St Ronan's Wells
In May 1787, the poet Robert Burns noted in his travel journal that he had “visited Inverleithen, a famous Spaw.” At that time the mineral spring in a woodland clearing on the lower slopes of Lee Pen was known locally as the “Doo Well” because of the wood pigeons flocking in the vicinity. The sulphurous water was said to be effectual in the treatment of minor ailments such as inflammation of the eyes, skin irritation and stomach and bowel problems.
After the publication of the Sir Walter Scott novel St. Ronan’s Well in 1823, a story about a spa in the Scottish Borders, Innerleithen became a popular summer resort with the leisured classes from Edinburgh and beyond. Today St. Ronan’s Wells (in the plural because there were several mineral springs close by) is a visitor attraction and museum, with free entry and open daily April to October.
St Ronan's Wells - A Tale of Two Springs (article by Ted McKie)