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The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day by Canaletto

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Writing the Palace: Walter Scott and Holyrood's history

Painting of Walter Scott


In the early decades of the nineteenth-century, the most famous writer in the world was an Edinburgh lawyer named Walter Scott. His poems and novels were global bestsellers. Many of Scott’s stories took as their subject Scottish history, featuring people, places, and events which had shaped the nation; and many were closely connected with Edinburgh’s royal residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

To mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, explore Scott’s writing of Scotland’s stories through resources, short talks, activities and more throughout 2021. Check this page and follow us on social media to keep up to date as we explore this fascinating figure, the courtly characters represented in his works and his royal readership.

Find out more

Scott and Holyrood

Discover some fascinating facts about Walter Scott and his connection to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Family Activity

Be inspired by Walter Scott

Explore Scott's writing and the Palace of Holyroodhouse with this children's activity.

Short talk

Walter Scott's royal readers

Find out about Scott’s Holyrood-inspired historical novels and his royal readers in our weekly short talks.

Walter Scott storytelling festival day

Join us for a day of activities for the whole family to enjoy.