Falkland Palace: playground of a Scottish dynasty

FALKLAND Palace was built by James IV and James V between 1450 and 1541 and served as a base for entertaining in the countryside.

The fine Renaissance building was used by the Stuart kings and queens for more than 200 years.

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Its location, below the Lomond Hills of Fife, meant it was ideal for pursuits such as hunting and fishing.

James V died at Falkland Palace in 1542, leading to his daughter Mary being crowned queen. She was born at Linlithgow Palace six days before his death. One of Falkland Palace's more unusual features is the oldest Royal tennis court in Britain, built for James V in 1539. The only other one is at Hampton Court, near London.

The orchard is still located in its 17th century site and has a wide selection of fruit trees, including apple, pear, plum and cherry. Falkland is the only royal palace in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.