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Witches, healers and kings

Family activity day

Illustration of James VI
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Map & directions

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX
By car

There is a public car park adjacent to the Palace at Broad Pavement. Please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website for more details.

Accessible parking spaces are located on Horse Wynd, just outside the Palace, on a first-come first-serve basis.

By train

Edinburgh Waverley. The Palace is a 15 minute walk from the station.  Visit National Rail Enquiries for times and fares.

By tram

The nearest tram stop is York Place. The Palace is a 20 minute walk from the station. Visit Edinburgh Trams for times and fares.

By coach / bus

Bus number 35 stops near the Palace.  Open-top tour buses stop nearby.

Limited free coach parking is available adjacent to the Palace. Alternative pay-and-display coach parking is available on nearby Regent Road.

By bike

A free-to-use public bicycle rack is located opposite the Scottish Parliament. Cycle hire stations are available nearby on both Holyrood Road and Abbeyhill, within a 5 minute walk of the Palace and The Queen’s Gallery. Visit Edinburgh Cycle Hire for details.

  • Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Saturday, 23 Oct 2021
  • 10:00 - 15:00
  • Included in Palace ticket or 1-Year Pass
Child with herbs


Over 400 years ago a local 'wise women', Agnes Sampson, was accused of witchcraft and brought to the Palace of Holyroodhouse for questioning by the King himself. Join us for a day of activities to explore more of this story and James VI's interest in witches. 

Family friendly Short talks 

Who was Agnes Sampson- and why did James VI believe she was a witch? 

These 15 minute talks will take place at 11:00, 12:00 and 14:00.

Holyrood Herbs 

In the past, it was believed that ‘bad air’ could spread infection and disease. People would often use plants and herbs to make the air smell better. Find out more about herbs and plants, and make your own sweet-smelling bag to take home.

Potions and playwrights

His name was Macbeth, and his name was made famous by playwright William Shakespeare. Find out about Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or, The Scottish Play, and learn about James VI’s connection to it, before hearing the spell of the three witches- and see if you can create one of your own.




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