Are you looking for a way to really get to know Scottish culture? Do you want to dive into the Scottish countryside and get to know some towns and people, off the beaten path? Perhaps you’ve been to Scotland before, or have a longer vacation planned, or merely want to avoid the crowds of tourists visiting Edinburgh for Hogmanay this year. Whatever your reasoning may be, Linlithgow is the perfect city for you. A quaint little town in between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Linlithgow has something for everyone in the family to see and enjoy.
1. Take the kids to play prince and princess at Linlithgow Palace
One of Linlithgow’s biggest attractions is Linlithgow Palace. The palace is partially in ruins, but has lots of interesting history, with sketches of what the areas used to look like. With so many rooms and flights of stairs, you could easily spend all day here. Its ancient castle feel is great for the kids to play pretend, and they will surely be able to expend some energy on the hundreds of flights of stairs.
Address: Linlithgow Palace, Kirkgate, Linlithgow EH49 7AL, UK
Opening Times: 1 April to 30 September: Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm, 1 October to 31 March: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm
Website: Linlithgow Palace
2. Take your history buff dad to the Linlithgow Museum
Delve into the storied history of this ancient town at the Linlithgow Museum. The museum features three large galleries, each offering a wealth of information on diverse aspects of Linlithgow heritage.
Over at Gallery 1, you’ll learn all about Linlithgow’s impeccable royal connections as the celebrated birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gallery 2 houses interactive exhibits on Linlithgow’s local industries, including explosives and pharmaceuticals. Your little ones can get their hands on ‘make your own medicine’ and 'design your own banner’ activities. Rounding up the tour, Gallery 3 offers a collection of fascinating local artifacts, such as the Scotch Brigade banners and Tam Dalyell’s typewriter. You’ll need a whole afternoon for this trip back in time!
Address: 93 High St, Linlithgow EH49 7EZ, UK
Website: Linlithgow Museum
Opening hours: Mon, Wed - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed on Tues)
3. Take your grandmother to St. Michael's Parish Church
Another one of Linlithgow’s major attractions is the beautiful St. Michael’s Parish. The cathedral is located in the same courtyard area as the palace itself, which means minimal walking and is a perfect destination for your Grandmother, aka the Stained Glass Connoisseur, or whoever you know who loves architecture, really. If you’re there on a Sunday, try and catch one of the morning services and listen to the organ pipes in action.
St. Michael's Parish Church
Address: St. Michael’s Parish Church, The Cross, Linlithgow, EH49 7AL
Website: St. Michael’s Parish Church
4. Let your mother relax at Linlithgow Loch
Let’s face it, by this point, your mom probably deserves to relax. So head over to Linlithgow Loch and have a nice picnic on the grassy banks, where lords and ladies used to wander away their summer evenings. The Loch is only a stone’s throw from the palace, but opens up onto a gorgeous hillside view of Linlithgow, and has plenty of trees for lounging in the shade or tanning in the sun.
Address: 212a High Street, (At Loch Side), Linlithgow EH49 7ES, UK
5. Take your brother, the history buff, to the House of the Binns
If you’re dropping by Linlithgow during the summer months, you’ll definitely want to check out the House of Binns. For your brother, the history buff, Binns provides a unique take on history, in the form of a noble house tour. The present house was built by a wealthy merchant in 1612 and has been kept in immaculate condition, ever since. Wander through and listen to the legends and stories that accompany the family and Mr. Thomas Dalyell (the man who built the House of Binns). Some of the stories might shock you!
The House of the Binns
Address: House of the Binns, Edinburgh & The Lothians, Linlithgow, EH49 7NA
Website: The House of the Binns
6. Linlithgow Canal Centre - for everyone because who doesn’t like a boat ride?
At the end of the day, make your way over to the Linlithgow Canal Centre and make everyone happy by going on a boat ride. The Linlithgow Canal Centre offers three different boat cruises, up and down the town: take a short town trip, an aqueduct cruise, or the Falkirk Wheel cruise (all come equipped with a crew that provides commentary). Be sure to check in advance and make sure there are boat cruises on the day you’ll be there. Or, if you’re planning to go in August, check and see if you’ll be in town for Canal Fun Day. Boat tours aren’t running during this time, but there are plenty of other wonderful activities going on, just the same.
Linlithgow Canal Centre
Address: Linlithgow Canal Centre, Manse Road Basin, Linlithgow, West Lothian EH49 6AJ
Website: Linlithgow Canal Centre
Now that you've got six great options for the family, go explore!
Linlithgow is an adorable little city, with lots of friendly people and places to visit, and it’s perfect for those who want to branch out and explore more of Scotland, on their own. Although it’s small, the town has a variety of things to do and see and enough attractions to keep everyone in the family happy. From castle exploring, to relaxing by the lake, Linlithgow has plenty of options to choose from and both you and your family are sure to feel as content and fortunate as a set of noble lords and ladies on vacation, in the beautiful green hills of Scotland.
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