Adventures In Scotland 8

A cool morning when we woke. The weather we expect is back to stay with off and on rain showers. Everyone gets snacks packed, proper clothes together, and away we go.

The husband and I are taking turns driving and being the navigator so only one of us is completely fried at the end of each day. Driving here is enjoyable but it takes hyper concentration to be safe on these ever variant roads.

We decide to hit a few more castles. I know, how boring is that?! Coming from a country where there are no real castles to a country with more than the usual share, I want to see as many as I can,. The histories are so interesting. Sadly, often bloody and tragic. To be in power during the days of castle living meant to be in near constant defense of your power, land, and abode.

Linlithgow Palace our first stop of the day.  Built and developed over two centuries by successive Stewart kings, this palace was an exceptional locale for royal travel nestled between Stirling and Edinburgh. It is the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, though she spent only seven months of her life here.

Sadly after so much time and effort being put into this build, it went into overall decline in the 1600’s. I am happy to report there is quite a bit still intact though most has fallen into ruin. The courtyard fountain is the oldest working fountain in the UK.



This is the view from one of the bedchambers. Even today is a treat to peer out of.

This is one of the hearth ovens. The kitchen was quite a large space. My husband is standing in it to giver proper scale. He is about 6 ft tall and the hearth eats him. Imagine the amount of food that could be produced at any given time.

We spent more than an hour wandering around this vast space. As with the others, I want to see it how it was.


I love how the husband takes pictures of me taking pictures of other things.

Now for just a bit of random brain squirrel aside:

I would swear in a court of law that we are climbing damn near ever step there is to climb within the country of Scotland. I hope my legs and booty look improved by the time we get back to the USA because they deserve some reward for all this hardcore exercise I am putting them through. I think the maidservants were in seriously good shape for going up and down the stairs and corridors countless times per day. Too bad back then being thin with thighs and buns of steel likely meant you were of lower class. Sigh. No one can ever win the body image game. HA.

One thing to note, castles are FREEZING with or without a roof. There is little wonder why woman had to wear so many layers of clothing. Then I think, how did anyone use the “water closet” without help? I have been drinking hot beverages throughout the day not for the caffeine but to warm my hands and insides. I’ve spent most days shivering with a runny nose no matter how many layers I have on. Stone buildings may be good fortifications but they are COLDER than… well you know.

I am dreaming of having a very large plaid to wrap myself in wherever we go. I shall eventually order one out of the same tartan my husband’s new kilt is made of, but today the budget will not allow for it unfortunately. 

Now back to my regularly scheduled posting.

Blackness Castle is the very next stop for us.  It was originally a residence for the Crichton family in the 1440’s then was taken back by the king undergoing a major reno in the 1600’s. I just love seeing renovation dates in the 1500-1600’s.  The home and garden channel could have had roving reporters taking notes and drawings to share with others about modern renovation. This was all  before it would become a barracks in the 1700’s and a prison.



It is extremely bitter cold being just off the water. Being a prisoner here could only have been hell on earth.   Heating the living quarters when the Crichton’s lived here and into the times of the barracks must have been an enormous feat.


The ruin is difficult to get around in and as with many of these properties we are visiting, great care and proper shoes are required in not getting hurt during an excursion.


The boys are enjoying running amok as they are want to since there are generally very few other visitors. This is necessary since we are spending inordinate amounts of time in the small vehicle due to the hilariously long Scottish Miles.

Alas no more to see this day as we got stuck in terrible construction traffic for 40 minutes just a half mile from a destination. This driver got fed up and threw in the towel for a trip to Costco Edinburgh. Salad and hot dogs for dinner with a pizza take away for later. Yes a sanity play was sorely needed for all at that point. The boys completely love Costco dinner. Teenagers sometimes are very easy to please.

No matter it was a good day.


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4 thoughts on “Adventures In Scotland 8

  1. faerylandmom says:

    Caught up on all the posts, and I have to say that, so far, the hard hat pic is my favorite. Y’all are adorable. Also, I miss you. And also, I’m a wee bit jealous. (Maybe more.)


  2. Pomona says:

    I live just a mile from Blackness Castle – you do get used to the chill wind sweeping from the River Forth – but it helps if you’re born here!


  3. Sandra Ward says:

    Des – have you thought of compiling these into a Scotland/castle travel book for families.  Surely there is a market. 


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