Historic attractions in Edinburgh & The Lothians

Edinburgh & The Lothians is full of award-winning visitor attractions and a wide variety of historic houses and sites which cover the area and the country's enthralling history and heritage.

Edinburgh has been Scotland’s capital since the 15th century and has many royal connections. The most notable is Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline. The many highlights of the castle include St Margaret’s Chapel, built by King David I in around 1130, making it the oldest building in Edinburgh.

From the castle, stroll down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The palace has been a royal residence for centuries, and visitors can see the Royal Apartments which are still frequented by the Royal Family every summer.

Linlithgow also has many royal associations. You can visit the ruins of Linlithgow Palace, once home to Mary Queen of Scots. The infant princess was baptised in the neighbouring St Michael’s Kirk and this 15th century church has a distinctive aluminium crown, visible from miles around. To find out more about the town’s past, follow the Linlithgow Heritage Trail.

In addition, the area has a proud industrial heritage which you can uncover at the Prestongrange Museum, a former colliery, and at the Preston Mill.

Hopetoun House in South Queensferry was built for the Hope family in 1699, and descendants of the original family still live there today. This stately home and grand garden allows you to see the changing fashions over the generations.

Blackness Castle, only a short drive away, is a contrast to this family home. This fortified structure offers beautiful views over the Forth but housed prisoners rather than noblemen.

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Looking across the moonlit grounds to Hopetoun House

Historic buildings and homes

Step inside Edinburgh & The Lothians’ most magnificent historic houses and palaces.

The statue of the writer Sir Walter Scott below the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens

Monuments and ruins

Visit the monuments and ruins in Edinburgh & The Lothians and see tributes to two famous men.

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