Linlithgow Palace

When I started writing this blog post of my recent visit to Linlithgow Palace, I paused to wonder why it was a “palace” and not a “castle”. What is the difference? Google to the rescue! According to this post, castles’ main objective was to be a fortification in preparation for battle, whereas palaces were purpose…

Craigmillar Castle

More castles in Scotland! Craigmillar Castle came to my attention when I saw photos of Chris Pine shooting a film about Robert the Bruce there a few weeks ago. Well, I missed the fine mr Pine, but the castle was still a great visit. And another castle (after Doune) that I visited where they had…

Castles in Ayr

I am writing this sitting on my very own sofa in my new flat in Edinburgh, while I wait for several deliveries today. I have more to say about having a home after such a long time on the road (spoiler – it’s heavenly!), but for now, the final entry in my Scotland travels during…

Doune Castle

I know, I know, two castle posts in a row. What can I say, Scotland is full of fascinating castles! And this one is doubly fascinating for a Game of Thrones and/or Outlander fan, as both shows shot there. So of course it was a must for me. ETA: and the film Outlaw King has…

Stirling Castle

Stirling town is delightful, and similar to Edinburgh old town with its grand grey buildings and steep, narrow roads, all leading up to the castle. I found my to-be favourite spot early on, after a stroll around the Church of the Holy Rood and its cemetery. Orderly rows of graves and markers, bunnies running wild,…

Cathedral and castle in St Andrews

St Andrews is just so pretty! It’s right on the coast with a long sandy beach, a ruined Cathedral and Castle right on the coast. The town is medieval and is now known as the home of golf. There are several golf courses, most of course in the best locations by the coast, which pisses…

RTW Himeji castle

I had seen other gorgeous Edo period castles, most notably in Osaka, but Himeji was the real deal. Himeji castle still stands as it was after extensions over four hundred years ago, surrounded by moats and high defensive wall system. Himeji was conveniently on my way from Tottori to Osaka, so I stopped there for…

RTW gardens and castles around Kyoto

After busy days visiting the historical areas and top shrines in Kyoto, followed by a day of total vegging, I needed a more relaxed kind of day. So I headed to the Nijo Castle and gardens near my Kyoto hostel. It was literally a five minute walk from my hostel, which was lovely. Nijo castle…

RTW beautiful Krakow

Oh Krakow, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways. One is for the river. Two is for the Wawel. Three is for the churches. Four is for spring. Five is for the lake in a flooded quarry. Six is for being absolutely knackered at the end of the day and looking forward…

Visiting Pemberley aka Chatsworth

My post on visiting Downton Abbey, aka Highclere Castle (here) was super popular, so here is some more stately home porn. Chatsworth is one of the most famous houses in the UK, and it was used in the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice to represent Pemberley, Mr Darcy’s home. There’s a moment in…