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.