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24 February 2022

Explore Linlithgow Palace virtually with the Junior Tour Guides

New film invites young people to embark on a virtual exploration of Linlithgow Palace with the help of the Junior Tour Guides

Junior tour guides in costume standing outside Linlithgow Palace

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is encouraging young people across Scotland to explore the magnificent Linlithgow Palace from wherever they may be, with the launch of an online learning resource including a new film today (23 February) starring the Junior Tour Guides from Linlithgow Primary School.

While Linlithgow Palace currently has access restrictions in place to allow for essential inspection work, HES have been focused on finding alternative ways to share its stories with families and young people across Scotland and continue to bring the site’s colourful history to life.

The film is the most recent instalment of the popular Junior Tour Guide scheme, launched by Linlithgow Primary School over 40 years ago and now in partnership with HES, which gives local children the opportunity to learn more about the history and heritage of the local site, by taking an active part in promoting it.

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Individuals can join the Junior Tour Guides in their finery, and in character as 16th Century Lords and Ladies, to learn more about the Stewart Kings and Queens, understand coded messages, learn palace etiquette, discover the food eaten at royal feasts, and practise a court dance. The film also has a selection of accompanying teaching resources to extend learning about the Palace, which hosted Scottish Royalty for over 600 years.

HES continues to work in partnership with Linlithgow Primary School and other schools across Scotland to deliver the Junior Tour Guides programme. This year the Linlithgow Junior Tour Guide scheme will focus on learning about the nature and history of Linlithgow Peel and its relationship with the palace, while access restrictions are in place at the site.

Craig Fletcher, Head of Learning and Inclusion at HES said: 

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic it’s been great to be able to continue delivering this project in a reimagined way, making use of digital technology and the young peoples’ creativity. We are delighted to be able to launch these new resources meaning learners can take a virtual tour of Linlithgow Palace from a classroom anywhere in the world, and who better to lead them on it, than the young people of Linlithgow themselves.

The film is a fantastic example of the creative, collaborative projects championed by Historic Environment Scotland that help to encourage young people to engage with heritage, imaginatively and on their own terms. ”

Closely linked to many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence, training as Junior Tour Guides is designed to increase pupil’s understanding and appreciation of their local heritage as well as helping them to build confidence and develop transferable life skills.

Illuminate UK, specialists in drama education, deliver the Junior Tour Guides training programme with HES. The film was created in collaboration with Media Education.

Karen McKenzie, Director at Illuminate UK said:

“Making this film marked 15 years for us of working in partnership with Linlithgow Primary School and HES on the Junior Tour Guide project. It is hard to express just how happy both the children and adults were during this shoot! This was a fantastic learning experience in a stunning location filled with creativity, history and laughter and we hope it shows in the quality of the children's performances.”

Robbie Taylor, Deputy Head at Linlithgow Primary School said:

"This Palace Tour Guide film was a new way to engage the children with so many aspects of learning, but also gave us a chance to be able to produce something that other children and adults could watch and learn from too. The Tour Guide programme enables our children to learn about the Palace which is at the centre of our community, while also gaining valuable life skills and helping them to build confidence."

The video is part of a suite of learning materials available to access on our website. Launched at the start of the pandemic, our Learn, Create and Play webpages bring together new and existing resources to help educators and families get inspired by Scotland’s past either in the classroom or at home. 

About Year of Stories 2022

The Year of Stories (#YS2022 #TalesOfScotland), led by VisitScotland, will be showcased throughout 2022 and will spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.

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About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Zoë Carpenter
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962