Explore Scotland’s royal connections in three days

Why not spend a few days uncovering Scotland’s royal connections? Explore palaces and ancient castles from Edinburgh to Royal Deeside and take advantage of the fantastic exhibitions and events taking place to mark this special occasion.

  • Looking over the outside of Glamis Castle
    Glamis Castle
  • The Honours of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny at Edinburgh Castle - image courtesy of Historic Scotland
    The Honours of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny at Edinburgh Castle - image courtesy of Historic Scotland
  • Looking over to the outside of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
    The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
  • Inside the Royal carriage at the Old Royal Station, Ballater
    The Royal carriage at the Old Royal Station, Ballater
  • The exterior of the McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum, Dundee city centre
    The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum, Dundee city centre

Begin your day exploring the capital city’s royal connections in the Old Town and pay a visit to Edinburgh Castle to see the Scottish crown jewels, known as the Honours of Scotland and on permanent display at the castle.

Once you’ve fully explored the castle, the National War Museum of Scotland and admired the views out across the entire city, make your way down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland and explore the opulent Royal Apartments. This year, the palace will be one of 2,000 locations across the UK, which will light a beacon on 4 June as part of the celebrations.

The palace is also home to the Queen’s Gallery which will host a unique exhibition, Treasures from The Queen's Palaces (16 March - 4 November 2012) displaying 100 items, some of which have never been displayed in Scotland before.

The number 22 bus from George Street will take you to Ocean Terminal in Leith where you can take a tour around the Royal Yacht Britannia. The yacht served the Royals for more than 40 years and it will host a range of celebrations throughout 2012.

Check our Edinburgh’s vast array of restaurants to round of your day in the capital.

Make your way over the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife for the Diamond Garden Festival between 18 - 20 May. As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, 12 gardens across Fife will open their doors to the public. While you’re there, make sure you pay a visit to the beautiful historic town of St Andrews, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine Middleton, met whilst studying at St Andrews University.

Cross the River Tay into Angus and Dundee where you will discover more royal connections. Spend the afternoon in the McManus Art Gallery and Museum in Dundee which is hosting a special exhibition, Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration, featuring exquisite drawings by the famous artist from the Royal collection.

Head into the county of Angus and pay a visit to Glamis Castle, the former home of the late Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret. This beautiful red sandstone castle has been the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore for 600 years and is the subject of spooky tales and ghost stories.

Why not have a spot of lunch in the castle’s restaurant surrounded by the carefully restored 19th century ovens, stoves and copper pans in the magnificent Victorian Kitchens?

Spend a day exploring Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire, home to the famous Balmoral Castle, a firm favourite with the Royal Family. The estate has been in the family since 1848, after it was purchased by Queen Victoria. It is open to the public from 1 April to 31 July. This year the castle will host a special exhibition marking the Diamond Jubilee. You will get a chance to see the Queen’s beautiful ball gowns in the ballroom and view a display of images in the stables depicting her long association with horse riding.

Spend an afternoon in the nearby town of Ballater, where you can peruse the shops which proudly display Royal Warrants, indicating their positions as suppliers to The Queen. Visit the beautifully restored Old Royal Station where you can see the Royal Waiting Room, created especially for Queen Victoria. While you’re there, why not dine at the award-winning Green Inn restaurant?

Find out how to travel to and around Edinburgh, Fife, Dundee & Angus and Aberdeenshire.