The West Lothian region has a large and varied number of interesting features, none more so than Linlithgow Palace.
It was with a little regret that was the last leg of my Scottish scenic tour. As I said in a previous post, I decided to use this return route home for added interest and hope you all have enjoyed the variety over the last 3 or 4 posts ..... before I use the lovely scenic A68 route home over the border into England. I am no stranger to Linlithgow as I use a nearby farm for Bed and breakfast when visiting relatives in the area.
No doubt on another occasion I will have opportunity to take more pictures of the town.
The history of Linlithgow Palace began as a 12th century manor and was replaced by a castle like structure two centuries later when it was an important military route between the castles of Edinburgh and Stirling. In the following century the castle was destroyed by fire and it was decided that a royal palace should be built. Successive King James' added to the structure including the adjacent St Michaels church. Two infamous people always rear their head in Scottish history, one was Mary Queen of Scots who was born here and the other was the date 1745 and Bonnie Prince Charlie who passed through the town as he took his warriors south. Unfortunately the Palace was destroyed the following year by the Duke of Cumberland.
The church steeple of St Michael is a bit unusual to say the least. The original structure was taken down in 1820 as it had become unsafe. The structure that you see today is aluminium and was constructed in 1964 making the skyline of Linlithgow unique. I remember the first time I photographed it from a moving train at sunset.... as a photography beginner, it came out ok.
It was 2pm by this point and had hoped to have my late lunch next to the waters edge. However things didn't go according to plan as this fellow was not going to give me much peace to enjoy it.... he brought all of his pals with him !!
The River Forth seemed a better idea for a bit of peace although I couldn't resist calling into the Bo'ness railway on the way to see if there was going to be some heritage railway action. Unfortunately the railway was open the previous day but closed today so just a moment to do a photographic study of what a heritage Scottish highland railway bridge looks like.
Enough of railways, I was getting hungry so it was on to Blackness where there was a castle built on a vantage point reaching out into the River Forth. As you've already had a history lesson today, I'll just say that it is 15th century and was once used as a prison...
... it was also the scene in more recent times of a film location for the productions of Hamlet, Ivanhoe, Doomsday and more familiar to me .. The Bruce. Once when I was visiting relatives, I called in here for a look and entered into a film set full of catering vans and hundreds of extras. I remember the producer marching about 20 of the cast along the river bank for the next scene shoot whilst the extras helped themselves to more burgers !
The Castle that once kept prisoners in now has health and safety rules for keeping visitors in.
From the grounds, the famous Forth Bridge can be seen through the trees with a little added luxury... hey it's hardly Caribbean weather for that !
Finally, it was time for a very late lunch at 3pm where I could enjoy my last views of Scotland on this trip.