Linlithgow Palace

Discover Linlithgow Palace the romantic ruins of Mary Queen of Scots birthplace

Linlithgow Palace

Before opening the famous Forth Bridge, Linlithgow lay on Edinburgh's main road to Stirling, Perth, and Inverness. Just 15 miles from Edinburgh, it is an ancient town, which has retained much of its medieval layout with many historical buildings line the High Street. 

Undoubtedly, the town's major attraction is Linlithgow Palace that stands on top of a mound between the town and a lovely loch of the same name. Adjacent to the Palace is St Michaels Church, one of Scotland's finest churches. Its oldest bell cast around 1490. It was the bell that tolled for the Scots' defeat at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

Linlithgow Palace is one of those strong links in Scotland's history. If you enjoy the tales and ancient buildings involved in Scotland's story, please choose to stop at Linlithgow en-route to Stirling Castle and be enlightened.

Regal ruin in the lowlands

A brief history of Linlithgow Palace

The Romans
The site occupied by the Palace was inhabited by the Romans 2,000 years ago. The town grew up around the Palace, which established as a royal manor house in the 1100s by King David I. 

The English
King Edward I of England invaded and took the Palace in 1301. It remained in English hands until the Scots defeated the King English at the famous Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and rebuilt the property they had won. 

Destroyed by fire in 1424, James I set about rebuilding, a process that was to continue over two centuries and the reign of no fewer than eight monarchs. Over time, each ruler put their stamp on the building by altering layouts or adding new entrances with the sum of their efforts in the building we see today. 

Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots
The Palace witnessed James V's birth in 1512 and, thirty years later, his daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, in 1542. James became King of Scotland in 1513 killed in the Scottish defeat at Solway Floss's Battle. His only surviving legitimate child, Mary, who was just six days old, succeeded him. Mary's mother ruled Scotland as her regent until her marriage in 1558. 

Assassination plot
Mary's reign that started with promise. However, it became derailed following her action in marrying the man accused of the murder of her first husband, Lord Darnley. Within two months of her marriage, Queen Mary abdicated. She fled to England, hoping that her cousin, Elizabeth I, would give her sanctuary. However, she was perceived as a threat to Elizabeth I and spent over eighteen years imprisoned in various locations. Ultimately she was convicted of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth and was beheaded.

Outlander film location
Although now roofless following a fire in 1746, the Palace has an unmistakeably regal aura. Unsurprisingly has been used both as a film location (the TV series 'Outlander') and as the venue Chanel's 2012 Metiers d'Art fashion show in 2012. It is a beautiful and romantic place and deserves a stop en-route to Stirling Castle or after Edinburgh's morning tour. 

Near Linlithgow
Linlithgow lies in the Scottish Lowlands, an attractive area of scenic diversity, including wooded valleys and winding rivers, through to the hills of the Cheviots and Lammermuir. Just eight miles from Linlithgow is Falkirk, home of the Falkirk wheel. A fantastic engineering project is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. One of only two boat lifts in the UK opened in 2002 and is the only rotating boat lift of its' kind in the world. A short hop from Linlithgow is Stirling Castle, one of the most important historical buildings in Scotland. 

Touring and accommodation
We can incorporate a visit to Linlithgow Palace as part of a private tour of Edinburgh or make a stop en-route to Stirling Castle. Linlithgow Palace is a short drive from Edinburgh's city centre. Our Tour-Designers can tailor a tour of Scotland to include the special places relating to Scotland's history.

Edinburgh has a vast choice of accommodation. We look for quality, service and our ability to include complimentary amenities. Stay in the elegant New Town at The Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. Enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle from the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel. There are many options we can discuss you with you. Please contact us for details.

Romantic ruined renaissance palace

Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots

  • Romantic Ruin by the Loch
  • Jousting Tournaments in Summer
  • Site Scientific Interest
  • Ideal Picnic Stop En-route to Stirling

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, US and EU office based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799