The Gardens and Grounds
A visit to Scone Palace would be incomplete without enjoying the Palace grounds. They are as splendid as the Palace itself.
To download an orientation map please click here
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. One of the finest trees here at Scone is a giant Douglas Fir which was raised from the first seed sent home from North America by David Douglas in 1826.
Whilst the gardens and grounds are beautiful throughout the year, there are a number of seasonal highlights. 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.
Murray Star Maze
The unique Murray Star Maze, designed by the world renowned Maze designer Adrian Fisher, is Perthshire's only maze. Designed in the shape of the five pointed star that features in the Murray family crest, the maze comprises 2000 beech trees, half copper and half green, planted in a way to create a unique tartan effect.
The Kitchen Garden
Being developed in 2013, 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.
Nature at Scone
The Grounds here at Scone Palace are home to a variety of wildlife. The red squirrel is attracted to the great woodlands here in the grounds. The Grounds are a sanctuary for birdwatchers with buzzards common and the unusual Hawfinch which can be spotted on a stand of Hornbeam trees at the north of Lime Avenue. On a warm and sunny day look out for an array of butterflies in the colourful Butterfly Garden. Sightings of the rare “comma” butterfly were recorded by visitors last year. Also, look out for the peacocks who roam freely around the Grounds!
Please note that dogs on leads are permitted within the Grounds.