Welcome to The Dunstane Houses

A breath of fresh Orkney air in the heart of Edinburgh

Why book direct
  • Best rates – we’re never cheaper elsewhere
  • Free room upgrades for stays of 4 nights or more (Nov–Mar)
  • Bottle of Joseph Perrier champagne with suite bookings
  • Flexible cancellation policy
  • Reduced rates for local attractions

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Royal Jubilee Package

An experience fit for a Queen. Enjoy the best of Dunstane Houses and Edinburgh this Summer.

Mary Queen of Scots is a name we are hearing more and more around Edinburgh these days. Possibly because the upcoming film of her turbulent life, is being filmed right here in the capital, as Richard Mellor from the Metro found out when he recently took a tour with our tame Highlander!

Who Was Mary Stuart?

Mary Stuart was born just half an hour from the Dunstane Houses at Linlithgow Palace, on the 8th December 1542. So, if the films release date stays as the 7th December, it’s going to be released the day before Mary’s 476th birthday…just a random fact for you! Mary became Queen of Scots when she was just 6 days old, her father dying of an unknown illness at Falkland Palace. Falkland being another famous location near us, isn’t that right Outlander fans!

Anyway, a short run down of what happened to poor Mary. She spent most of her life in France, married the Dauphin Francis and they fell madly in love. They reigned as King and Queen for about a year, before he sadly died of an ear infection. Mean while, John Knox (who will be played by David Tenant in the film) had led religious reform in Scotland and the country was now Protestant. Young widowed Mary decided it was time to come home, despite being Catholic her people welcomed her and she was allowed to practice her own faith. She reigned peacefully for while, until her marriage to Lord Darnley set in motion a series of unfortunate events. Manipulated by her enemies, Darnley betrayed her, thinking he would become Queen. Instead, after threatening his heavily pregnant wife and murdering her secretary inside Holyrood House, Darnley himself was murdered just outside Edinburgh. By Lord Bothwell. Who married Mary three months later. Suspicious or coincidence? Who knows.

Scotland fell apart a bit after this, uprisings from the Protestant Lords led to Mary being imprisoned at Lochleven Castle in Fife and abdicating, making her infant son King James VI. Meanwhile Protestant Elizabeth I had lived her life in constant fear of her Catholic cousin Mary taking her throne, and Catholic Mary had been thinking the same of her Protestant cousin Elizabeth. Still with us? Having never met, and despite having a great fascination for each other, the fear of Mary taking her throne and giving Catholics hope, even while a prisoner, led Elizabeth to order her execution. Mary was executed on the 8th February 1587.

See It For Yourself

To celebrate the upcoming blockbuster, based on the book by Professor John Guy ‘My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots‘, we have put together a special Mary Queen of Scots Getwaway. Our very own tame Highlander, Andy, will take care of you as you travel back in time to experience Mary’s story first hand. Find out the secrets of the iconic castles and palaces talked about in Mary’s story and breathe life into the legend.

Day one you’ll check into the luxurious Dunstane Houses, enjoy a regal afternoon tea and generally feel like a Prince(ss). Get a good sleep in those insanely comfy beds and carb-load with a full Scottish breakfast as a packed day lies ahead. A full day tour of some of the key sites of Mary’s reign before back to us for a three-course dinner and whisky tasting. Day three, Andy will be back to whisk you off to the Isle of Bute to see Mount Stuart House, with exclusive access to the execution book that chronicles the end of Mary’s life. Leisurely lunch, perhaps with a spot of sword fighting with Andy, before you head back to the hotel.

Full details of the getaway are here or you can call us to discuss on 0131 337 6169.