Whatever your interests, you’ll find there are endless kingly pursuits to enjoy across Scotland, from delving into the history of monarchs from centuries gone by to gallantly taking on physical challenges in the great outdoors.
Check out our ideas below on how to have a royally good time on your break.
Step in the footprint of the earliest kings
Once known as the ancient Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada, the landscapes of Kilmartin Glen in Argyll are history-rich and truly fascinating. Ramble over the rocky terrain of Dunadd Hill, a historic hill fort, and you’ll uncover some extraordinary remnants from centuries gone-by. Look for the markings of a boar and two footprints in the rocks; these are thought to have been used in ceremonies to inaugurate a new king, symbolic of the new ruler’s reign over his land and people.
Come face to face with the Stone of Destiny
The mysterious and ancient Stone of Destiny is one of Scotland’s most famous historical artefacts and has been the subject of much contention. The block of red sandstone, thought by some to date from biblical times, has played an integral part in the coronation ceremonies of Scottish, English and, in more recent centuries, British rulers. See it along with the Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle, or sit upon the replica at Scone Palace, near Perth.
A statue of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn
Relive the legacy of Robert the Bruce
Enthralling accounts of the bloody battles and bold deeds of Robert the Bruce have filled pages upon pages in the history books. See his homeland of Dumfries & Galloway through the eyes of the great King of Scots himself as you follow the Robert the Bruce Trail. Relive the legendary events of 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn in Stirling, a new interactive 3D experience where you can step into Bruce’s shoes and try to lead your troops to victory in the battle room.
Watch the sport of kings
There’s nothing quite a like a day at the races. With beautiful thoroughbred horses and a unique, charged atmosphere of competition, Scotland’s historic racecourses will not disappoint. Experience one of the country’s premier events, such as the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, at Ayr Racecourse, or visit Musselburgh Racecourse in East Lothian, which dates back to the early 1800s.
… and try the alternative sport of kings
Falconry was first introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages where it became a status symbol for noblemen, and was also dubbed, ‘the sport of kings’. Get up close with impressive birds of prey and try your hand at this ancient sport at falconry centre across Scotland, including World of Wings in Lanarkshire, Dalhousie Castle Falconry in Midlothian, or at the British School of Falconry at Gleneagles in Perthshire.
Be the king of clubs
While you’re at Gleneagles, why not play a round on the majestic King’s Course? Opened in 1919, this par 70 course is a masterpiece of golf course design. The aristocracy of the golf world, both professional and amateur, have tested their game on its greens and fairways.
Discover the venue graced by indie royalty
Now in its 25th year, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut has got a lot to celebrate, having witnessed many incredible up-and-coming bands and music history moments, including the signing of Oasis in 1993. Radiohead, The Killers, Pulp, Florence & The Machine, Biffy Clyro and the Manic Street Preachers have all taken to the stage of this 300-capacity space, which ranks amongst the best small venues in the world.
Conquer the mountains on two wheels
Keen road cyclists should not miss the chance to take part in the King of the Mountains Sportive, which is a mass participation cycling challenge through the mountain passes and stunning landscapes of the Cairngorm National Park, Royal Deeside and alongside the River Don. Taking place on 16 May, there are three routes of different distances to choose from, which will suit a range of abilities.
Climb the king of the Munros
Ben Nevis, near Fort William, is the tallest mountain in the UK at 1,345 metres (4,411 ft) above sea level, and the clamber to the top is a challenge worthy of a king. Plan around eight hours to reach the summit, from which you’ll enjoy breathtaking 360˚ panoramic views and look upon a kingdom of mountain ranges stretching as far as the eye can see – you won’t help but feel like you’re the king of the world.
Rest your head in a regal bedchamber
A king is not a king without a castle! After a busy day of royal duties and valiant endeavours, check in to a castle hotel, be it the atmospheric 15th-century Dornoch Castle in Sutherland or the grand Victorian-era Fonab Castle in Perthshire. Alternatively, get back to nature and camp in the grounds of a castle from the clifftop setting of Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, or Hoddom Castle Caravan Park near Lockerbie in Dumfries & Galloway. To find accommodation fit for a king, check out our website and discover more amazing castle hotels across Scotland.