Visit one of Scotland’s finest Renaissance palaces, a place adored by Mary, Queen of Scots. Explore this treasure trove of fascinating 17th-century artefacts, see the magnificent Chapel Royal, and walk in the colourful and diverse grounds, home to the world’s oldest surviving real tennis court.
Between 1501 and 1541, King James IV and his son, James V, commissioned the best architects and craftsmen to create a ‘pleasure palace’ for their beloved country pursuits of falconry and hunting. The end result was Falkland, one of Scotland’s finest Renaissance palaces. The Stuart kings were frequent residents here, and Mary, Queen of Scots said it reminded her of the chateaux of the French Royal Court where she grew up.
With its magnificent turrets and archway, Falkland Palace’s grand entrance in the heart of charming Falkland village could have sprung from a fairytale. Inside, there is much to explore as you walk through the palace, taking in the detailed panelling in the drawing room, the stunning Chapel Royal (where mass is still said every Sunday morning) and the fascinating painted walls of the library, as well as the re-created royal apartments.
There is also a huge amount to explore in the tranquil grounds, which are home to the oldest real or royal tennis court in Britain (built for King James V) as well as an ancient orchard with a wildflower meadow. The extensive formal garden was designed by Percy Cane. The grounds include a physic garden with Renaissance-era herbal remedies.