Two miles west of South Queensferry is Hopetoun House, which thoroughly deserves its reputation as 'Scotland's finest stately home'.

Set in 100 acres of magnificent parkland, including the Red Deer park, the house is the epitome of aristocratic grandeur and recently celebrated its 300th birthday. Hopetoun House is perhaps the finest example of the work of William Burn and William Adam. It is, in fact, two houses in one. The oldest part was designed by William Bruce and built between 1699 and 1707. In 1721 William Adam began enlarging the house by adding the facade, colonnades and grand State Apartments. It was built for the Earls of Hopetoun, later created Marquesses of Linlithgow and part of the house is still lived in by the Marquess of Linlithgow and his family.

It was originally built by Sir William Bruce, the architect of Holyrood Palace, for the 1st Earl of Hopetoun, Charles Hope with the commission being signed by the Earl's mother as he was only 16 years old at the time.. The estate had been acquired in 1678 by his father, John Hope, even though John was was never able to live on the property. He died in a shipwreck accompanying the Duke of York, the future James VII of Scotland (James II of England).
 
Work on the house began in 1699 with the construction of the central body that was extended in 1712 by William Adam. Following his death in 1748, his three sons, John, Robert and James, were responsible for the interior decorating between 1752 and 1767. Inside the house, the staircases and the wooden paneling with inlaid flowers and fruits are by Bruce, while the salons with their stuccoed and gilded ceilings display touches of Adam.
 
On August 29, 1822, Sir John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun, welcomed George IV to his home during his visit to Scotland, the first sovereign to set foot in the country after Charles II.
 
The Hope family created a charitable trust in 1974 to ensure the preservation of Hopetoun House, opening the main rooms to the public and reserving a wing of the house for themselves.

The house contains a large collection of art treasures and the grounds are also open to the public. You could come here and pretend you're a member of the aristocracy for the day, then go back to your tiny B&B and weep.

Adam Hope
0131 331 2451
EH30 9SL
South Queensferry
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Sholto Ramsay Monday, 14 May 2012 5 Print