In the Footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots

Happy Museum Monday! Following on from last week’s post about the local history museum in Linlithgow, I wanted to share our visit to Linlithgow Palace during the same trip.

Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of several monarchs, most famous of all being Mary Queen of Scots (Oskar, my eldest, recently studied Mary Queen of Scots at school, so was very interested in seeing the palace).

An elegant ‘pleasure palace’ in the 15th and 16th centuries, it fell in to decline after the royal court moved to London after the Union of the Crowns in 1603. The palace was eventually destroyed by a fire in 1746 and today stands in ruins.

Despite being ravaged by fire, there’s still a lot of the palace left to explore. We spent a good hour going up and down all the remaining stairs and floors, along the corridors, in and out of rooms. There’s lots of things to spot, like where the fireplaces used to be, or ornate decorations on the walls, door frames or windows.

There are also information panels throughout the palace, pointing our features and highlighting some of the former rooms and what they used to look like. One of the most impressive features is the ornate fountain in the courtyard that the palace is centred around.

Queen Margaret’s Bower is the highest point of the palace, at the top of a very long winding staircase. The views across Linlithgow Loch, which lies just  behind the palace, are impressive but it’s not for the faint hearted is you are not good with heights – Oskar and I were both glad to be back at ground level again (though my husband and my youngest were not phased in the slightest).

As an added bonus for kids, there is a fun fact-finding quiz which you can pick up at the ticket desk, which helped to keep the boys’ attention. It’s available in other languages too, including German, French, Italian, Spanish, and even Scots and Gaelic.

There is also an art cart in one of the ground floor rooms, where we made crowns and shields.

Linlithgow Palace is part of Historic Scotland, so we were able to get in for free with our Historic Scotland annual membership. With a membership, there is an admission fee which at the time of writing was £7.20 for adults, and £4.30 for children age 5+. There are some concessions available too. The palace is open year round, except for Christmas and New Year. You can find all the up to date admission prices and opening times on the Historic Scotland website.

9 Comments on In the Footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Lyndsey O'Halloran
    7 November 2019 at 10:51 am (1 year ago)

    Wow, what a place to visit. It looks so interesting.

  2. Annette, 3 Little Buttons
    7 November 2019 at 11:27 am (1 year ago)

    How fascinating! The Mary Queen of Scots history is so rich – this would definitely be a must-see place for anyone with an interest. I love that you are still able to explore the ruins in quite some depth. X

  3. Jon
    7 November 2019 at 11:34 am (1 year ago)

    Wow! looks like you had a fantastic time! So much history there it’s unreal!

  4. Talya
    7 November 2019 at 2:48 pm (1 year ago)

    Looks like a fascinating place to explore and reconnect with history!

  5. Sarah Howe
    7 November 2019 at 5:56 pm (1 year ago)

    I love places like this and also found Mary Queen of Scots so fascinating. It looks like you had a great family day out too, as a bonus!

    7 November 2019 at 6:33 pm (1 year ago)

    It sounds like there is still plenty to see even after the fire. Glad the fountain survived.

  7. Natasha Mairs
    7 November 2019 at 9:07 pm (1 year ago)

    I love visiting old places like this. Love the little fun quiz for the kids too.

  8. Natalie Brett
    7 November 2019 at 10:07 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow, what an interesting place! Looks like the kids had a lot of fun.

  9. Jennifer Gladwin
    8 November 2019 at 7:55 pm (1 year ago)

    I think my kids would love exploring here. I love that there’s a fact-finding quiz too.


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