I was pleased to visit Linlithgow, a first visit and I am delighted I made the visit. Many people see Linlithgow to only have the Palace and was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scot, but having visited I’ve learned there is a lot more to see and do, did you know that it has a canal running through it, I certainly did not! Also, as it’s so easily reached from both Edinburgh, where we had travelled from and Glasgow by car or train, makes it ideal for a day out! This is my brief insight into what a day could entail, but for more ideas and information, you are able download the Linlithgow App for their Heritage Trail, Events and general Guide http://www.linlithgow.com
My day started at the Star & Garter Hotel Bar, where the Mary’s Meanders of Linlithgow historic tour started. Mary’s Meanders provides both Historic and by the end of March will be offering Outlander Tours based on the popular TV series and where the filming of these took place in around the local area. http://www.marysmeanders.co.uk
Just outside the Hotel the little roundabout has marks in the road, marking where the Wall of Linlithgow once stood.
Just a short walk along the very picturesque and Historic High Street of Linlithgow, stands the St Michael’s Well, which dates back to 1720. On the top of this is the winged figure which we were told had been restored in 2010 and the towns coat-of-arms ‘Black Bitch’. As a fact, they use to and still do say that if you are born in the town, you are a Black Bitch. To find out why, ask Anne the Tour Guide during your visit! In more recent times the most famous ‘Black Bitch’ is Alex Salmon, previous First Minister of Scotland.
Next up we went to see the Four Mary’s pub, which is named after four ladies-in-waiting for Mary Queen of Scot. The building it self dates back to about 1500 and another of the many historic buildings you will find in the High Street.
The old Sheriff Courthouse from 1863 is being converted by a local family to 24 luxury holiday apartments, located right in the city centre, only a stone through from the main square and a few moments from the Union Canal, its the ideal location for a small town city break. The family hopes to have the first section of apartments open later in 2015 and the second part by 2016.
For your easy walk through the Linlithgow Heritage Trail, follow the Green circular plaque as shown below.
We also had time for a quick trip on the Union Canal with the Linlithgow Union Canal Society http://www.lucs.org.uk The canal sits between Edinburgh and Glasgow, 31.5 miles long. It goes via the Falkirk Wheel, so great also for a day or afternoon out. As I do love being on water I could easily have spent a lot longer sailing around in the local area.
It was great to also see the local farmers market with many great local products and produce on offer.
Burgh Halls http://www.linlithgowburghhalls.co.uk/ is one of the large exhibition and galleries in the town and you will find a café and restaurant within the stunning property. This landmark building dates back to 1670 and is also used as a venue for weddings and events.
Our final stop was the very grand and impressive Linlithgow Palace. Although a ruin there is still a lot of beautiful and historic features of the Palace. When you approach the entrance, you will notice the plaques on the wall of all the British monarchs since the birth of Mary Queen of Scot who were born at Linlithgow Palace in 1542. The Palace has been used for many films and photos shots over the years, the most recent the famous Outlander. With Mary’s Meanders you can join them in the footstep of Jamie and Claire (from Outlander) and explore some of the film locations in and around the local area, including Doune Castle and Blackness Castle. You would be able to finish of such a day with an Outlander or Scottish Dinner and traditional Scottish entertainment.
When we returned to Star & Garter, we were greeted by the local Scottish Band Boorach and treated to some of the both traditional Scottish music and also a few of the tunes from the Outlander series. Facebook: Boorach Band
After our visit to Linlithgow, we made a quick drive up the road to Stirling, my first visit to the city. We were lucky enough to have an opportunity to see the stunning Scottish Tapestry display. The views from the Castle are fantastic on a good day towards the Wallace Monument and towards the Bannockburn battle field.
Our final stop on route home was the impressive The Kelpies at Helix Park. No matter the weather it’s always a pleasure to visit these amazing 30m tall structures.
I would like to thank both Emma and Anne at Mary’s Meanders for arranging my visit and for a fantastic day out!