First stop Blackness Castle.15th century fortress on the south shore of the Firth of Forth. Built around the 1440s. It is Fort William in the TV show Outlander. It isn't free to enter, and we did get our tickets ahead of time, but it probably isn't necessary on the off season. The view was beautiful.
The kids on top of the castle/fortress
The courtyard was full of uneven terrain and rocks. WE were told that when the fortress was active, this would have all been covered by sand to make it even for walking.
Our next stop was Linlithgow Palace. Again, we had tickets to visit this as well, but I don't think it is necessary to do that on the off season. This palace is no longer a palace as much as it is a ruin. You can go through almost the whole thing, but it is just empty rooms. It is enormous. It was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and has been here since the 15th century. It burned out in 1746 and left.
The end of this room is an enormous fireplace. Trying to picture this great hall in its hayday
View from the palace grounds
There is an enormous church on the grounds as well
Our next stop were these giant Kelpie statues. Pictures will not do it justice on how big they actually are.Kelpies are a mythical creature that are said to haunt the lochs and are in the shape of horses.
After the Kelpies, we went to see the Wallace Monument. We found this silly bench we found on our hike to Wallace monument
Kids are weird
View from the Wallace monument. William Wallace was a 13th century war hero in Scotland.
Our last stop was Doune Castle. Again - we had pre-booked tickets for this, but on the off season, it wouldn't be necessary. Originally built in the 13th century. It was rebuilt after the war by the Duke of Albany and then passed to the crown in 1425.
Outlander, One episode of Game of Thrones and almost ALL of Monty Python and the Holy Grail were shot here. We got the audio guide and Tim Curry did the voice. It was fun to learn about the history of the castle but also about the filming of Monty Python.
Arlington playing dress up
We have heard Mary Queen of Scots name daily since we arrived, so I had to pick up a book about her. And Mat collects rubber duck, so he got her duck likeness. I am sure you can see the resemblence.