Scotland is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. You can drive from the highlands to the Lowlands and see the change in scenery, from mountains to rolling hills and eventually to lush green farmlands. There are so many castles in Scotland that it’s difficult to know where to start! The most famous castles in Scotland are Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, and Eilean Donan Castle. So, if you’re in Scotland with kids, you must visit the castles. The kids will love them, and the castles are a great way to get a sense of Scottish history. Plus, they’re great fun to explore.

You could always do a castle tour of West Lothian when the time is right, which will give Castle lovers and history lovers a great day out with the family. Another option would be to take an Outlander tour of West Lothian. There are a number of film locations from the Outlander TV series within West Lothian (and also nearby) that any avid fan would love to visit.

I have only mentioned the castles in West Lothian that you can visit or that have some remains left, as I find these are more interesting for a day out with the family in West Lothian.

Castles & Ruins in West Lothian To Visit

Blackness Castle in Scotland

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle sits on the waters edge overlooking the Firth of Forth near Linlithgow, Scotland. The Crichtons were a medieval noble family that Blackness has been used for in many different ways throughout the centuries. The estate was built by the Crichtons in the 15th century as their grand estate. In more recent times, Blackness has played many different roles, for example, it served as a garrison fortress and even state prison. However, after WW1  it was passed to state care to be used as a visitors attraction,

Linlithgow Palace in the town of Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland. UK

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow is an ancient royal burgh and long known for its historic palace and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots (born 1542). In Gaelic, Linlithgow means “the loch in the damp hollow” which is quite fitting seeing as the palace is situated in the centre of the town, next to the beautiful Linlithgow Loch. The palace of Linlithgow has a colourful history. It was often used as a rest stop for royal travellers between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. The palace has had 2 fires (1424 and 1746) which destroyed the earlier residence, which is thought to have been a manor house named the “Peel”.

JThomas / The House of the Binns / CC BY-SA 2.0
JThomas / The House of the Binns / CC BY-SA 2.0

House of Binns

The House of the Binns, or just the Binns, is a historic building in West Lothian, the seat of the Dalyell family. This historic house has gorgeous landscaped surroundings and overlooks the River Forth. This laird’s house near Linlithgow has been the house of the Dalyells for over 400 years and was built in 1612 by Thomas Dalyell, an Edinburgh merchant who made his fortune at the court of King James VI and that I in London. Besides the gorgeous architecture of this stunning home, you’ll also enjoy numerous family portraits and an upscale collection of furniture and art.

Hopetoun House/Midhope Castle

Hopetoun House is thought to be one of Scotland’s finest stately homes. It has been a home for the Hope family since 1699 and is a place of outstanding natural beauty and has been home to the Hope family for over two centuries. Enjoy Hopetoun House’s gardens, the stunning architecture, or enjoy relaxing in the tearoom. Regardless of what excites you most, Hopetoun House can provide an incredible outing for the whole family.

Hopetoun House, Scotland, is an iconic setting for the American TV series Outlander. It’s been used to portray the home of the Duke of Sandringham in many episodes.

Midhope Castle is a 16th-century tower house and is situated in Abercorn on the Hopetoun Estate. It is a Category A listed building and offers public access to the castle’s exterior but requires visitors to adhere to some guidelines and obtain a vehicle pass. This is due to the Midhope Castle being located in a busy farming area of the Estate. On some days access may be denied for safety reasons.

Has anyone visited any of these West Lothian Castles before? Let me know in the comments below.

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Visiting Castles and Historic Buildings in West Lothian With Kids