Blackness Castle, the boat that never sailed

It's years since I've visited Blackness Castle and indeed quite a while since I've walked on the beach next to it come to think of it. David and I didn't fancy travelling far on our day off so we headed up to the River Forth and Blackness Castle. The sun was shining and it felt quite warm too, not to bad for the beginning of March. We chatted with the ticket guy about the filming of Outlander there as you do as a fan. We noticed the series has left a trail of products through the shop.

Approaching the castle

One of the great things about today's trip was Bracken could go around the castle with us, Historic Scotland seem to be very tolerant of well behaved dogs and their well behaved owners in their properties these days, which makes for a great day out for all of us.

Exploring the castle

We were lucky with the weather as the sun was out and it wasn't too cold either. There's lots of climbing stairs indoors and out so wear comfy footwear, but the views are well worth it. From the mountains of Ben Lomond and Ledi to the west and north and right out beyond the Forth bridges to the east and the Ochil hills to the north, there's plenty to see.

The trio of Forth Bridges from Blackness Castle

The Ochils with a sprinkling of snow

Originating in the 15th century this castle has been both fortress, prison and noble home, protected by it's huge impressive curtain walls and boat shape this building has withstood wars and prisoners until Oliver Cromwell broke it's defences in 1650. Finally decommissioned after the first world war it was then passed into the care of the nation as a tourist attraction.

Inside one of the towers

The banqueting hall

From the towers you can walk around the curtain walls, looking down into the rocky courtyard or over into the river Forth. There are plenty interpretation boards around the castle explaining every day life for the inhabitants and about the history of the castle. We passed a pair of pigeons enjoying the sun on the wall, they weren't phased by us passing. 

Modern castle inhabitants

Bracken and I at the top of one of the towers

Looking back at the castle from the walls

Back down into the courtyard the walking is trickier as a lot of the surface is the original rock. Here down at sea level you can imagine on a stormy night the water thrashing against the thick walls, seeping in through the gateway to the pier, it must have been cold and exposed keeping watch a few centuries ago.

If you are an Outlander fan you might recognise this scene  (minus the fuzzy dog) both in the 1700's and 1960's

An imposing building

After walking around the castle and walls we walked out onto the pier where you feel you are out in the middle of the river. From here you can also get a sense of the boat shape of the castle and see why it was called the boat that never sailed. Bracken is never keen to walk over bridges or wooden walkways so he was pleased to get back on solid land. 

Walking out to the pier

The castle from the pier

Longannet from the pier

After visiting the castle we went for lunch and then meandered home, a nice relaxing day off not too far from home. 

You can get more information about the castle here

Like us on Facebook:

The quirky Bird Gardener                    Quercus Garden Plants

Our web site:

Follow us on Instagram @quirkybirdgardener


You can now sign up for our monthly newsletter on the facebook page or by emailing us to be added to our mailing list

All contents  and photographs ©  Rona, unauthorised reproduction & use of these images is strictly forbidden


  1. What a fabulous place and now on my bucket list. Thank you for the tour xx


Post a comment