My last two blogs were providing some ideas on visiting St Andrews and/or Edinburgh.
Today’s blog will give you some other options, some of which would tie in with a visit either to Edinburgh or St Andrews.
If you are an Outlander fan you will spot a few filming locations, if you love modern Scotland there is something in it for you too.
If your cruise ship docks at Newhaven, you are about 35 mins away from the amazing Hopetoun Estate. If you are docked at Sout Queensferry you are only 10 mins away.
The Hope family, who own the estate for 300 years, opened a big part of Hopetoun House to the public as far back as 1970. They still have volunteers who started back then. That alone says something about this wonderful place. The house is situated in the most amazing grounds.
The house dates back to 1699 when Sir William Bruce created a comfortable country house, which was completed by 1707. Only 14 years later the house was renovated by William Adam who cleverly converted it into this Versailles-like palace. Its importance was highlighted in 1822 when King George IV visited.
Nowadays the house is often used as film or wedding location and international horse trials also take place on the grounds.
Next stop could be the nearby Midhope Castle, which was Lallybroch in Outlander (Hopetoun House was Sandringham). Midhope dates back to the 15th century and one could assume that it may have fallen into disrepair as the Hope family moved into Hopetoun House. In any case by 1923 it was a ruin.
Staying a little with the Outlander trail we will visit “the ship which never sailed” Blackness Castle. This one has little interior since it was used as a prison but sits in the most beautiful spot. If you have grown hungry by this time you may want to have a wee bite at the Lobster Pot.
Mary Queen of Scots resided often at Linlithgow Palace, which again nowadays is a ruin, but the Outlander film crew was here too:
From here we turn to a much more modern Scotland with the Kelpies. The entire area was heavily involved in caol mining with union canal being the main means of transportation. Horses were used to pull the boats and in 2013 Andy Scott created these gigantic horse sculptures in honour of all the horses serving here.
Not too far away the Scottish government invested in reconnecting the Union and Caledionian canal. Instead of utilising the old 13 locks (some of which were built over) the Falkirk Wheel was constructed.
From here we travel on to the other side of the Forth to view one of the oldest coal mining areas: Culross. Due to a flood caol mining came to a halt here and in the 1950ties the palace and surrounding houses were all pretty derelict. The National Trust renovated and amd today you are presented with the cutes old town.
From here we will head back to the cruis ship. There are quite number of other attractions in this area. Depending on your travel habbits you might opt to select only a few of these locations to delve in deeply or you might go totally the other way.
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