Once the favored countryside retreat of the Stuart kings and queens, the magnificent Falkland Palace has seen a long list of famous royals pass through its grand gateway. First built as a hunting lodge in the 12th century, the residence was transformed into a French Renaissance-style palace in the 16th century by King James IV and King James V, complete with 3 hectares of parks, orchards and flower gardens.
Now a National Trust property, Falkland Palace is a popular tourist attraction and an easy day trip from Edinburgh, offering visitors a fascinating insight into the lavish lives of the Scottish royals. As well as exploring the beautifully restored Royal Apartments and drawing room, visitors can take a peek at the Royal Chapel, admire the fine artworks on display in the Tapestry Gallery and Edwardian Library, visit the Gatehouse and walk around the vast grounds. Don’t forget to visit the Royal Tennis Court, allegedly frequented by Mary, Queen of Scots and now Britain’s oldest tennis court still in use.
Falkland Palace is located in Fife, approximately 40 km north of Edinburgh and is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Adult admission costs £12.50.