Advantages enough to see to last all day, knowledgeable guides, extensive grounds
Disadvantages you don't see the real Stone, a little cramped inside, grounds depend on the weather
On our holiday to Scotland a couple of weeks ago, one of the places my dad really wanted to see was Scone Palace so one of our days out was formed of a trip there. As a preamble, it was something of an effort to find - I don’t know whether we were approaching it from an angle that few visitors do but there seemed to be a distinct lack of signposts for the palace (an odd thing considering it is a visitor attraction connected with a famous stone) and we had a short detour into Scone itself before we got there.
Luckily we did find the palace eventually and found ourselves turning off the main road down a long drive that was quite winding and did make you feel like you were going to quite a secluded place. I can’t say I could hear any traffic noise when we finally did get to the car park, either.It was fairly busy, with lots of people of all ages (younger families as well as groups of adults) around as you might expect in August, thanks to the summer holidays but we didn’t have too much trouble parking and - quite impressively - the ticket booth was stationed some way from the house. There were different pricing options for grounds-only tickets and house-and-grounds tickets and, on the surface, £5.10 for an adult (£4.50 for students and OAPs, and £3.50 for children) does seem a little steep compared to £9.00 for adults, £7.90 for students/OAPs and £6.00 for children if you take in the palace as well (family tickets are charged at a flat fee of £26.00) but I quite liked the idea of there being some flexibility and the grounds - as I will soon describe - could account for a good hour of the visit by themselves.
Because of that, we actually spent maybe half an hour looking around the gardens, wandering up and down paths and trying to get an idea of our bearings before we even thought about going into the palace itself. Usefully, there were a couple of large weatherproof boards dotted around with “artist’s impression” style ground plans and I do remember that there was another map on one of the leaflets we got (although I kept losing it!) and here and there amongst the grounds were wooden signs with engraved arrows and lettering showing which direction each feature of interest was in. One of the first things I noticed outside the palace was one all-white peacock that was happily strutting around on the front lawn having its photograph taken (I’ve never seen a colourless peacock before and I suspect many people hadn’t, either).The peacock wasn’t alone, either, because - close to the ticket office - a fenced-off bit of the grass was providing a handful of small goats and a Highland calf or two with something of a barrier from the visitors, although it was definitely getting quite a bit of attention from visiting children and (even as a fully-grown, old-enough-to-vote adult) I rather liked the little goats, too.
As far as I could make out, there were no guided tours at Scone as there had been when we went to Glamis Castle.
Inside The Palace Walls . . .
|Is it worth visiting?|
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