Scone is a place that breathes history like nowhere else in Scotland. It is at the center of Scotland geographically, and at its center historically. Here, in the heartland of Scotland, also lies the heart of Scotland's history. The storytellers speak of Druids, of Romans, of fantastic glimpses of kings and king-making; of the high kings of the Picts in their `Kingdom of Scone`, and of Scotland's legendary kings like Macbeth and Robert the Bruce.
Traveling across the elegant expanse of the Forth Road Bridge, your coach travels in a northerly direction from Leith, heading out across the scenic rolling landscape. Poised above the River Tay, perhaps the greatest salmon river in the world, the Palace overlooks the routes north to the Highlands and east through Strathmore to the coast. The majestic Grampian mountains form a distant backdrop, and across the river stands the city of Perth.
As you begin your tour of Scone Palace you cannot help but become aware of the intrigues that history has bestowed on Scone. Indeed, Scone is truly the place where you mingle with the many legends of Scotland's past and it is here that Macbeth, King of Scots bled to death on the floor of Scone. Of all the many king-making inaugurations and coronations held in the Palace, King Robert the Bruce's is considered the most dramatic. Having slain his rival, he rode to Scone to be crowned by the Bishop of St. Andrews. In 1651 the last coronation took place at Scone Palace when King Charles II was crowned.
The legendary Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, was used in the coronations of the Kings of Scotland until the end of the 13th century and was kept at Scone for nearly 500 years. The Stone was seized by King Edward I in 1296 and taken to Westminster Abbey. The Stone of Scone was last used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and today has been returned to the people of Scotland and forms part of the royal regalia at Edinburgh Castle.
Against this rich historical background, your tour of Scone Palace begins in the dining-room. This wonderful south-facing room, with its unique collection of large European ivories, can be quite breath-taking. In the Drawing Room you will find that the walls are clad in early 19th century silk and hung with a large pair of royal portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte. The spacious library, with views over parkland pastures to the River Tay, now holds a fabulous collection of 18th and 19th century porcelain. The Ambassador's room, named after the 2nd Earl who was British Ambassador to France, has an 18th century splendid and regal royal bed - covered in three vast and magnificently worked coats of arms of King George III. In contrast is the spacious Inner Hall with its two beautiful 17th century carved oak fireplaces. Not to be missed is the Royal Gallery, where you can follow in the footsteps of many kings who have walked its 142 foot length of Scottish oak.
Before re-joining your coach for the return trip, you'll be able to explore part of the Palace grounds and delightful formal gardens where the lawns are home to free-roaming peacocks.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of walking. The tour is considered suitable for wheelchair guests who can make their way on and off the coach. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of sites visited may vary.