Mary, Queen of Scots: 8 beautiful locations around Scotland

With the Scottish premiere taking place at Edinburgh Castle with Saoirse Ronan, who depicts the famous Scot in the film, Mary, Queen of Scots, is set to release nationally throughout the UK on Friday.

To celebrate the film’s release, the second major film released about a notable figure in Scotland’s history in less than six months, we take a look at some of the great locations connected to both the film and the real-life former Queen of Scotland.

Here are 8 lovely, some iconic, Scottish locations relating to Mary Stuart.

1. Cairngorms National Park

Mary Queen of Scots - cairngorms 1

Cairngorms National Park, one of the greatest National Parks in Britain, is a stunning, protected landscape used as a filming location in the upcoming period drama.

As the seasons change, the beauty of the Cairngorms evolves along with it.

In Spring, this protected area is buzzing with activity, as the Park recovers from the often bitter Scottish Winter.

As Autumn approaches, the landscape begins to turn into a variety of brown and orange with startling results.

When visiting, be on the lookout for the array of wildlife that reside in the Park.

From the loud and sometimes aggressive Capercaillie to the Golden Eagle, herds of Red and Roe Deer, the Park is a true wildlife haven.

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2. Edinburgh Castle

Mary Queen of Scots - edinburgh castle

One of the most recognised landmarks in world, Edinburgh Castle, found in a city brimming with spectacular experiences was the location selected for the film’s UK premiere.

Found in the heart of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle is where Mary gave birth to her son King James I of England, VI of Scotland.

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3. Holyrood House

Mary Queen of Scots - holyrood house

Found at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, where you can take in some of the best views found anywhere of the city, the Palace of Holyrood House is still used today as the main Royal residence in Scotland.

Holyrood House can be visited throughout the year.

Mary lived in the Palace for a short period. Here you will be able to see the former Queen’s Chambers.

Intricately decorated, Mary’s bed chamber is one of the Palace’s most popular exhibits.

Original features remain in place, including a fabulous oak ceiling.

The Palace is easy to find. Simply follow the city’s iconic Royal Mile down from Edinburgh Castle and you can’t miss this grand Royal residence.

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4. Leith

Mary Queen of Scots - leith

Famously where Mary landed by boat back in the country of her birth after a number of years spent abroad, Leith is today one of the trendiest parts of Edinburgh.

Known for its wide selection of restaurants, the waterfront today has seen a rejuvenation in recent years.

The Royal Yacht Britannia can be visited here, moored at Ocean Terminal.

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5. Linlithgow Palace

Mary Queen of Scots - linlithgow palace

Mary Stuart was born in Linlithgow Palace over 400 years ago.

As you approach the castle, walking up a cobbled road, you will be struck by the Palace’s beauty, despite some of its features being lost over the years.

Today, visitors can explore the Palace, found in the former Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, a lovely Scottish town some 20 miles from the Scottish capital Edinburgh.

Inside, the main space, noble features can still be viewed and former fireplaces can also be spotted towering high above you.

Close to the Palace and hard to miss, a walk around Linlithgow Loch allows to see the Palace from different angles.

According to local rumours, the ghost of Mary’s Mother haunts her former home.

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6. Loch Leven

Mary Queen of Scots - loch leven

Famously where Mary Stuart was imprisoned in the isolated Loch Leven Castle, found on a small island on the loch, Loch Leven, close to Kinross, is a beautiful and popular walking spot.

Here, the skyline is dominated by some great hills including Garbh Bheinn found to the south of the lake.

Loch Leven is a great scenic destination, not far from both historic Dunfermline and the home of golf, St Andrews.

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7. North Berwick Beaches

Mary Queen of Scots - North berwick beach

A filming location used in the film, North Berwick, in East Lothian, offers great scenic beaches that are easily accessible.

North Berwick is a seaside town full of highlights. Alternative natural attractions to the beach include the famed John Muir Way.

Tantallon Castle, resting on a cliff, close to Oxroad Bay, is a 14th century fortress located close to North Berwick.

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8. Stirling Castle

Mary Queen of Scots - stirling castle

Famously where Mary was crowned Queen, a trip to Stirling Castle also provides the opportunity to visit other hugely important sites in Scottish history.

Close by, you will find both the William Wallace Monument and the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, built close to the actual battle site.

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Visit Scotland

Browse a huge and varied range of accommodation throughout Scotland here.

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