Do something different this year and book a holiday on a boat or yacht to explore Scotland's lochs and canals.
Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fortress along from the village of Blackness, which is west of Edinburgh on the south shore of the Firth of Forth estuary. The castle was built by Sir George Crichton in the 1440s when Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, one of the main residences of the Scottish monarch. This is a Historic Environment Scotland property and is open to the public.
The castle passed to James II of Scotland in 1453, and the castle has been crown property ever since. It served as a state prison, holding such prisoners as Cardinal Beaton and the 6th Earl of Angus.
Sir James Hamilton of Finnart in the mid-16th century strengthened the castle and it became one of the most advanced artillery fortifications of its time in Scotland. Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650 managed to overcome the castle's defences. Some years after the siege after the castle was repaired it was used as a prison and a minor garrison.
Barracks and officers' quarters were added in the 1870s with the castle used as an ammunition depot. The castle was briefly reused by the army during World War I. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, in the care of Historic Scotland.
Approaching Blackness Castle along the coastal road from Blackness
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Visit Blackness Castle
You can find out more about Blackness Castle on wikipedia and also on the Historic Environment Scotland website.