Next up in our Platinum Jubilee series, which takes a look at the exciting celebrations taking place around the UK, is Scotland.
From nautical celebrations aboard The Queen’s former yacht, to a private chauffeur-driven royal tour of Edinburgh, here is Pride of Britain Hotels’ guide to a plethora of Platinum Jubilee-inspired experiences across Scotland.
Official Platinum Jubilee exhibitions
This year, the grounds, gardens and Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, the Royal Family’s Scottish holiday home, will be open daily from 1 April to 2 August. The Ballroom exhibition will display the Queen’s outfits and celebrate all aspects of life on the much-loved estate, and there will also be a special Jubilee weekend afternoon tea available.
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen’s official residence in the city, will host a Platinum Jubilee Display exhibition (3 July to 25 September) looking back at Her Majesty’s previous Jubilees. It will showcase a selection of outfits worn by Her Majesty on different occasions to celebrate the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
A shipshape celebration with royal history in Edinburgh
Berthed in the historic Port of Leith, Scotland’s only luxury floating hotel, Fingal, is marking The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with sister ship, The Royal Yacht Britannia, by offering a truly unique quayside celebration. Fingal is a former Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) vessel (Princess Anne had a cabin on board as patron of the NLB), and Britannia is The Queen’s former yacht, where royalty, dignitaries and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra were entertained.
The special experience includes a private quayside welcome via red carpet, a captivating guided tour of The Royal Yacht Britannia, Afternoon Tea with Champagne or dinner with waterside views and a Britannia Guidebook.
A royal tour of Edinburgh and a stay fit for a Queen
The historic Dunstane Houses, in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End, combine modern Scottish hospitality with classic Edinburgh architecture, Victorian period features, Orcadian soft furnishings, authentic tweeds, a huge range of whiskies, and even their very own botanical ‘DunGin’.
Take advantage of their special ‘Royal Jubilee Package’ (from 1 May to 31 October, except August), which features a private chauffeur-driven royal tour of the city with a visit to the Queen’s residence, the Palace of Holyrood, Craigmillar Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia for afternoon tea. The two-night stay in a Luxury King Double includes a Full Scottish Breakfast each morning and a first night glass of Champagne plus dinner in the Ba Bar, from £475 pp.
A Scottish Highland fling
Nestled within the spectacular landscape of the Cairngorms National Park, The Fife Arms is close to Balmoral Castle, the Royal Family’s Scottish holiday home. Owned by Manuela and Iwan Wirth, two of the world’s most influential art dealers, the imaginative hotel is brimming with art and antiques.
The Braemar Gathering, or the Royal Highland Games – part of the Scottish Highland Games – takes place five-minutes’ walk from the hotel each September. Since 1848, the gathering has been attended by the reigning Monarch and members of the Royal Family. The hotel’s Victoriana Suites, where Queen Victoria once stayed, were inspired by the Royal Highland Games. An overnight stay at The Fife Arms costs from £250 per night (two sharing), including full Scottish breakfast.
All aboard for a Scottish small-ship cruise
Set sail for the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The Hebridean Princess cruise ship is a firm favourite of HM The Queen, who has commissioned it twice for family holidays, including her milestone 80th birthday celebrations. The luxury small-ship cruise boat sails from Oban and carries just 50 guests and 37 staff.
Below deck, step into a sumptuous (floating) stately home, with 30 bedrooms named after West Coast Scottish islands, castles, lochs and bays. Seven-night, all-inclusive cruises start from £5,220, based on two sharing a cabin in low season.
Regal afternoon tea at a fairytale castle in Ayrshire
Glenapp Castle, a fairytale Scottish Baronial-style castle in 36 acres of gardens and woodlands overlooking the coast and nearby Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran and Holy Island, will host a Jubilee Afternoon Tea.
With a regal theme of purple, gold and diamonds, the menu will feature pastries such as Tonka Bean Macaron Topped with a Royal Crown, and Blackcurrant Choux Bun with Hendricks Gin Jelly & Parma Violet Cremeaux, including a free glass of Champagne for anyone named Elizabeth (£35 pp or £50 pp including Champagne).
Victorian Splendour in Wester Ross
In the wild and remote Scottish Highlands, visitors to The Torridon can expect roaring log fires and the warmest of welcomes. The Victorian former hunting lodge was built 130 years ago by William King-Noel, the first Earl of Lovelace, and was finished in the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The former hunting lodge is set in 60 acres, and as Queen Victoria was a big fan of the Scottish wilderness, there are tributes to the monarch throughout the hotel. Look up in the drawing room at the zodiac ceiling – Queen Victoria was fascinated with astrology!
Royalty frequented this dramatic part of Scotland and Queen Victoria was said to have loved to travel the road between Torridon and Diabaig. The Torridon is a popular stop off along the North Coast 500, which is Scotland’s answer to Route 66, with over 500 miles of roads winding round the Highlands. You may have seen The Torridon in all its glory on BBC Two’s Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby. An overnight stay at The Torridon costs from £275 per night (two sharing), including full Scottish breakfast.