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blog 19.01.2023

Homecoming: The Scottish Years of Mary, Queen of Scots

A new book, Homecoming: The Scottish Years of Mary, Queen of Scots by Rosemary Goringtells the story of the twelve short years that Mary spent in her homeland, particularly through the locations and journeys within Scotland that were most significant in her life.   

Mary, Queen of Scots is a complex figure who lived a dramatic, extraordinary life. Homecoming provides a strong sense of place and setting to these pivotal events, connecting them to major historical sites and villages in Scotland. While travelling around the country, you can visit many of the places where Mary spent her Scottish years. Don’t forget to get a copy of Homecoming to bring along with you!

We have 3 copies of the book to give away. Read on to find out how.

Born in Linlithgow...

As the birthplace of Mary Stuart, Linlithgow Palace is one of the most important sites in the book. In December of 1542, Mary was born here, likely in a small room just above the Queen’s Bedchamber. Now a historical site in ruins, visitors can walk around what remains of Linlithgow Palace and imagine its former grandeur in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Mary did not spend long here, as after a mere seven months, her mother began to worry that the palace was not secure enough to protect her child from being kidnapped and taken away to England, so they left the comforts of Linlithgow Palace and journeyed northwards.

Please note that Linlithgow Palace is currently closed to the public. For the latest news on maintenance works, please visit: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/about-us/news/new-measures-introduced-to-manage-the-impact-of-climate-change/



Linlithgow Palace

Please note the King’s Bed Chamber and the Court Kitchen are currently closed. This royal pleasure palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary Queen of Scots Trail

The book goes into the other sites that were important in Mary's life, such as:

  • Stirling Castle where Mary was crowned Queen of Scots in the Chapel Royal aged just nine months.
  • Edinburgh Castle where she gave birth to her only child - He would rise to become James VI of Scotland and I of England.
  • Lochleven Castle, Kinross, where she was imprisoned for almost a year before managing to escape.

You can find out more about the locations around Scotland in this trail.

Mary Queen of Scots Trail

This trail takes in 20 attractions all over Scotland connected to Mary Queen of Scots, the most famous and intriguing member of the Scottish monarchs.

Linlithgow Museum

The Linlithgow Museum is a must visit when you are on the Mary, Queen of Scots trail.

Located a stones throw from Linlithgow Palace, the newly refurbished Linlithgow Museum is a community owned and operated attraction that tells the story of the town.

The museum has a beautiful statue of Mary, Queen of Scots, in pride of place as you first enter the space and is well worth visiting to see.


Linlithgow Museum

The museum, located in the centre of Linlithgow within the Partnership Centre, is open Friday and Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm.


We’re teaming up with publisher Birlinn to offer three lucky winners a signed copy of Homecoming by Rosemary Goring.

To enter, just email info@birlinn.co.uk with the answer to this question: “In what year was Mary, Queen of Scots born?”

The winners will be randomly selected, open to UK entries only until 5:00PM GMT on Tuesday 28th February 2023.’


Find out more...

For more information about Homecoming, please visit the publishers website: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/homecoming/. 

Visit West Lothian, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian. EH54 6FF UK Registration No. SC346843

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