You’ll walk in the footsteps of royalty today, as you pay a visit to Scone Palace. Pronounced ‘skoon’, this place is one of Scotland’s most important historic sites. It’s been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of Scots like Macbeth and Robert the Bruce. Your tour will take you around the palace’s rooms and hallways, which are filled with stuffed animals, fine porcelain and historic portraits. If there’s time, you’ll also get to explore the well-preened grounds. To the back, there’s Moot Hill, where noblemen gathered in Medieval times to swear allegiance to the king. The free-roaming peacocks are a popular sight – they’re named after monarchs. There’s also a star-shaped maze, a butterfly garden and an adventure playground for kids. Adult price from £44.
Scotland’s not short on magical castles. And Stirling’s hilltop fortress is one of the most attention-grabbing. It even beat Edinburgh Castle to the top spot in 2016, when it was crowned the country’s top visitor attraction. You might know it as the castle Mel Gibson fought for in Braveheart, but that’s not its only claim to fame. This place has a long list of history-making achievements. For starters, Mary, Queen of Scots spent much of her adult life here. It’s also where the world’s oldest football – made from pig’s bladder – was uncovered. You’ll get to wander the castle’s kitchens, courtyards and artefact-filled vaults. The beautifully restored Royal Palace is a particular highlight. And there are historical characters dotted about the place, sharing facts about life in the 1500s. After, you can get to know Stirling a little better, before getting the coach back to the ship. Adult price from £49.
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