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On the Outlander trail: Blackness Castle, Scotland

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Blackness Castle, Scotland
Blackness Castle, Scotland: Outlander filming location
Blackness Castle, Scotland: Outlander filming location

Any Outlander fans amongst my readers?

Terry and I just finished binge watching the first two seasons of Outlander last week, and as well as clearing up a few things about why so many tourists think Scottish people all wear kilts and speak a bit funny, it also gave us plenty of opportunities to jump up from the couch shrieking, “WE’VE BEEN THERE!” when some of our beloved local landmarks appeared on the screen.

(I’m speaking for myself here, by the way: Terry’s not much of a shrieker, really…)

We’ve already been to Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison), Doune Castle (Castle Leoch) and Hopetoun House (The Duke of Sandringham’s residence), so last weekend we decided to take a drive out to Blackness Castle, near Linlithgow, which stands in for Fort William on the show. (The real Fort William being a couple of hundred miles north of here…)

 

Now, Terry and I have both been to Blackness a few times, but neither of us had ever actually been inside the castle, because I’ll let you into a secret: a lot of ruined castles can be a bit, well, boring once you’re inside them. Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome to look at, and I always enjoy walking around them anyway, but the more ruined they are, the less there is to see, and sometimes – sometimes – I can be a bit too cheap to want to pay to walk round a ruin, which you can see perfectly well from outside, anyway. Totally living up to those Scottish stereotypes there, as you can see…

B

lackness is not one of those castles, you’ll be pleased to know.

For one thing, it doesn’t seem quite right to describe it as a “ruin”,  exactly. Yes, it’s uninhabited, and, yes, there are bits of it which are, well, falling down, to be blunt, but it’s still mostly intact (So much so that when one of those unexpected Scottish downpours started while we were inside, we didn’t even notice: those are some thick walls, let me tell you…), and as you walk around, you get a real sense of what it must have been like when it was inhabited. It’s also much bigger than it looks from outside (the front of the castle is designed to look like a ship when seen from the water, to scare approaching enemies…), with one room leading into another, which leads to a treacherous-looking spiral staircase, which leads to yet another network of rooms, which… you get the picture. At one point we encountered a very confused looking couple who were walking around with dazed expressions, going, “But which door did we come in? How do we get out?!” They’re probably still there, actually…

 
interior of Blackness castle
interior of Blackness Castle, Scotland
man at work
 
Great Hall, Blackness Castle, Scotland
An Outlander filming location?

(The Great Hall looked very familiar to me, so either it’s been used as an Outlander filming location, or I lived there in a past life or something. Most likely to be the second option, I reckon. I’d like to think I was someone important enough to live in a castle, but, knowing my luck, I was probably a serving wench who died of consumption…)

 

Outside is even more impressive: the castle is built directly onto the rocks (I mean, can you even imagine how much that would cost you these days?!), and has views up and down the Forth. The courtyard is a very famous Outlander filming location, and is where they filmed that flogging scene, which I had to watch through my fingers, and which still haunts me to this day:

Outlander filming location: Blackness castle, Scotland

(Oh, look! That couple DID manage to escape after all: good for them!)

Blackness Castle, Scotland
 
the pier at Blackness Castle, Scotland
pier at Blackness Castle
 

We spent a couple of hours wandering around, although we could easily have stayed longer without running out of things to see. This was actually our first real day out of the summer, unless you count trips to IKEA, which I totally do: between my pregnancy and Terry’s mum’s illness, we’ve been pretty much housebound for weeks now, and it was just really nice to get out in the sunshine (Well, and the showers, obviously…) for a couple of hours, and feel like “normal” people again for a while. Just a little, while, granted, but hey: we’ll take every bit of “normality” we can get right now, no questions asked…

Blackness Castle, Scotland

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11 Comments
  • WeeBurd
    August 13, 2017

    Fellow Outlander fan here. 🙂 Looks gorgeous, Amber! I’m exactly the same as you, I love being able to say we’ve been there, so we’ve invested in Historic Scotland and NTS family memberships over the last couple of years- it only costs a few pounds a month per organisation, but for us (and especially having two kids), it makes a huge difference in entrance costs. Goodness just a family trip to Edinburgh Castle alone and your membership would be 2/3 paid for. And my kids are at an age now where they bigger so are more interested in the history, and have a slightly* longer attention span…

    * when I say slightly, I mean it! 12yro is the worst, “Is it lunchtime yet? When’s dinner?” 🙈

    Hope you’re continuing to keep well, my thought’s remain with Terry & his Mum. xxx

  • Laura Steel
    August 13, 2017

    This looks amazing! I’m a big fan of Outlander – I definitely recommend the books, if you haven’t already read them. X

  • Kristin
    August 13, 2017

    So I love Outlander and am visiting Scotland in September, so hopefully I can see this castle! I know what you mean about castle ruins. Sometimes they’re just so…ruined! But this one has so much to see on the inside, too. Glad you had a great summer day exploring it!

  • Victoria
    August 13, 2017

    I am binge-watching Outlander for the last few days too and I am feeling like jumping on the plane/train and getting to Scotland as soon as possible as apparently I miss it to bits!

    Thank you for sharing the images and the stories about filming locations. I hope I get to see them too!

  • Myra
    August 13, 2017

    I’ve never been to Blackness castle so need to add that to my places to visit one day. Love Terry’s photos
    I’m glad you managed to have a day out and some sunshine.

  • Emerald
    August 13, 2017

    Tantallon Castle is my favourite. One of my Glasgow friends says it was the inspiration for the infamous Red Wedding episode in GoT. Haven’t heard that said elsewhere, but it’s certainly atmospheric and with a real history of its own.

  • Carole lowrey
    August 14, 2017

    You lucky girl i to am addicted.

  • Tricia
    August 14, 2017

    I have to visit. Been to Falkland and did the pics with fountain looking up at Claire window. I shriek each time I see it “I’ve been there”. Enjoy your blog that you.

  • Erin
    August 14, 2017

    Gorgeous! I just had to google Outlander to see if I should be watching 😉

  • dubliner in deutschland
    August 16, 2017

    I love Outlander! Makes me want to visit Scotland again.

  • Mr & Mrs Gist
    January 30, 2018

    Wow, we are thinking of a short break to Scotland and stumbled across this post – it looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

AD | We’re spending a few days at @highlandheatherlodges in beautiful Perthshire, for what Terry is optimistically referring to as his ‘birthday week’. (I say ‘optimistically’ - we’re only here for three days, and his birthday was yesterday, but don’t stop believing, Terry!)⁣
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There’s a hot tub for us and a playpark for Max, so needless to say, we’re having a fantastic time, and I’m already dreading having to leave. Today’s big question: can I pass as an under-12, so I qualify for a pony ride at the nearby wildlife centre? 🤔 (On second thoughts, don’t answer that one...)⁣
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#thetraveltag #scotland_ig #visitscotland #scotland_insta #scotlandlife #scottishblogger  #stayandwander #travelbloggerlife #travelblogging #tblogger #thattravelblog #travellifestyle #travelpreneur #perthshire #scotlandinsta #reallifeandstyle #wearingtoday #igstyleblogger #fashiongrammerv

AD | We’re spending a...

AD | Time for a quick game of “Where’s Amber?”⁣
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It’s another rainy Monday, so I’m throwing it back to our trip to @universalorlando ‘s amazing Volcano Bay water park last month. I’m a bit of a scaredy when it comes to water flumes, but this park had tons of stuff for pretty much everyone: plenty of rides for me, and an amazing splash pad for Max 👶In fact, I’d still be on The Fearless River right now if I possibly could be. Still, doing the laundry and turning the heating on will be just as good, right? Right?! 🌋 🏊‍♀️ .
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#universalorlando #volcanobay #waterpark #lazyriver #vacay #floridavacay

AD | Time for a...

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. ⁣
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I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ ⁣
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(Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂)⁣
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#pbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk #ukmumblog #mumblogsuk #mumblogs #mamablog #ukparentbloggers #parentbloggersuk #ukparentingblog #parentingbloggers #motherhoodblogger #motherhoodblog #ukblogger #ukofficialblogger #happyblogger #mummyblog #bloggerclubuk #instamum

Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 ⁣
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They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. ⁣
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If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 ⁣
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Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
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#whatiwear #30plusblogs #everydaystyle #realoutfitgram  #scottishbloggers #fashionblogger  #fashionblog #fashionstyle #whatimwearing #stylegram  #outfitoftheday #personalstyle #todayiamwearing #styleinspiration 
#stylediaries #styleblogger #over30style

#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
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#littlepiecesofchildhood #cameramama #chikdhoodeveryday #childofig #celebrate_childhood #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

I posted this on Stories...

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On the Outlander trail: Blackness Castle, Scotland