Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford visitor centre date set

Dickens signature Conservator Joanna Cook examines the signature of Charles Dickens in one of the visitors books at Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford home in the Scottish Borders

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The opening date has been set for a new visitor centre at Sir Walter Scott's former home in the Borders.

The facility at Abbotsford House will open on 20 August - allowing the public to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Charles Dickens.

The centre contains an "interpretation area" charting Scott's life, influences and literary and cultural legacy.

It will also include objects, books and works of art - many of which will be on display for the first time.

Among the items going on show are old visitors books, which including names such as Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte and former US President Ulysses S Grant.

Abbotsford Trust chief executive Jason Dyer said: "We're looking forward to telling Scott's story in a modern and dynamic way which we hope will encourage new audiences to learn about the man, his work and his immense cultural and literary legacy, both in Scotland and around the globe."

The visitor centre is part of a multi-million pound overhaul of the property which is currently under way.

The main house is currently being refurbished and is scheduled to reopen next year.

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