When touring around Scotland, an absolute must is visiting the magnificent ruins of Linlithgow Palace, which is situated in the town of Linlithgow, 15 miles (24 km) west of Edinburgh.
A Royal manor has existed on the site since the 12th century and the current palace was one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although maintained after Scotland's monarchs left for England in 1603, the palace was little used, and was burned out in 1746. It is now a visitor attraction in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. Inside one of the most spectacular ruins in Scotland you cannot help but walk in the footsteps of royalty. The great hall and chapel are particularly fine. James V (1512) and Mary Queen of Scots (1542) were both born here.
Many Royals stayed in the castle throughout the years in this impressive retreat as it was an ideal place for Royals to break the journey between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. High towers look out over lush greenery of its own parkland and the stunning Linlithgow loch.
Tourists can now follow in Royalty’s footsteps by wandering the extensive corridors, towers, Great Hall and state rooms. Whilst now only a ruin, it is easy to imagine life here all those years ago. In the courtyard look out for the splendid ornate fountain, which is in action every Sunday in July and August.
Many people will also now be flocking to Linlithgow Palace as it was used as a film location for the TV series Outlander in which the Palace stands in for the prison entrance and corridors in the scene where Jamie was imprisoned.
Time your visit for a Sunday in July and August as there are annual Jousting events which harks back to the days of medieval tournaments on Linlithgow Peel, the large hilly green surrounding the castle and loch. There are also court jesters, falconry, medieval knights and loads of food stalls. Great for kids and adults alike.
Entrance fees are £6 per adult or as part of the Historic Scotland trust, you can purchase a year membership pass for £49.50 per adult or a package for 2 adults is only £86.40. (Note that Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are included)
Linlithgow Palace is open year-round from 9.30am – 5.30pm (last entry 45 minutes before closing)