I love old castles and palaces, clambering up and down staircases and trying to imagine what it must have been like to live there. Before Christmas, we had an abortive visit to Linlithgow Palace because we failed to check the Historic Scotland website and didn’t realise it was closed. All was not lost, we had a good walk around the adjacent Loch and a pub lunch in the Four Marys. I posted some external pictures and vowed to go back for a proper visit later. Yesterday, we did just that. We visited the Four Marys again (their hummus is a definite highlight) and ended with a warming coffee in a lovely little café next to the Palace, So Strawberry. We needed it after the cold and the effort of climbing several towers. The Palace is probably most famous for being the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots – she was baptised in the adjacent St Michael’s Kirk, which you can also see in the pictures below. The aluminium crown is a 1960s addition to replace a masonry crown which had to be removed in 1821. It was apparently controversial at the time, but I like it. However, the real highlight is the elaborate, carved fountain in the courtyard which was restored to its former glory a few years ago. unfortunately, it’s only turned on in the summer – sounds like a good reason to go back again!