A stroll in the grounds of Scone Palace

Scone Palace
Scone Palace

We had a couple of weekends in Perth in 2016. Both times we visited Scone Palace (and however you pronounce the thing that you eat, this Scone is definitely Scoon). The first visit was in so-called flaming June when it poured. We toured the house (no photography) and had a quick look at the Chapel on Moot Hill, crowning place of the Kings of Scots and home to the Stone of Scone aka the Stone of Destiny, before taking refuge back in the car.

As we knew there was far more than this to the grounds, we were determined to go back for a proper stroll. Fortunately, our visit in December, although very cold, was dry and we enjoyed a couple of hours there.

We started again at the palace, where we were intrigued by the white peacock which I thought might have been an albino. However, according to Wikipedia, although albino peafowl do exist, they are quite rare and almost all white peafowl have a different condition called leucism. An albino peacock will have red or pink eyes whereas one with leucism will have normal eye-colour – which I think you can clearly see here (if you click to enlarge the photo).

We followed the path round Moot Hill to the site of an old tomb and then the David Douglas Pavilion at the edge of the Pinetum. David Douglas was born in Scone in 1799 and worked as a gardener at the palace for seven years. He went on to become an explorer and a great plant hunter.

The highlight of the grounds for me was the Murray Star Maze with its copper beech hedges and water nymph in the centre. The pattern is designed to resemble the owner’s family tartan, Ancient Murray of Tullibardine, and is in the shape of a five-pointed star which is part of the family’s emblem. The shortest way to its centre is only about 30 metres although there are over 800 metres of paths altogether. We walked something in between those distances!

The village of Scone once stood within the grounds of the Palace. However, when the medieval house was rebuilt in 1803 and the new Palace grounds were landscaped in 1805 the entire village was relocated two miles away and became known as ‘New Scone’. Aren’t aristocrats lovely?

There are still many reminders of old Scone around the grounds. The Ancient Burial Ground of Scone, above, is one. The Mercat Cross and 16th century archway which was the grand entrance to the ‘City of Scone’, below, are others. Some of the stonework has been nicely restored here.

Finally we paid our respects to the Highland Cattle, one of which had rather an alarming glint in its eye. Fortunately, they were safely behind a robust fence.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your stroll round Scone Place’s grounds. I’m linking it to Jo’s Monday Walks which this week has gorgeous blue Portuguese skies to cheer you up.


84 thoughts on “A stroll in the grounds of Scone Palace

  1. Eunice January 16, 2017 / 11:10

    Looks and sounds like a very intriguing place Anabel, I’d love to see what it looks like on a sunny summer’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jemima Pett January 16, 2017 / 14:30

    Despite my many visits to Perthshire I’ve never visited Scone Palace. Looks lovely, with or without Douglas Firs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne et Pierre January 16, 2017 / 14:52

    Lovely place and I am always fascinated by the pronunciation of words in English which have no relation to the spelling…so many exceptions. It makes English a language that is easy to learn but difficult to master…(Suzanne)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Liesbet January 16, 2017 / 16:06

    A white peacock. How curious! The burial ground looks spooky. Hopping over to Jo now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Birgit January 16, 2017 / 17:54

    I have seen white peacocks but didn’t know they were rare. I love this walk you took because of the beautiful archways and the old cemetery. The one with the angel/cupid on it and something else (I can’t figure out) looks like it would mean something??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 16, 2017 / 20:15

      I thought the one with the angel was creepy! The little figure seems to be holding an axe :-0 I know a bit about some grave symbols but not that one.


  6. Blue Sky Scotland January 16, 2017 / 18:00

    I’ve been driving by very close to the entrance gates dozens of times over the years but always with friends who were single minded and into hill-walking with no interest in palaces, stately homes or extensive grounds. Nice to see some photos of the place as I do like a wide range of other stuff if I get a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Retirementallychallenged.com January 16, 2017 / 18:08

    What a beautiful walk! That maze is so lovely dressed in its coppery leaves. I’ve seen white peacocks before and assumed that they were either albino or from a different pea-family. I hope leucism isn’t harmful to the bird. Do you know if they breed together?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anabel Marsh January 16, 2017 / 20:17

      I don’t think it’s harmful. I’m not sure about breeding – if the colours are to attract a mate, the white one might be at a disadvantage.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joylovestravel January 16, 2017 / 18:29

    I love Highland cattle – but definitely when they are behind a fence! I remember coming here when our son was small. We had a great day out, he was fascinated with the Stone of Scone (and how it was pronounced!). Lovely to revisit in your post Anabel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 16, 2017 / 20:19

      Yes, these ones looked particularly scary! Pronunciation in the English language is a strange thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. waternymph88 January 16, 2017 / 19:11

    Love this. Particularly the Highland cow – thought they were always orange – and that white peacock is just beautiful 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 16, 2017 / 20:23

      Most of the ones I’ve seen before have been orange too. I thought you would like the water nymph given your name!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. clicksclan January 16, 2017 / 20:01

    It looks like a lovely place to visit. I’ve love to go round the maze and that’s a great photo of the white peacock.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 16, 2017 / 20:20

      The maze was fun! Of course, we were beaten to the centre by a bunch of kids…….


  11. restlessjo January 16, 2017 / 20:25

    Not been there, Anabel, so many thanks for the introduction and the link. I like the maze too 🙂 I always prefer them when I can see over the tops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 16, 2017 / 22:08

      At one point I thought we might end up wandering there for ever. Or at least till they wanted to close the castle!


  12. Donna January 16, 2017 / 23:49

    I learn so much from your posts, Anabel….and now have a much longer ‘travel bucket list’ to boot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 17, 2017 / 07:11

      It’s a lovely place. So glad we got a second chance to visit after the summer washout.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Kathleen Jennette January 17, 2017 / 02:04

    Oh My gosh! This tour was truely one up my alley! I need to most definitely travel here! You are one very lucky traveling girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. BeckyB January 17, 2017 / 07:35

    Of course the debate i’s not just pronunciation, the other key question is how do you eat your scone?!

    Great post as usual ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  15. hilarymb January 17, 2017 / 08:48

    Hi Anabel – lovely photos and descriptions … what incredible stone carvings – and I bet there’s lots more to see and learn about … yes probably on my bucket list! Cheers and thanks for the tour … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann Coleman January 17, 2017 / 14:53

    Are the hedges in the maze always that color? When I first saw the photo, I assumed the leaves were just dead for the winter, but then you said the name was “copper beech.” Also, that last fellow was definitely giving you the eye…good thing there was a fence!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 17, 2017 / 16:59

      I had to go back to a picture I took of the sign at the entrance to check I had said the right thing there! Apparently the hedge is a mixture of normal and copper beech so I wasn’t quite right. This is autumnal for all of them. The copper beech is more purply earlier in the year apparently. I’m no botanist!

      Yeah, definitely giving us the evil eye that one was.


  17. Pit January 17, 2017 / 19:45

    I still fondly remember or visit to Scone Palace years ago. Thanks for reminding me again,


    • Anabel Marsh January 21, 2017 / 11:58

      How odd, I have just found this comment in Spam! After all this time, why would WordPress do that????


  18. Claire January 17, 2017 / 20:27

    I’ve just discovered I was only following you as Linley so no wonder I’m miles behind – the perils of having multiple personality disorder online! Another day out to add to my list now I’m based in Glasgow – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 17, 2017 / 20:36

      I’ve lost track of who you are too! It seems a while since I saw anything so maybe you’ve moved on to another blog?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Claire January 17, 2017 / 20:39

        Haha I do have many identities 😉 I’m just writing my personal blog at the moment (after the pilot project with the Vikings in Glasgow and baby ghosts in Stockholm!) while I work on some screenplay projects!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Anabel Marsh January 17, 2017 / 20:40

          Yes, I read both of those. Would like to read the endings someday! Found your other blog just now.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Claire January 17, 2017 / 20:42

            I remember and I appreciate it! The endings are on their way….

            Liked by 2 people

  19. Heyjude January 17, 2017 / 23:11

    Oh the copper beech is a delight! And now I am going to have to check my photos of a white peafowl to see if it is one of the rare ones or not. We didn’t have time to visit Scone so thank you for the tour. I do have some interesting Scottish headstones to share once I get up to that part of my trip! Taking a loooong time to write all these places up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 17, 2017 / 23:21

      I know the feeling! Still got a backlog of Scottish stuff then must get back to the American trip before it gets superseded by next summer……l

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heyjude January 17, 2017 / 23:26

        One good thing about this time of year is that it is not so enticing to get out and take photos and most of the gardens here are closed until Easter so having a backlog is useful!

        Liked by 2 people

  20. Elaine - I used to be indecisive January 18, 2017 / 12:09

    It is years and years (40 possibly!) since I visited Scone, and the main thing I remember is the peacocks! I don’t think I had seen peacocks ‘in the flesh’ before. So never mind all the history associated with the place, it was all about the birds wandering in the grounds for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 18, 2017 / 15:46

      These are probably descendants of the ones you saw then! There were quite a few of them and they hung around happily to be photographed.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) January 18, 2017 / 15:18

    A Highland Cow! Finally! I guess I know where I need to come to see one the next time I’m in Scotland. Except for the cow, I think the maze would be my favourite thing too, but I do like the burial ground also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 18, 2017 / 15:47

      We have loads of them in Glasgow too (highland cows that is) at Pollok Park – and they are the more traditional orange colour!


  22. the eternal traveller January 18, 2017 / 20:14

    What a clever idea to create the maze in a plant that gives such beautiful colour. I love mazes and this one is quite special. A friend of ours, who comes from Drymen, has the surname Douglas. I wonder if David is an ancestor. He knows he is descended from the Black Douglas, which is quite interesting I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 18, 2017 / 21:08

      I expect they are related somehow! Though Douglas is not an uncommon name so probably quite distantly. Drymen is not far from Glasgow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller January 19, 2017 / 10:14

        We stayed in Drymen in 1999 when we holidayed with our friends and had a wonderful time exploring that area. I would dearly love to return one day.

        Liked by 2 people

  23. RuthsArc January 19, 2017 / 09:31

    Thanks for sharing this delightful stroll. The autumn maze looks lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Green Global Trek January 20, 2017 / 12:25

    Wow fascinating place! All your photos are captivating. But the albino peacock is my favorite! Amazing! I like the stone carvings too. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Kasman January 20, 2017 / 21:58

    Drove past it quite a few times but never actually visited. Must go soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. lisadorenfest January 21, 2017 / 03:36

    I would love to explore that beautiful Murray Star Maze and see it from above as well. I am not familiar with Copper Beech Hedges nor have I ever seen a white peacock, but they are both quite lovely. Amazing that they moved the village of Old Scone to New Scone during the 1800s refit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh January 21, 2017 / 09:29

      I know, such arrogance! The little people were theirs to do as they liked with. Though maybe they got better homes out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. inesephoto January 21, 2017 / 20:08

    Thank you for sharing all these beautiful places. The stonework is amazing, and the Copper beech maze looks beautiful – love this tree. White peacock is gorgeous, and I would probably spend another hour walking behind him 🙂


  28. anotherday2paradise January 22, 2017 / 02:45

    What a lovely place, Anabel. I love the Copper Beech maze. It’s really unusual. The peacocks are so gorgeous.


  29. Glennie January 23, 2017 / 10:34

    The maze looks spectacular. Best wishes for Burns’ Night. I already have my Royal Stewart shawl out of the mothballs.


    • Anabel Marsh January 23, 2017 / 12:01

      Thanks! We are off to celebrate with friends at a local pub on Wednesday.


  30. susansperspective January 24, 2017 / 01:04

    What a lovely post you have here….and stunning photographs too. Thank you for sharing with me a place I will never be able to afford to visit in person. I love to see places all over the world and with descriptions and photographs such as these I feel like I was there with you. =)


  31. corinnevail January 24, 2017 / 15:03

    White peacocks and shaggy cows…my favorites!


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