This magnificent loch-side palace was begun by James I in 1424, and became a favourite royal residence – James V was born here in 1512, as was his daughter Mary (later Queen of Scots) in 1542, and Bonnie Prince Charlie visited in 1745. The elaborately carved King's Fountain, the centrepiece of the palace courtyard, flowed with wine during Charlie's stay; commissioned by James V in 1537, it's Britain's oldest fountain. Atop the northwestern tower are sweeping views from Queen Margaret's Bower.
Visit on a Sunday in July or August and you'll be able to see the courtyard fountain in action. Summer also sees the palace wind the clock back to medieval times with its two-day Spectacular Jousting tournament – check dates online.