Hopetoun House, a grand stately home near Edinburgh with an untouched Georgian interior, is one of the finest examples of 18th century architecture in the UK.
Surrounded by 6,500 acres of parkland, the house sits on the River Forth and has incredible views to the Forth Bridges and Blackness Castle.
Designed by William Bruce and built in 1699–1701, the house was extended by William Adam. Let’s take a walk around the gorgeous Hopetoun House Estate.
- WALK – To explore the estate, we followed the Spring Garden Trail and Sea Walk Trail. Download the Hopetoun House Estate map before your visit.
- BOOK – Tickets to the grounds are £5.50 per person. Tickets to the house and grounds can be booked together. It is worth booking in advance. The house and grounds are open Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday.
Hopetoun House Walks – The Sea Walk Trail and Spring Gardens
The estate can be explored on two routes, the Sea Trail and the Spring Gardens, which walked together are around 3 miles and give a great introduction to the estate’s English garden style landscape park in laid out in 1725 by Robert Adam.
Starting at the rear of the house on the Sea Walk trail, the woods follow the curve of the Firth of Forth and in spring are full of snowdrops and then bluebells. The Sea Walk Trail is well marked with numbered signs.
Your first port of call are the tiny headstones of the Hope family pets hidden amongst the flowers before heading into the woods. Reaching the edge of the Forth, look out over the park for signs of the estate’s 30 red deer. Keep an eye out for the stag!
The woods are filled with ancient trees – one yew is over 500 years old and there are imported Western Hemlock, Cedar and Sarawa Cypress trees amongst native varieties. Three cedar trees on a mound mark the site of Abercorn Castle which was demolished by William Adam when he renovated the estate.
There are views across the forth all the way around the walk, across to Fife – including Rosyth, Limekilns and Charlestown and down the river to Blackness Castle and the tower of Loganet power station.
Pass the East Bastion Viewpoint to find the pretty Hope’s Walk bounded by gorgeous rhododendrons, look out across the south deer park for Fallow deer.
Joining the Spring Garden walk, the path takes you through the formal gardens to the bowling green, past a folly – The Pulpit with its statue of Salome is by John Skelton. Behind the pulpit is the Dawn Redwood, gifted to the estate by the Duke of Northumberland.
Also hidden in the Spring Garden is a Giant Redwood and a Morinda Spruce. The Morinda was planted at the estate in 1822 with seeds brought back from the Himalayas. The tree was the first Morinda Spruce planted and grown successfully in the UK.
Your walk now brings you back to the car park at the front of the house.
Outlander Hopetoun House & Midhope Castle / Lallybroch
For fans of the TV series Outlander, Hopetoun House was the home of the Duke of Sandringham.
The Sea Trail and the lawn to the back of the house was the location for the duel between the Jamie, the Duke and the head of the McDonald clan in series 1. Scenes including Jamie teaching Willie to ride a horse. The house was also used in series 2 for scenes of Paris!
Also on the estate is Midhope Castle which is Lallybroch, the family home of character Jamie Fraser. Midhope Castle dates to the 15th Century. The castle is visited separately to the grounds of the house and costs £4.00 per person + booking fee. You can book tickets for Midhope Castle online.
Who owns Hopetoun House?
Hopetoun House is a private home, owned by the Hope Family. Lord Hopetoun and his family live in the house.
The stables tea room
After your walk pop into the gorgeous Stables Tea Room at Hopetoun House (currently closed due to Covid 19) or grab a takeaway cake and coffee from the van outside the house. Once the stables are open fully, why not book a traditional full Scottish Afternoon Tea?
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, although they must be kept on a lead.
How to get to Hopetoun House
Hopetoun House is to the west of South Queensferry. For sat nav use the postcode EH30 9RW and then follow the brown signs to the House. There is free parking at the Estate, but no access by Public Transport.
Book tickets to the Hopetoun House and Grounds online.
Love, from Scotland x
I’m Kate – a travel writer and photographer living in Scotland. Love, From Scotland is the Scotland travel guide that shows you where to stay and how to get outside in Scotland.