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Linlithgow & Linlithgow Palace

Near South Queensferry

An Ancient Town

Due to access restrictions, while high-level masonry inspections are undertaken, there is currently no visitor access to the palace.

Set just nine miles from South Queensferry, the ancient town of Linlithgow and Linlithgow Palace make for an interesting and varied day out.

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow is famous for its Palace which is set in its own park beside Linlithgow Loch. The palace is steeped in history as a favoured residence of Stewart kings and queens and as the birthplace of James V and Mary Queen of Scots.

In later years, it was a winter residence for Oliver Cromwell, visited by Bonnie Prince Charlie and used by the Duke of Cumberland's troops.

While the structure is now in ruins, the palace remains an imposing sight and certainly has a story to tell. The ruins can be admired from the Peel (an expanse of parkland) and may be familiar to fans of Outlander as the jail entrance where Jamie was imprisoned.

Linlithgow Town

The surrounding town of Linlithgow has a number of other attractions worth exploring.

Adjacent to the palace is St Michael’s Parish Church – the most complete example of a surviving 15th-century church in Scotland. The Church was the preferred place of worship for many Scottish monarchs – including Mary Queen of Scots – and has a fascinating history as well as a dramatic crown steeple.

Linlithgow Museum has three galleries, each dedicated to a different aspect of the town. There’s lots of information about Mary Queen of Scots and a life-sized statue of her - the first to be commissioned in Scotland. You can find out about the industry and trades of the town and there are some great interactive activities. The community room is home to local exhibitions and sometimes hosts talks and film screenings.

The beautifully restored Linlithgow Burgh Halls are wonderful to visit. The Gallery showcases high-quality exhibitions by national and international artists. There’s also a visitor display detailing the history of the building plus a café which opens onto the pretty rose garden.

Linlithgow Loch sits right in the centre of the town and is ideal for a relaxing stroll and spotting the visiting wildfowl. The Linlithgow Canal Centre houses an interesting little museum and a charming tearoom. It offers a nice selection of boat trips out on the Grand Union Canal, or you can take a leisurely stroll along the towpath.

The town is home to plenty of small independent shops. Art lovers might even squeeze in a visit to Dudley the cat (Linlithgow’s feline version of Greyfriars Bobby), and the sculptural depictions from the town’s coat of arms, ‘Black Bitch’ and St Michael.

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Visiting Linlithgow & Linlithgow Palace

Useful Information
  • Distance from South Queensferry: 17 min (9.3 mi) via A904
  • It takes about 1 hour to walk around Linlithgow Loch
Visit Visit Scotland Linlithgow Website >
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