A visit to Scone Palace would be incomplete without enjoying the wider estate and Palace grounds including the stunning open gardens, they are as splendid as the Palace itself and together form a great day out in Perthshire. Please note that the Walled Garden is currently closed for repair work and the Kitchen Garden is in the process of being replanted.
History of the Grounds
The celebrated Moot Hill was the ancient crowning place of the Kings of Scots. It is located immediately in front of the Palace and is crowned by a tiny Presbyterian Chapel. A replica of the famous Stone of Scone sits in front of the Chapel.
The village of Scone once stood within the grounds of the Palace. However, when the medieval house was rebuilt as a Gothic Palace in 1803 and the landscaping of the new Palace grounds took place in 1805 the entire village was relocated two miles away and became known as ‘New Scone’.
There are still many reminders of Scone’s past around the Grounds. From the Mercat Cross (Market Cross) and Old Scone graveyard to the 16th-century archway which was the grand entrance to the ‘City of Scone’.
David Douglas and the Pinetum
David Douglas was born in the village of Scone in 1799 and worked as a gardener here at Scone Palace for seven years. Douglas went on to become an explorer and a great plant hunter. To discover more about David Douglas, some of his fellow Scottish tree planters and the Pinetum visit the David Douglas Pavilion.
Constructed from Douglas Fir, the structure is erected within sight of the towering conifers at Scone and features other timbers sourced from the Estate. Scottish slate, re-cycled from the Estate, was also used in the construction.
Stroll at your leisure through the magnificent Pinetum where, amongst others, giant redwoods and Noble Firs tower over you then onto the New Pinetum of less hardy and decorative conifers.
Private Garden Tours
Ideal for Horticultural Groups and Gardening Clubs, we offer private tours around our Grounds and Gardens with our Head Gardener Brian Cunningham. Brian has regularly featured on BBC Beechgrove Garden covering a variety of gardening projects which he and his team have been working on over the past 3 years. These include our Chilli Festival, Reinstating the Kitchen Garden and the story of David Douglas.
Group Rates (for Groups of 15 or more)
Whilst the gardens and grounds are beautiful throughout the year, there are a number of seasonal highlights. Early Spring is heralded by the arrival of snowdrops followed by the drifts of daffodils throughout the Grounds. The Primulas and bluebells bloom in the woodland areas throughout April and May. In May and June, the Grounds explode with colour from the Rhododendrons and Azaleas, while the Laburnum Walkway will also dazzle you with its distinctive bright yellow flowers.
The Murray Star Maze
The maze was designed by international maze designer Adrian Fisher. At the centre of the maze is a bronze statue, sin in a fountain, designed by David William-Ellis. The Statue represents the water nymph, Arethusa. The maze is planted in a mixture of copper and green beech, designed to resemble the Earl of Mansfield’s family tartan, Ancient Murray of Tullibardine, and is in the shape of a five-pointed star which is part the Family’s emblem. The maze was planted in 1991 and covers an area of 1600 square metres. There are 2000 beech trees and over 800 metres of paths. The shortest way to the centre of the maze means a walk of only about 30 metres; the longest walk is …….
The bridge over the entrance is based on a design from the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988 and is made of timber from the Scone Estate.
The Kitchen Garden
Reinstated in 2014, the Kitchen Garden offers our visitors the opportunity to view the gardens where we are sourcing produce for the Palace kitchens. Pathways have been made through the various vegetable and cut flower beds for our visitors' enjoyment. The Garden is currently being replanted and the Walled Garden is closed for repair work.
Nature at Scone
The Grounds and open gardens at Scone Palace are home to a variety of wildlife. The red squirrel is attracted to the great woodlands, as are roe deer. The estate grounds provide a sanctuary for birdwatchers with the rare Hawfinch which can be spotted in Lime Avenue. Oystercatchers and swallows also make their debuts. On a warm and sunny day look out for an array of butterflies in the colourful Butterfly Garden. Sightings of the rare “comma” butterfly have been recorded. Also, look out for the peacocks who roam freely around the Palace grounds!
Please note that dogs on leads are permitted within the Grounds.