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Scotland Historic Homes

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Abbotsford House
Two miles (3km) southeast of Galashiels, near Melrose
Off the A72/A6091 on the B6360 by the River Tweed
Tel. 01896 752 043
Historic Houses Association property; home of Sir Walter Scott built 1822 on site of old farmhouse; important collection of armour; library of 9000 rare books; collection of curiosities; study, library, drawing room, entrance hall, dining room and armouries open to public; shop, tea-room
Web: Abbotsford

Alloa Tower
Alloa Park, Alloa
Off A907, Clackmananshire
Tel. 01259 211 701
National Trust for Scotland; largest surviving keep in Scotland; 1497 ancestral home of Earls of Mar; original oak beams, vaulting, pit dungeon; and well; collection of paintings and silver; AV presentation; parking. Note: narrow, steep spiral staircase from first to second floor and roof walk.

Arniston House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
7 (11.3km) miles southeast of Edinburgh, Midlothian
Off B6372 near Gorebridge
Tel. 01875 830 515.
Historic Houses Association property; elegant Palladian mansion built in 1726 by architect William Adam and continued by his son John; decorative stuccowork
Web: Arniston House

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Bachelors’ Club
Ayshire and Isle of Arran
Sandgate St, Tarbolton
On the B730/744 near Prestwick, South Ayrshire
Tel. 01292 541 940
National Trust for Scotland property; 17th century thatched house where Robert Burns and his friends formed a debating club; period furnishings.

Balcaskie House
One mile (1.6km) northwest of Pittenweem
16th century tower house extended into a mansion; frescoes and portraits; formal terraced gardens.

Barrie’s Birthplace
Angus and Dundee
9 Brechin Rd, Kirriemuir, Angus, on the A926
Tel. 0 1575 572 646
National Trust for Scotland property; house where J.M. Barrie was born; adjacent house has an exhibition on Barrie and Peter Pan; garden; parking; tea-room.

Edinburgh and the Lothians
Four miles (6km) west of Dunbar, Lothian, off B6370 near Stenton
Tel. 01620 860 355.
12th century tower house with 18th century additions, extended in the Gothic style in the 19th century; terraced gardens.

Bowhill House and Country Park
Three miles (5km) west of Selkirk
Off A708 Moffat Rd
Tel. 0 1750 22204
Historic Houses Association property; house, as it stands, dates mainly from 1812 alterations; one of best art collections of any house in Britain, including Old Master paintings; French furniture; tapestries; continental porcelain.;room dedicated to Sir Walter Scott; nature trails.

Broughton House and Garden
Dumfries and Galloway
12 High St, Kirkcudbright
Tel. 01557 330437
National Trust for Scotland property; 18th century house of E. A. Hornel, Glasgow painter; Japanese influenced garden; collection of paintings and Scottish books.

Burns House
Dumfries and Galloway
Burns House
Tel. 01387 255 297
Home where Burns spent the last years of his life; contains relics, letters and manuscripts.

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Callendar House
Callendar Park, Falkirk
On the A803
Tel. 01324 503 770
Imposing 600-year-old mansion; Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Cromwell all visited here; interpretive centers; Georgian gardens.

Carbisdale Castle
Culrain, Sutherland, IV24 3DP
Minor road off A836, north of Bonar Bridge but reached from Ardgay
Tel. 0 870 004 1109
Built between 1906 and 1917 for Dowager Duchess of Sutherland; served as a royal refuge; Italian marble statues on display in main gallery.

Carlyle’s Birthplace: the Arched House
Dumfries and Galloway
Ecclefechan, 5.5 miles (8.8km) southeast of Lockerbie
Off the M74/A74
Tel. 0 1576 300 666
National Trust for Scotland property; 1795 birthplace of writer and historian, Thomas Carlyle; interior furnished in keeping with his time; collection of portraits and his belongings.

Culross Palace and Town House
Off the A985, 7 miles (11.3km) west of Dunfermline
Tel. 0 1383 880 359
National Trust for Scotland property; not really a palace nor royal, this house was built between 1597 and 1611; outstanding example of 17th century domestic architecture; painted woodwork; 17th and 18th century furniture; Staffordshire and Scottish pottery; Town House has Georgian interior with exhibitions and courtroom, debtors cell; garden grows vegetables and fruit of early 17th century; tea-room; shop; parking in town car park
See our article on Culross

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Dalmeny House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Two miles (3km) to the east of South Queensferry, Lothian
Signposted off the A90
Tel. 0131 331 1888
Historic Houses Association property; home of the Earls of Rosebery; built in 1815 in the Tudor-Gothic style; many art treasures; collection of Vincennes and Sèvres porcelain; entrance hall has notable hammer-beam ceiling; parking

David Livingstone Centre
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
165 Station Rd, Blantyre, Lanarkshire
Tel. 0 1698 823 140
National Trust for Scotland property; Livingstone was born here in 1813; display of his personal belongings; parking; shop; tea-room; starting point for walks.

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Falkland Palace and Gardens
On the A912, 10 miles (16km) from M90 junction 8
11 miles (17.7km) north of Kirkcaldy
Tel. 01337 857 397
Palace belongs to the Queen but is managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Country home of eight Stuart monarchs, built in the 16th century by James IV and James V; grounds contain a royal tennis court built for James V in 1539; gardens in the grounds designed 1947-52 with herbaceous borders, lawns, shrubs, trees; living history events; parking in the village.

Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Four miles (6km) northwest of Laurencekirk, via B9120 and B974
Tel. 0 1561 340 202
Golden stone mansion set in large estate; was home to William Gladstone, four times Prime Minister; Victorian upstairs, downstairs home; deer park; events, weddings.

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Gosford House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Northeast of Longniddry, Lothian
On A198 Aberlady Rd
Tel. 01875 870 201 (estate office)
Historic Houses Association property. Neo-Classical house with three storey marble hall with double staircase, central dome and plasterwork; collection of paintings and works of art.

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Haddo House
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Four miles (6km) north of Pitmedden
Off the B999
Tel. 01651 851 440
National Trust for Scotland property; designed in 1731 by William Adam. Interior is “Adam Revival” of 1880; Georgian architecture with Victorian furnishings; exhibition of paintings, objects d’art. Now a home for the Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society. gardens, country park with lakes and walk, avenue of lime trees.

Hill House
Argyll and Bute
Upper Colquhoun St, Helensburgh, Argyll
Off the B832 between the A82 and A814
Tel. 01436 673 900
National Trust for Scotland property; built in 1902-4; considered to be best example of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic architecture. He designed all the details, including furniture; small garden; parking; design shop, gift shop, tea-room.

Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse and Garden
2.5 miles (4km) south of Cupar
Tel. 01334 653 127
National Trust for Scotland property; Edwardian style house; collection of furniture, Dutch paintings, Flemish tapestries, Chinese porcelain and other art work; woodland walks, hilltop panoramic views of Fife; tea-room, shop.

Holmwood House
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
61-63 Netherlee Rd
Cathcart, Glasgow
Tel. 0141 637 2129
National Trust for Scotland property; designed in classical Greek style by Alexander Thomson in 1857-8; wood, plaster and marble decorations; five acres of landscaped grounds, kitchen garden; picnic area, parking, shop.

Hopetoun House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Two miles (3km) west of South Queensferry, Lothian
Off the A904 on the Firth of Forth
Tel. 0131 331 2451
Historic Houses Association property; Scotland’s largest house and one of best examples of architects William Bruce and William Adam. Parkland with woodland trails, garden, picnic spots. Rooftop viewing across the park and the Firth of Forth and its bridges.

House of Dun
Angus and Dundee
Three miles (5km) west of Montrose, Angus, on A935
Tel. 01674 810 264
National Trust for Scotland property; Georgian house designed and built by William Adam in 1730; beautiful plasterwork, examples of woolwork and embroidery, portraits, furniture, and porcelain; formal gardens with parkland and woodland, Victorian walled garden, walks; shop, restaurant; parking, picnic area; Montrose Basin Local Nature Reserve is nearby.

House of the Binns
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Near Linlithgow, off the A904
15 miles (24km) west of Edinburgh, Lothian
Tel. 01506 834 255
National Trust for Scotland property; home of the Dalyell family since 1612; portraits, furniture and porcelain collections of the family; fine moulded ceilings; parking, picnic area.

Hugh Miller’s Cottage and Miller House
Church Street, Cromarty
On the A832
Tel. 0 1381 600 245
National Trust for Scotland property; Hugh Miller, born in the 17th century cottage in 1802, was a stonemason, geologist, editor and writer; Miller House is Georgian villa built by his father and houses a museum with exhibition and video program on his life and work; wild garden.

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Leith Hall, Garden and Estate
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Seven miles (11.3km) south of Huntly
On the B9002 and off the A97
Tel. 01464 831 216
Home of the Leith family from 1650; extended to four wings around a central courtyard in 18th and 19th centuries; scented walled garden; herbaceous borders; bird observation hide, countryside walks through woodland; 18th century stables, ice house; top floor of house houses exhibition For Crown and Country which features family military memorabilia.

Edinburgh and the Lothians
One mile (1.6km) south of Haddington, Lothian
Tel. 01620 823 720
Historic Houses Association property;
Original 14th century tower house with great hall; collection of furniture, portraits, porcelain and historic mementos of Mary Queen of Scots
For photos and more information see our articles Face of Britannia and Lennoxlove
Web: Lennoxlove

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Two miles (3km) east of Duns
Off the A6105
Tel. 0 1361 883 450
Historic Houses Association property; Edwardian mansion home of Lord and Lady Palmer, built by Scottish architect, John Kinross; life “upstairs” and “downstairs” on display; plasterwork ceilings and wall panels; stables thought to be finest in the world; formal and woodland gardens; dairy with marble from seven countries
Web: Manderston

Maxwelton House
Dumfries and Galloway
Between Moniaive and Thornhill
Off the A702 and B729
Tel. 01848 200 385
Annie Laurie, great granddaughter of Stephen Laurie and known for the famous ballad of the same name, was born here in 1682; formerly a tower house called Glencairn Castle until purchased 1611 by Stephen Laurie; chapel; museum of agricultural and early domestic life in courtyard buildings; garden with trees, shrubs, plants, picnic area; tea-room; shop; parking.

Mellerstain House
Six miles (10km) northwest of Kelso
Off the A6089
Tel 01573 410 225
Historic Houses Association property; home of Earls of Haddington; two wings of the house built in 1725 by William Adam and added to in 1765 by Robert Adam; collection of paintings; terraced gardens, tea-room, shop; special events; weddings; parking
Web: Mellerstain

Mount Stuart
Argyll and Bute
5.5 miles (9km) south of Rothesay, Pierhead On Isle of Bute
Tel. 01700 503 877
Historic Houses Association property; ancestral home of Marquesses of Bute; High Victorian Gothic house; outstanding collection of 18th century portraits, clocks, furniture; 300 acres of woodland, arboretum and gardens; restaurant, shop; art gallery, garden centre; holiday accommodation
Web: Mount Stewart
For photos and more on the gardens go to Mt Stuart Gardens and grounds

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Edinburgh and the Lothians
Newhailes Rd (A6095), Musselburgh
Tel. 0 131 653 5599
National Trust for Scotland property; untouched 17th century house with original rococo interiors; Chinese hand painted wallpaper; furnishings; library; fine paintings; 18th century designed landscape; hidden grotto; woodland walks; vistas; parking; picnic area; shop; café.

Edinburgh and the Lothians
Off the B800, at Kirkliston, Lothian
Tel. 0131 333 3231
Robert Adam house; costumes, steam model railway; garden with water features.

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Paxton House Gallery and Country Park
Five miles (8km) west of Berwick-upon-Tweed
On the B6461
Tel. 01289 386 291
Historic Houses Association property; elegant mansion, built 1773,one of best examples of Palladian architecture in Britain; art gallery added in 1811 houses pictures on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland; gardens, riverside walks

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Dumfries and Galloway
Five miles (8km) west of Lockerbie
On the A74, B7020
Tel. 01387 810 229
Historic Houses Association property; pink-stoned 18th century Georgian manor house designed in Palladian style; fine circular staircases, Jacobite relics, and library.

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Skaill House
Orkney Isles
Sanwick, Orkney, 19 miles north-west of Kirkwall on B9056
Tel. 01856 841 501
Mansion built in 1620 and surrounded by large lawned gardens; antiques and furniture; ghosts; parking; holiday accommodation
Web: Skaill House

Souter Johnnie’s Cottage
Ayshire and Isle of Arran
Main Rd, Kirkoswald, S. Ayrshire
Tel. 01655 760 603
National Trust for Scotland property; home of village shoemaker, John Davidson, known from Robert Burns’s Tam o’ Shanter; restored alehouse, thatched cottage with period furniture, Burns’s relics and shoemaker’s workshop; parking in village or nearby on roadside.

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Thomas Carlyle Birthplace
Dumfries and Galloway
The Arched House
Ecclefechan, Lockerbie
Tel. 01576 300666
National Trust for Scotland; birthplace of the writer and historian; interior late 18th century; collections of Carlyle’s personal belongings and manuscripts.

Traquair House
Six miles (10km) southeast of Peebles
At junction of B709 and B7062
Tel. 01896 830 323
Historic Houses Association property; one of oldest continuously inhabited houses in Scotland; extended and altered over the years. Mary, Queen of Scots, visited in 1556, and there are many of her personal belongings and mementos here; famous Bear Gates closed by the 5th Earl in 1745 when Prince Charlie left, and the Earl vowed never to reopen them until the Stuarts were restored to the throne.
Web: Traquair

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Weaver’s Cottage
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Minor road off A737 at the Cross, Kilbarchan
Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire
Tel. 01505 705 588
National Trust for Scotland property; 18th century handloom weaver’s cottage house; most Fridays and weekends, the loom is in operation; display of looms and weaving equipment, domestic and historical items; DVD presentation; parking on street or free public carpark.

Winton House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
14 miles (22.5km) southeast of Edinburgh
Off the A1
Tel. 01620 824 986
Scottish Renaissance style, twisted stone chimneys, magnificent plaster ceilings; paintings, furniture, costumes; terraced gardens.

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