Matthew and I dashed off for a weekend, and in the span of 3 days, we managed to stumble across six castles and a Palace. A couple of these places were so fantastic, that they warrant their own post... so, if I can find the time, I'll share them over the next few days (with more photos than you'd ever care to see). But for now, here's the mini rundown:
Blackness CastleBlackness Castle was in use up until the 1920s. (but I could be getting facts confused through this entire post, so don't quote me on anything). We had a great time roaming about the grounds and through the towers. We saw the prisons- the nice one with the window and fireplace for fancy prisoners, and the pit, a windowless hole that was so far below that the freezing sea water would come in and out with the tides. When we arrived at Blackness,it was literally at the end of a rainbow... Ah, Scotland. You do rainbows like no other place I've been!
Linlithgow PalaceLinlithgow Palace, and spent time in this palace during their reigns. It is thought to be haunted by Mary of Guise (mother of Mary Queen of Scots.. lots of Marys... got to keep them all straight). Now, it is partially destroyed, without a roof in several parts, but still very impressive. Walking through the halls and chambers, it is easy to imagine it in its former glory.
Airth CastleAirth again another time (especially since there is a spa! Castle + Spa = Happy Place)
Broomhall Castlemountains. Our room had a super deep claw foot bathtub and a ginormous bed (well, I think it was a king, but after sharing a double bed for the last few months, it felt ginormous to us!). The place was not very busy, but well staffed, so it kind of felt like we were royalty!
Menstrie CastleMenstrie Castle. Built in 1560, it is now 4 residential flats, and one was becoming occupied as we walked about. Kind of funny to be snapping photos as the moving guys unloaded the truck. I got the feeling that it was no big deal to live in or around this place... it was just part of a suburban neighborhood. It's as if this country is overrun with castles!