Having stayed overnight in Falkland, I had been hoping to visit Falkland Palace and the gardens there before I left, but it’s closed in winter (as many places are). I wasn’t too fussed as my day was going to be full visiting castles and ruins, particularly related to Outlander.
My first stop was to Aberdour Castle – again, closed, but I walked around and was able to peek over the walls and get a shot or two. It featured as the place Jamie recovered after his torture at the hands of Black Jack Randall at the end of the 1st series (in the tv show – I’ve not read the books).
Then it was on to the REAL highlight of the day – Lallybroch (real name: Midhope Castle), Jamie’s ancestral home. It’s actually an un-enterable ruin, but the outside is unmistakeable, and it was fun wandering around, sitting on the steps and looking through the archway, waiting for Jamie to return 😛 Just soaking it all in. Heads up, you do have to pay £3.50 for parking, but I figured it was worth it.
Next up was Blackness Castle aka Fort William – where Jamie was flogged by Black Jack, and also where Claire was captured and nearly raped by that self-same villain before Jamie comes in through a window to save her! This castle was also featured in The Outlaw King and various other films and tv shows. What’s particularly unique about this castle is its shape. It’s on the water’s edge and earned the nickname “the ship that never sailed” because of its curious and oblong design. Built in the 1440s it has a lengthy history, and many illustrious prisoners were held within its walls.
After Blackness, I went to Linlithgow Palace – it’s a palace ruin, not a castle as one might expect from it’s size, but it was made for pleasure and entertainment not defense and control. It was surprisingly extensive – with multiple below and above ground levels, I estimated 6 or 7 and they go around all lengthy 4 sides. I spent nearly 2hrs poking around, exploring, and just enjoying soaking up the essence and the bygone whispers of history. It was, however, quite cold out, and the sun was beginning to set, so I called it a day.
Although I swung by the grocery, I also ended up popping into The Old Post Office Pub and had a freaking phenomenal vegan burger and a pint of cider for a great deal. On my way back to the car, I stopped in a cute little fabric shop, Purely Patchwork. It was so delightful and so difficult not to buy all the beautiful fabric they offer! The woman did, however, give me the pattern to a quilting block I admired 🙂
To finish the day, I popped over to try and get a better view of the Forth Bridges, so headed over to Queensferry. The best place to see the bridges, in the day or lit up at night, would be the pier across from the Hawes Inn on Newhalls road. After a quick tour around the main road (super cute), I booked it back to the airbnb, which was so much nicer than I anticipated! It was drizzly and cold so I was happy to jump in a hot shower w/ a rain head, and then drink wine while cooking dinner and then watching a few movies! I slept fabulously.