This is the castle that held Mary, Queen of Scots prisoner and where there was a “jailbreak” and she escaped under the cover of night. Read here to learn about Mary and her prison. With all the ancestry research that I do, both Mary and her jailer William Douglas of Lochleven, so far my research shows that they are both my ancestors in different scenarios! I love my family history!
In 2016 I attempted to come here and even though it was the month of May, the weather was not permissible and the boats were not going out! I was super sad, mind you, I was also a foot traveler at that time, so yikes even more walking. I was, however, able to see a bit more of the surrounding town before heading on to my next adventure.
Weather makes all the difference!
When Paula and I came here, I was so hopeful that it would be open. We were in luck! We caught the almost last boat, I think one more brought visitors and then they closed. The weather was changing as it does so much in Scotland.
Much of my genealogy research points to Mary, Queen of Scots as an ancestor of mine, so my desire to come here was two-fold. Really cool history and really cool history of my ancestor. The island had a feel to it. If you closed your eyes and used your imagination, you could almost “feel” as though you were there with Mary so many many years ago.
We had a little over an hour to explore the little island and get a feel for what it may have been like. I can tell you a few things:
- Historic Scotland is who is in charge. If you plan on visiting lots of sites, look into buying an Explorer Pass. Historic Scotland.
- Make sure when you get said pass, get the book that lists all of their properties and each place you go they will stamp the back for you with their own stamp for each property
- Places like Lochleven can shut down at any time due to weather, call ahead
- Check to see if there are toilets, believe me, this will help you a lot
- Yes, there is a toilet on Lochleven, with running water and a sink too!
- Make sure to read about the place you want to visit, it helps when you get there.
We were able to explore most of the area and get back to the boat before the weather turned. We had more places to go this day and this is when driving a car is the best. Even better when the weather changes, so you can at least stay warm and dry when it decides to rain.
If you get a chance go see Lochleven Castle then take the chance. It is not always easy to get there and the whole experience is totally worth it if your really into the history of it and the small adventure to get there!
As always comments or corrections are appreciated!
Tiaraidh an dràsda