Falkland Palace and Gardens

Historic Buildings & Homes

Falkland, Falkland, Fife, KY15 7BU

    Set in the picturesque village of Falkland, this palace was the favourite retreat of the Stuart dynasty, especially Mary Queen of Scots who visited for the hunting, hawking and tennis.

    The Palace is now in the care of the charity the National Trust For Scotland.

    The Royal Palace of Falkland was used as a country residence by Stuart kings and queens who used to hunt deer and wild boar in the nearby Fife forests. Mary Queen of Scots spent some of the happiest days of her tragic life here, hunting and hawking around the woods and park, which is still beautifully maintained today.

    The palace was built between 1501 and 1541 by James IV and James V, replacing earlier castle from the 12th century, traces of which can still be seen in the grounds.

    The Palace fell into ruin from the late 17th to early 18th centuries after it fell into disuse and was badly burnt by Cromwellian troops.In the early 19th century it was restored by the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his descendants still live in the Palace today after giving the National Trust for Scotland the role of Deputy Keeper in the 1950s.The original and reconstructed rooms are packed with fine portraits of the Stuart monarchs, 17th-century Flemish tapestries, elaborate painted ceilings and antique furnishings.

    The Palace was restored by the 3rd Marquess of Bute in the early 1900s. The roofed South Range contains the stunning Chapel Royal which is still a practicing Roman Catholic Chapel (one of the only surviving in a Palace owned by the Crown), Drawing Room, Tapestry Gallery and Edwardian Library. The ruined East Range was where the Royal Apartments would have been and the Cross House displays reconstructed King and Queen’s Rooms. The upper floors of the Gatehouse display the Keeper’s Apartments who would have maintained the Palace on behalf of the sovereign.   


    The Palace sits in nine acres of maintained grounds and formal gardens. The Pleasure Garden was designed and built by Percy Cane between 1947 and 1952 and contains three herbaceous borders enclosing a wide lawn with many varieties of shrubs and trees. The ancient Orchard contains various fruit trees, some as old as 150 years, as well as willow sculptures and a Labyrinth. The Wildflower Meadow carpets the Orchard and is a home for rare plants, insects and wildlife. A newly planted Physic Garden contains medicinal herbs which would have been grown at the time of Mary Queen of Scots. Falkland Palace is also home to the oldest Real or Royal Tennis Court in Britain, originally built for King James V in 1539 and played on by Mary Queen of Scots herself.


    Come and experience this spectacular Royal retreat throughout the year and at our various events.

    Falkland Palace and Gardens is a National Trust for Scotland property.


    Opening Times:-

    11am-5pm Mon-Sat

    Noon-5pm Sundays


    4 Historic Attraction
    Green Tourism Gold
    Opening Times
    2016 Opening Times
    1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2016

    Palace and Garden:
    28 February to 1 November, daily, 11-5 (Sun 12-5)

    28 February to 1 November, daily, 11-5 (Sun 12-5)
    2 November to 23 December, daily, 11-5 (Sun 12-4)

    Note: Last admission to palace 4.30


    • Self Service There are no refreshment facilities at the Palace; however, there are several places to eat in Falkland, all within easy walking distance of the Palace.
    • Shop The shop has a large selection of gift items including jewellery, confectionery, children’s toys, scarves, rugs, toiletries, household goods and cards.


    • Public Toilet Facilities

    Leisure Facilities

    • Garden

    Payment Methods

    • Cash
    • Cheque
    • Debit Card
    • Mastercard
    • Switch Card
    • VISA Card


    • Accessible Parking or Drop Off Point Drop-off point near entrance.
    • Coach Parking Off-site / street
    • Free Parking Off-Site/Street Free village car park near property.
    • On Public Transport Route


    • Baby Changing Facilities Available
    • Children Welcome


    • ASVA Member


    • Rural Location
    • Village Location

    Special Requirements

    • Children Welcome
    • Coach Parties Welcome Book in advance.
    • Families
    • Groups Welcome Book in advance.
    • No Pets Allowed Assistance dogs allowed.
    • School Groups Welcome
    • Senior Citizens
    • Young People

    Wedding Services

    • Able to erect a marquee
    • Civil Ceremony
    • Luxury Venue
    • Religious Ceremony
    • Romantic Location

    Public Transport Directions

    Falkland Palace is in the village of Falkland, 11 miles north of Kirkcaldy.

    By road
    A912, 10 miles from M90, Junction 8

    By bus

    Travelling via bus from Ladybank Train Station please check online in advance for latest bus routes and times.

    The following Stagecoach Fife services stop at Falkland New Road, 100m from Falkland Palace and Garden:
    35 - Cupar - Newburgh - Perth
    36 - Glenrothes - Auchtermuchty - Newburgh/Strathminglo - Perth
    36B - Glenrothes - Auchtermuchty - Kinross
    66/67 - Glenrothes - Ladybank - Cupar

    By rail
    From Ladybank railway station, take the number 66/67 Stagecoach Fife service from Glenrothes to Cupar which stops at Falkland New Road, 100m from Falkland Palace and Garden.


    Transport within Scotland

    For public transport information to visit here from within Scotland, enter your postcode and visit date below.

    Journey Planner

    Attraction Entrance

    • There are steps to the main entrance
      • Number of steps 1


    • The route from the parking area to the nearest public entrance is :
      • with steps and no ramp
    • Parking provided for visitors
      • Within about 50 metres of the attraction


    • Seating available throughout the attraction at appropriate intervals, for visitors with limited mobility
    • Routes / pathways throughout the attraction suitable for wheelchair users
      • some routes
    • Routes / pathways throughout the attraction suitable for visitors with limited mobility
      • some routes

    Ticket / Information / Gift Shop [where applicable]

    • Information available in alternative formats
      • Large print (at least 14 point)

    This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.

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