Windy Linlithgow and its Cool Palace

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My hair flutters around my face, sneaks into my mouth and tangles in my neck when I reach out of a window. The wind blows from the loch where a group of brave fishermen hunch in their small boats. It blows over the green neatly cut grassy fields pushing and pulling the dog walkers and making the tourists quiver.

I retrieve from the window and move to the cover of the big stone walls. The stones are cold and the room I stand in provides no warmth as the fire that used to light the fireplaces has burned dead years ago. There is an interesting looking passage on the right corner: narrow corridor with low ceiling leads to darkness. Maybe that will take me to the cellars or maybe I’ll find another kitchen from the other end. A pigeon flies past me and somewhere in the darkness its friend calls after him.

The ruin of the Linlithgow Palace is an interesting and fun day trip destination. The admission is not as painfully high as for Edinburgh or Stirling castle: only £5.50. The Royal Palace is, of course, a ruin so it does not have as much to offer as the big castles, but here you can wander around freely without having to stand in line or steer through annoying crowds. My friend and I explored the rooms, corridors and stairways like little children (I think kids will like this place even more than I did), dark cellars, small corners, and he great hall were all accessible.

The lady at the entrance advised us to tour the ruins in chronological order starting from the oldest part of the palace, which was built in the 1400s, following the information signs and ending our visit to the newer parts and then climbing up to the tower with a view over the town. We got astray from that route after the second room. But that is the beauty of the palace. No “wrong ways” and no “keep out” signs or “do not lean” commands.

Had the day been a bit sunnier it would have been lovely to go to the park next to the Palace and have a little picnic on the grass. Unfortunately, it was insanely windy and rather cold, so we decided to visit Linlithgow’s shops and cafes. We got rid of chills and cold fingers with hot tea and sweet cakes at Vintage Tearoom. Even though the town is small it has nice cafes and we found some strange shops full of random stuff. We also got a glimpse of a wedding party that was celebrating a spring wedding at the St Michael’s Paris Church. Cherry blossoms, bagpiper and dressy people. Quite a nice place.

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