Step into a largely intact medieval castle whose defences once guarded the Firth of Forth. An impressive venue used as infamous Fort William in Outlander.
Blackness Castle was built as a residence for the powerful Crichton family, but this auspicious start soon gave way to a chequered history.
Seized by James II, it remained in Crown ownership, initially as a garrison fortress and state prison.
It has undergone many alterations, but it could not withstand the onslaught of Cromwell’s artillery in 1651.
Redeveloped in 17th century, it remained an important military base until the 1870s when it became a munitions depot.
It fell from military use in 1912 and, despite a heavy-handed restoration in the 1920s, retains much of its rugged charm.
The Castle was used in the internationally loved Outlander series. One of the most brutal scenes takes place here; when evil Jack Black flogs main character Jamie.
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Open all year:
1 Apr-30 Sept 2019: Daily. 9.30am-5.30pm. Last entry 5.00pm
1 Oct-31 Mar 2020: Daily. 10.00am-4.00pm. Last entry 3.30pm
4m NE of Linlithgow on the Firth of Forth, off the A904
From Linlithgow train station walk 5 mins to Linlithgow Cross on the High Street, First Bus number 49 to Blackness. Walk 6 minutes to castle.
If you're planning on visiting Linlithgow Palace, Torphichen Preceptory and Blackness Castle, then buy your PLUSBUS ticket at only £2.30 for one day of unlimited travel, it is definitely worth while
Site contact number
01506 834 807
The car park is about 10m from thevisitor centre. It has a rough gravel surface and no accessible spaces marked.
Approach to site
The main castle building is about 30m along a level gravel roadway and about 10m down a fairly steep, uneven path.
Enter the shop via three concrete steps with a wooden handrail on both sides.
The entrance to the site has a gently sloping concrete plinth with a single handrail before stepping down to uneven natural rock at the entrance.
The ground level of the castle is mostly uneven rock or cobbles, and is slippery when wet. The pier is of planked wood coated with an anti-slip surface.
The south (stern) tower is reached over a rough cut rock stair and a stone spiral staircase of 51 steps. The east courtyard parapet (wall walk) is reached along the west spur, up a series of stone staircases or through the great hall, via a spiral staircase with no handrail.
The roof of the north (fore) tower is reached up 40 stone steps to the spur battery then along the battlements and up a further two sets (1 wood, 1 stone) of 7 steps.
The first floor is reached up a further 16 timber steps with a handrail on the left hand side. The mid tower is reached through a spring mounted wooden door.
The upper levels are reached via wide and even stone spiral stairs with no handrails. There are four picnic tables and two benches on the lawn in front of the castle.
There is a large grassed area around the castle.
The nearest adapted toilets are at
Tesco, Link Road, Bo Ness EH51 9AN;
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Built over 300 years ago, Hopetoun continues to be the home of the Hope family. Hopetoun was also used as a filming location in the internationally acclaimed Outlander TV program.