Abbey church]

Close your eyes and imagine a typical abbey. Got it? Now cast all that from your mind, because Nunraw Abbey looks about as far from a typical abbey as you can get. Founded by Irish monks in 1946, Nunraw became the first Cistercian monastery to be built in Scotland since the Reformation, with heavenly views across East Lothian towards the Firth of Forth. Unfortunately the extensive buildings themselves aren't particularly eye-catching: although they form a typical abbey and cloister shape when viewed from above, this is difficult to appreciate from ground level. Plans for a substantial abbey church never came to fruition and in the meantime monks make do with a low-roofed room in the northwest wing. Opening hours begin with the first service, Vigils, at 3.15am daily (!) and run right into the evening, though the place seemed deserted on our visit.

[View north from the abbey across East Lothian]

📌 Nunraw Abbey ★☆☆☆☆
Location: Minor road a mile south of Garvald, G.R.: NT 594701 ///ideals.ivory.indirect
Open (2019): Daily
Cost: Free

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