Mary Queen of Scots - A Personal Tour with Lord Sempill
This is a three day tour, telling the tragic story of Mary Queen of Scots. This iconic woman has a special place in Scotlandís history, and we are fortunate enough to be able to follow her brief reign through the countryside and the buildings in which she lived.
The tour is restricted to a maximum of eight people. You will be accommodated in the very comfortable Malmaison Hotel in Leith, Edinburgh. The tour provides a detailed picture of 16th century Scotland with many fine examples of the places Mary visited and lived in. These include the palaces of Holyrood, Linlithgow, and Falkland, and the mighty castles of Edinburgh and Stirling.
Each day will include a visit to a local restaurant, where the emphasis is on quality and local produce. At no stage will you be travelling for more than an hour, during which time you will get to see the countryside for which the country is internationally famed.
Your host and guide has a strong connection with Mary. His ancestor, Robert, 3rd Lord Sempill, whose nephew, John married Mary Livingston, one of Maryís Ladies in waiting, was involved in many of the key events of her reign. He, like so many other nobles, was caught up in the political turmoil of the day, and having been one of Maryís loyal supporters ended up opposing her on the field of battle.
Maryís reign as Queen of Scots might have disappeared into obscurity were it not for the many mysteries which have turned her life story into one of the most romantic in Scotlandís history.
Day 1. Edinburgh.
The morning is spent visiting her royal apartments at Holyrood Palace, which were the scene for many of the dramatic episodes of her short reign. A gentle stroll up the Royal Mile, highlighting some of the historic buildings, will be followed by a visit to the Museum of Scotland to look at a wonderful cross section of artefacts from sixteenth century Scotland. The afternoon will be dedicated to exploring Edinburgh Castle, where she gave birth to her son James, the future king of both England and Scotland.
Dinner in Leith with Lord Sempill.
Day 2. Over the Forth.
This is a day of contrasting architectural styles, starting with a visit to Lochleven Castle, where she was held captive and forced to abdicate in favour of her son. The castle is one of the earliest medieval tower houses built in Scotland. It sits on an island in the middle of the loch which is a nature reserve and home to a wide variety of waterfowl.
A short distance away is Falkland Palace, which was one of Maryís favourite residences. It has magnificent gardens and the oldest tennis court in Britain.
After lunch, you will find yourself at Stirling castle, recently restored to capture the magic of the reign of her father, James V and her mother, Mary of Guise.
The final visit is to Linlithgow Palace, her birthplace, and the pride and joy of the early Stuarts. Although a ruin, it features the magnificent fountain built by her father in the central courtyard.
Day 3. The Borders.
A trip that takes us to the heart of the Borders, one of the most violent regions in sixteenth century Britain. We visit Mary, Queen of Scotís House in Jedburgh. It was here that she recovered from a severe illness. Today, the house is a museum dedicated to her memory. You will also be able to visit the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey, one of the great medieval monastic buildings built in the twelve century and eventually destroyed by a combination of war and the Protestant reformation.
We will be lunching at the 1745 restaurant in the grounds of Traquair House, Scotlandís oldest inhabited house. This was the home of the Captain of her royal guard, where Mary stayed to go hunting. It has its own brewery and craft shop.
The final stop is Craigmillar Castle, at which it is said, Mary was party to the plan to murder her husband, Lord Darnley. How guilty was she? ... this will be explored in more depth over some fine food and ale at the Sheep Heid in Duddingston, Scotlandís oldest surviving pub, dating back to 1362. The ideal location to have a final dram!
Final Dinner at the Sheep Heid Inn, Duddingston
The cost of the tour is £750 per person.
This covers 3 nightsí accommodation, all entrance fees, all lunches and two dinners. Drinks not included.
You will be staying at the Malmaison Hotel in Leith.
The cost per person is based on single occupancy. Sharing a room will save around £300 per couple.
Tours to run Tuesday-Thursday
If you would like to know more about the trip please send an email to Lord Sempill.
OR - If you would like to go ahead and book a place, you can make your deposit of GBP 150 here ...
back to top