Road Trip

Edinburgh

  • Take a trip around Edinburgh

    Immerse yourself in the historic, serene countryside of Central Scotland as you follow in the footsteps of ill-fated monarch Mary Queen of Scots, who succeeded to the throne in 1542, aged six days old.

  • Linlithgow Palace

    The adventure begins at the birth place of Mary Queen of the Scots, Linlithgow. Linlithgow Palace, which is 15 miles west of the Scottish capital, is One of Scotland’s finest surviving medieval buildings, and is said to be haunted by the spectre of Mary of Guise, mother to Mary Queen of Scots.

    From Linlithgow, follow the A803 to Falkirk where you will find the spectacular Falkirk Wheel, the only rotating boat lift in the world. This incredible feat of modern-day engineering hoists boats between the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

  • Falkirk

    From Falkirk, head north to the Kincardine Bridge, which spans the meandering River Forth. Then a quick stop-off in the quaint village of Clackmannan will put you at the home of the Stone of Mannan, a pre-Christian monument which sits in the town square. On the edge of town you’ll spot the impressive golden stones of Clackmannan Tower, which was built in the 1300s by David II.

    Heading on, we head to the picturesque town of Alloa. Home to the largest and oldest surviving keep in Scotland, Alloa Tower, it was here that Mary Queen of Scots reconciled with her first cousin, Lord Darnley, whom she married after the death of her first husband, King Francis II.

  • Alloa

    For breath-taking views of the magnificent Ochil Hills, which stretch 25 miles from the Firth of Tay to Stirling, take the A908 via Sauchie and onto Tillicoultry. You won’t find many more stunning places to stretch your legs than in the glen behind the small village, which sits in the foothills of the Ochils.

    The area grew in population during the Industrial Revolution, with the power generated by the running water of the burns giving rise to many textile mills and mill towns.

  • Dollar

    Head east on the A91 to Dollar where you will be greeted by the dramatic ruin of Castle Campbell looming down over the village from Dollar Glenn. The commanding structure, set alight by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1654, is known locally as ‘Castle Gloom’.

    Administered by Historic Scotland, the castle sits in splendid isolation between two craggy ravines. The family home of the Campbell clan from the 15th century, it entertained many an important person of the day until the Campbell’s eventual departure for Stirling in the late 17th century.

  • Kinross

    Continuing eastward we hit the picturesque town of Falkland, nestled between the hills. It is best known for Falkland Palace, once home to Mary Queen of Scots, who spent some of the happiest days of her tragic life here. It is also home to one of only two 16th century tennis courts in Britain, where Mary enjoyed games of ‘real’ tennis.

    Drive south through the Lomond Hills through Glenrothes and continue on to Kinross, where boat trips run to the Loch Leven Castle. Mary was imprisoned here in 1567 following an uprising, spending a year in captivity before dramatically escaping.

  • Dunfermline

    From Kinross, we set off on the penultimate leg of our journey, south to Dunfermline, a former capital of Scotland suffused with history. Indeed, King Malcolm III married Saint Margaret of Scotland in the town in the 11th century.

    As well as the ruins to a palace built by King James V1 in the 16th century, the town is also home to a 12th century abbey, which is the burial place of Robert the Bruce and 11 other Scottish monarchs.

  • South Queensferry

    Getting back on the M90 we’d take the Forth Road Bridge into South Queensferry, where you can relax and enjoy some fresh fish by the harbour as the sun sets. The Boat House has some of the best food in town and offers stunning views of the impressive Forth Rail Bridge.

    From here, it’s a short drive back to Edinburgh and the vibrancy of the nation’s capital.