Linlithgow Palace is the classic romantic ruin, steeped in royal history and set beside a picturesque loch. It was begun in 1424 on the site of another palace that burnt down. Its halcyon period was during the reign of the Stuarts, who used it as a pleasure palace; it was particularly popular amongst the queens. Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I lived there as babies.
The palace is roofless now (it was gutted by a fire in the eighteenth century), but plenty of the old grandeur remains. There's an impressive great hall and a magnificent three-tiered fountain in the courtyard - visit on Sundays in July and August to see it playing. It only flows with water occasionally to preserve the exquisite carvings of mermaids and musicians from erosion.
The fountain isn't the only example of wondrous carvings. There are statues all around the palace, including angel musicians in the chapel. The palace is surrounded by luxuriant parkland. Trains run regularly from Edinburgh to Linlithgow.
Tours & Tickets
Enjoy free entry to 78 of Scotland's top attractions with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass – a flexible sightseeing pass that allows you to visit the sites ... Read more
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 day and 7 day passes available