You probably know by now, but we’re massive fans of Historic Scotland buildings. Not only are they basically everywhere in Scotland, but knowing we have free access to a castle generally encourages us to get out and visit. :) We celebrated the 4th of July this year by hopping on the train to Linlithgow, which is between Glasgow and Edinburgh. We hadn’t ever visited, but it’s easily accessible by public transport, which is a win! The walk to the castle is through picturesque town of Linlithgow, which features some rather tasty restaurants as well!
This palace is a ruin, so there are lots of steps, the ground is very uneven, and there are areas that are basically freestanding walls. We ended up leaving the pram at the entrance and carrying the kids around, although I can’t handle heights well, so I opted out of some of the taller areas. :) It was also a fantastic place for a certain toddler to run around and burn off some extra energy.
The Great Hall was absolutely incredible. The fireplaces were mammoth, probably over 7 feet tall just for the base.
Best known as the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, this “Pleasure Palace” was home to the Stewart kings, who oversaw the comfort and formality and maintenance of this massive abode. This room, where Mary was born doesn’t actually have a floor anymore, so this is looking up into her room. Today it is damp and chilly, but at one time, this was once a very luxurious palace, generally used as a retreat on the trip from Stirling to Edinburgh. The grounds are still beautifully maintained and can be accessed by anyone. The cost of visiting the palace is £7.20 for adults.
Directly outside the entrance to Linlithgow is St. Michael’s Church which is a beautifully preserved church. Their visitor guides are knowledgable and the ladies to run it are very gracious and helpful. Inside, on the back wall there are sword marks from where Cornwall’s troops sharpened their swords. Nothing brings history alive more than close encounters with Britian’s volatile past! There has been a church on this site for hundreds of years, dating back to King David gifting it to the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1138. It has since been burned down, had the roof replaced, and held both Catholic and Protestant services.
The interior of St. Michael’s is beautiful. The wooden roof rafters were replaced in 1808 with a plaster ceiling, as wooden beams were too costly due to the Napoleonic Wars. The beautiful, centre windows featuring ships, are a tribute to Charles Wyville Thomson, a local oceanic explored who died in 1882.
We had a lovely day here and I’m glad we can now check it off our “Castles to See” list. :) Well worth a visit!