Hopetoun House is a magnificent stately home near Queensferry in West Lothian that was built between 1699 and 1701 by celebrated architect Sir William Bruce. Visitors can explore the grounds at their leisure and the house is occasionally open for guided tours. Discover Hopetoun House with this article which includes an overview and useful visiting tips.
|Opening times: 11am to 5pm (last entrance 4pm)
Open Days: Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon
Closed Days: Tues and Wed
|House and Grounds:
Groups (15+) £11.00
Family (2 + 2) £34.00
Young Scot Card Holder £1.00
|Free on-site car park
|0131 331 2451
|Cafe, toilets, guided tours, disabled access
Hopetoun House is situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh near South Queensferry in West Lothian, where it has been a dominant feature of the landscape for hundreds of years. This magnificent house was built in the late 1600s for the Hope family who built their wealth from their ownership of lead mines, and the present Lord Hopetoun and his family still live in the south wing.
The stately home is considered by many to be one of the finest in Scotland and the interior is filled with stunning collections of paintings, tapestries, and furniture that are kept in rooms that have remained virtually unchanged for over three hundred years.
The house and grounds are a popular venue for events throughout the year and there always seems to be something going on, whether it’s an Easter egg hunt, a ramble through the snowdrops, an arts and crafts event, or a fireworks spectacular. Keep an eye on the Hopetoun House events page for further details.
1: Hopetoun House, located near South Queensferry, is a prime example of 18th-century Georgian architecture. Visitors are often awestruck by its grandeur, which includes ornate decorations, magnificent staircases, and detailed stonework. This architectural masterpiece is surrounded by 150 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland which offer picturesque views.
2: Hopetoun House hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year including seasonal events like Christmas fairs, summer garden parties, and Easter egg hunts. Visitors can take guided tours of the house and grounds, enjoy the tearoom, or explore the nature trails and wildlife of the estate.
3: Fan of Outlander? Lallybroch (actually Midhope Castle) is situated on the grounds of Hopetoun House. Check out the Guide to Outlander Filming Locations Near Edinburgh for details.
1: Be aware that the house isn’t open in winter and summer tours are guided only. There are no self-guided walks through the house, unfortunately.
2: Individual tickets are expensive but the season ticket is good value and is worthwhile for visitors planning on returning throughout the year.
3: Looking for more historic buildings in the area? Blackness Castle is a 20-minute drive up the road.
Hopetoun House is under the management of the Hopetoun House Preservation Trust which allows visitors to explore the house during the summer months. Guided tours are available seven days a week and there’s no need to book in advance.
Activities and events are staged throughout the year including music recitals and art exhibitions, and the house is also a popular venue for weddings and corporate events.
Both children and adults will love exploring the gardens where a diverse range of wildlife can be found in the 100 acres of fields and woodland, and maps are available to guide you through the many routes that have been laid out.
You’ll be in your element if you’re a bird watcher as there are lots of seabirds in the area courtesy of the nearby Firth of Forth, while animal lovers will enjoy seeing the resident herd of red deer.
One of the main attractions of Hopetoun House is the Stables Kitchen where top-quality Scottish food is served in a modernised stable block that was originally built in the 18th century. The seasonal dishes are sourced from local ingredients and are sold alongside traditional afternoon cream teas and home-baked cakes. Tables can be booked via the Hopetoun House website.
The house was built between 1699 to 1701 using a design from celebrated architect Sir William Bruce, but it was extended between 1721 to 1748 into the building that we see today by the wealthy Hope family who acquired the land in the 1600s.
Although the most impressive internal feature is the grand entrance hall which dates from 1752, it’s the outside panoramic view of the main facade that’s most impressive.
The wealth of the Hope family can be seen everywhere you look, and this includes the garden park that was landscaped in 1725 and remains much the same today as it was back then, and even includes a beautiful walled garden. On a summer day, there’s nothing more relaxing than taking a gentle stroll around these magnificent grounds.
Things to Do
Explore the Historic Hopetoun House: Step into the world of 18th-century aristocracy as you explore Hopetoun House’s grand halls and elegant rooms. Each corner of the house is filled with fascinating collections of paintings, furniture, and artefacts in rooms that have remained largely unaltered since the early 1700s.
Stroll through the Stunning Gardens: Enjoy a leisurely walk through Hopetoun House’s beautifully manicured gardens. Spread over 144 acres, the gardens are a horticulturalist’s dream, comprising extensive woodlands and lawn areas that feature gorgeous views over the Firth of Forth.
Orienteering: For visitors who fancy something a little different, a permanent orienteering course can be found at Hopetoun. The grounds of Scotland’s finest stately house are perfect for orienteering, which you can take part in by picking up a map from the ticket kiosk.
Attend a Traditional Scottish Event: Hopetoun House hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from Christmas fairs to summer garden parties and fireworks displays. These events often include traditional Scottish music and food, offering a fun experience for all ages.
Participate in a Falconry Display: Experience the thrill of a live falconry display at Hopetoun House. Expert falconers will introduce you to their feathered companions and even give you the chance to handle one yourself. This unique, hands-on experience is sure to be a highlight of your visit.
Things to Do Nearby
Blackness Castle. Linlithgow EH49 7NH. 23-minute drive.
A 15th-century fortress overlooking the Firth of Forth. Blackness Castle is known as the ‘ship that never sailed’ due to its unusual bow-shaped front. The castle features restored rooms, a Victorian pier and a military barracks with a shop and toilets. Nearby Blackness Bay has footpaths running along the shoreline.
Forth Bridges. Newton, Broxburn EH30 9SN. 14-minute drive.
The Forth Rail Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is best seen from this viewpoint on an elevated position just outside of South Queensferry. The small platform has parking for around 5 cars and offers stunning views across the three bridges and the Firth of Forth.
House of The Binns. Binns View, Linlithgow EH49 7NA. 20-minute drive.
A grand 17th-century country manor house that was home to the Dalyell family but is now managed by the National Trust for Scotland. In addition to tours through the house, there is a parkland trail and a woodland walk in the expansive grounds.
Queensferry Museum. 53 High St, South Queensferry EH30 9HP. 10-minute drive.
A small museum that showcases the rich heritage of Queensferry and neighbouring Dalmeny. The museum has a number of displays and artefacts collected from the area including the historic Forth Rail Bridge.
Forth Boat Tours. 2 Hawes Brae, South Queensferry EH30 9TB. 12-minute drive.
South Queensferry is the main departure point for pleasure cruises up and down the Firth of Forth as well as visits to Inchcolm Abbey. Ferries operate from the pier in the village centre.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hopetoun House famous for?
Hopetoun House is famous as one of Scotland’s most beautiful stately homes. It is renowned for its stunning architecture and lavish interiors, designed by prominent Scottish architects Sir William Bruce and William Adam.
What has been filmed at Hopetoun House?
Outlander (TV series), The Princess Switch 3 (film), The Princess Switch 2 (film), Rebus (TV series), Belgravia (TV series).
Hopetoun House was used as the setting for the Duke of Sandringham’s residence in Outlander. The grounds saw filming take place at Midhope Castle, which was the setting for Lallybroch (Jamie Fraser’s home).
Does anyone live in Hopetoun House?
Hopetoun House has been the family home of the Hope family for more than 300 years. The Earl of Hopetoun currently lives in Hopetoun House.
Is Hopetoun House open to the public?
Hopetoun House is open to the public daily from 10.30 am to 5 pm between April and September. The grounds are accessible at all times of the year.
See the official website for further details.