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12 Jun 2024

Why we love Falkland Palace & Garden

Why we love Falkland Palace & Garden


Four speakers: Heather Brown (Visitor Services Assistant); Ewan Crighton (Head Gardener); Taylor Matthews (Visitor Services Supervisor); Linda Lesley (Volunteer Guide)

My name is Heather Brown. I am a Visitor Services Assistant here at Falkland Palace, working for the National Trust for Scotland.
Falkland Palace is known as the holiday home to the Stewart royal family all the way back to the 1500s. It was built by the great King James IV; completed by James V.
The fun fact I have is that Mary, Queen of Scots came here a lot and she played down on our tennis courts.
Our tennis court is the oldest real (or royal) tennis court in the world. It was constructed in 1539 and, as I said, Mary, Queen of Scots has played on it, and it is still played on to this day.
The rackets are a slightly different shape and the balls that were used were very heavy. They didn't bounce, so the tennis rackets are flat on one side to be able to help you get right down to the ground and hit the ball back to your opponent.

I've been coming to Falkland since I was a young child.
My parents have been members of the National Trust for Scotland since before I was born, so we're talking well over 25 years.
They really inspired me with the history and all the places they love, so I'm very fortunate to be able to say I now work here because it was really down to my parents that I first discovered this place.

Over the closed winter period we managed to revamp the shop and bring it into the 21st century --new wallpapers, new displays -- and so far the feedback from the public has actually been really good.

We also have extensive gardens that include the tennis courts.
We've also got lily ponds and beautiful orchards, and it's great fun for the family to go and have picnics out by the trees and wonder at all the gorgeous flowers that our gardeners work really hard to make sure it looks great.

I have people come from all over the world to visit here and the biggest reason people come is because of Outlander!
What a lot of people don't know is that, although it was filmed outside in our village, it was also filmed inside the palace, down in our cellars.
So, that always gets people very excited to come and visit.
During the summer we actually have dedicated Outlander tours that you can take part in.

I'm Ewan Crighton, the Head Gardener here at Falkland Palace & Garden, and I've been here for about 4 and a half years.
I love this place and I love working at Falkland Palace Garden because there's something that you can't quite put your finger on.
The feel of the gardens just makes you want to be here. There's something kind of comforting about it.
Even when you are tied up in what might be the busiest week of the year or a really busy day, you can always find a little nook of the garden where it settles you down.
You always get that relaxing feeling somewhere in the garden.

I'm Taylor and I'm a Visitor Services Supervisor here for the National Trust for Scotland at Falkland Palace and Garden.
Falkland's been very central to my life since I moved here to Scotland.
My husband and I got engaged up on the hill overlooking Falkland, and it's become a focal point of my life here.
I love Falkland Palace because it's beautiful; it's full of history here.
I'm from Arkansas and this palace is older than the United States!
It's just being somewhere that's so old and so full of so many different generations of history.
You can feel it in the place when you're here.
And if you're having a bad day, you can just walk outside and look and remind yourself that you work in such a beautiful historic place.

I'm Linda Lesley. I'm a volunteer guide here at Falkland Palace.
I guide in the rooms that visitors go around. I'm also a volunteer in the sewing group.
The group makes costumes for guides to wear but also for children who come here on school trips.
I love Falkland Palace because of the layers of history that are here.
I think I first came here probably about 40 years ago and I was always intrigued by the fact it was a Stewart royal palace.
And as I've volunteered here over the last 5 years, it's just become more and more alive for me.

I feel very privileged to be able to say I work here.
I love sharing the history of the place that I grew up listening to, and I love to pass that on to other families, especially young kids as well that were my age when I first came here.
I love getting them inspired by the history.

This is not just Mary’s happy place, but a special place for many people from all around the world.
“I love Falkland Palace because of the layers of history.
As I’ve volunteered here over the last 5 years, it’s just become more and more alive for me.”
Linda Lesley
Volunteer guide

Falkland is a place that inspires happy memories throughout your life, from visiting as a child to getting married ... and even working here!

In this short film, members of our wonderful team at Falkland Palace share some of the reasons why they love this very special place.

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We are grateful to permission given by the Royal Collection Trust to share details of some paintings we have on loan. Lent by His Majesty The King © Royal Collection Enterprises Limited [2024] | Royal Collection Trust

Please note that permission for drone flying was granted by the National Trust for Scotland. Please contact for recreational and commercial drone filming enquiries.

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