BORTHWICK CASTLE stands off the A7 road just about 10 miles south-east of central Edinburgh. The renovated castle features 10 en-suite guest rooms and traditional evening Scottish meals are provided in the Great Hall. Single rooms, including breakfast, start at £80; double rooms are priced from £95. The castle opens from March to 2nd January. For further information, please write to: Borthwick Castle, North Middleton, by Gorebridge, Midlothian EH23 4QY. Tel: 01875 820514.
NEARBY: Two other castles associated with Mary, Queen of Scots, lie within a short distance of Borthwick. Both are in the care of Historic Scotland. Crichton Castle, where Mary attended a wedding, was initially constructed in the 14th century, and underwent extensive modifications at the hands of the Earl of Bothwell following his trip to Italy in 1581. The reworked façade imitates the Palace at Ferrara. After the 16th century, the castle fell into disrepair until recently when it became protected as a historic landmark. It lies off the A68 road, about three miles south-west of the village of Pathhead. Tel: 01875 320017.
Craigmillar Castle, three miles south-east of Edinburgh, provided the setting for the plot to murder Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley. The well-preserved castle stands in 11Ž4 acres of gardens. Tel: 0131 661 4445.
Somewhat further afield, off the M9 motorway in Linlithgow, stands Mary’s birthplace, Linlithgow Palace. The Palace has also been home to the Stuart kings, Cromwell, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Tel: 01506 842896.