Nesting swan at Lochleven Castle

This morning, benefiting from sunny, dry weather we embarked on a trip, ex-Edinburgh. as follows:

  • First, to Linlithgow Palace, a former Stuart royal palace on banks of a loch (lake). Thus former high status residence is where Mary was born on or about Dec 7th 1542 although the actual room is no longer intact. In 1746 the palace was destroyed by fire, apparently accidentally, in course of occupation by Redcoat soldiers.However, the basic stone structure remains intact and makes for a rewarding visit and insight into the Renaissance period.

Linlithgow Loch

Great Hall at Linlithgow Palace

Courtyard at Linlithgow Palace

  • Next to St Michael’s Church which is located very close to the palace and is where Mary was baptised shortly after her birth. This church was originally used for Catholic worship but is now part of the Church of Scotland ¬†and Presbyterian.

Inside St Michael’s Parish Church

  • Next to Lochleven Castle which is on an island in Loch Leven and accessed by boat.Prior to visiting the castle we embarked on a short walk around the Loch shore and encountered unusually large swarms of non-harmful midges which are common at this time of year at this locality. This is a short-term phenomenon. The millions of chironomids do not feed as adults and only mate when they swarm. After egg-laying, and if conditions are right, more of the insects will hatch again in three weeks.

Swarm of flies at Loch Leven

  • Mary was held at Lochleven Castle, as effective prisoner, during part of 1567 during which time she ¬†isacrried twins and then managed to escape using combination of own ingenuity and inside help.

Loch Leven, Scotland

Lochleven Castle

  • Next to Castle Campbell which is located high in the Ochills near Dollar. Mary attended a wedding here during mid-winter 1563. This high elevation site offers superb views of the village of Dollar and east of Scotland. Our visit coincided with filming for a BBC TV series.

Castle Campbell

View east from Castle Campbell

Castle Campbell

Finally, we returned to Edinburgh at about 5.30 pm.

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