The Chain Mail

Welcome to The Chain Mail - a visitor’s guide to the sights and sounds of Historic Scotland

Enjoy some family fun with us this mid-term

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One minute it’s Christmas, the next is almost mid- term break!  Where does the time go?  So to make life a bit easier we thought we’d put together some ideas of what you can do at our sites with the kids during the holidays.  That’s one thing off the To Do list at least!  Fire their young minds and fuel their fertile imaginations as you explore the palaces, castles and forts that were pivotal to Scottish history and home to its most colourful characters.

STIRLING CASTLE
There’s more than ever to see and do at Stirling Castle.  Enter the Royal Palace and meet characters from the past who will tell you what life was like in Renaissance Scotland.  Have fun and games in the Palace Vaults including dressing up in period costume and playing medieval instruments or learn what makes a king laugh.  Our History Hunters family tour, which runs every weekend, is aimed at helping young visitors understand and enjoy the history of the castle.  Try our kids quiz or explore the grounds at you leisure.

Family at Stirling Castle

Family at Stirling Castle

EDINBURGH CASTLE
For high impact visit the capital’s most popular attraction where you can see the Scottish Crown Jewels, Mons Meg and witness the big bang of the One O’clock Gun. For older kids there’s the Prisoners of War exhibition and three military museums, not to mention the spectacular views of Edinburgh.  A children’s Quiz is also available at the castle.

Family doing the quiz at Edinburgh Castle

Family doing the quiz at Edinburgh Castle

LINLITHGOW PALACE
If fresh air and exercise appeals to you then look no further than Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and host to our annual Spectacular Jousting event. Linlithgow is a great attraction for the family to explore together. The Peel offers great views over the loch and plenty of space to let young imaginations and tireless legs run free!  Also look out for the restored fountain which reputedly once flowed with wine during a visit by Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Jousting at Linlithgow Palace

Kids having fun

BLACKNESS CASTLE
If you like to be beside the seaside then Blackness is a lovely spot for a family adventure.  Known as the ship that never sailed because of its boat-like appearance, Blackness was built for Sir George Chrichton, the Admiral of Scotland but also served as an ammunitions store and prison.  Today it’s much more peaceful and offers great views across the Forth to all 3 bridges.  Bring a long a picnic and stroll to the end of the pier where you may spot some friendly wildlife.

FORT GEORGE
Head for the Highlands and storm Britain’s mightiest artillery fortress.  Explore this enormous military base protected by massive mile-long walls. Gain an insight into life as a Redcoat or visit the Highlanders Museum.  You could also join one of our dolphin watches which chart the activities of the bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth.

URQUHART CASTLE
One of Scotland’s most picturesque castles set on the brooding waters of Loch Ness.  Discover 1000 years of drama and experience the castle’s turbulent history through a remarkable collection of artefacts left behind by its residents. Try and move the giant trebuchet siege engine or enjoy a boat trip and see if you can spot Nessie

Visitor at Urquhart Castle

Hands on history at Urquhart Castle

If you’re not already a member of Historic Scotland it may interest you to know that a family membership costs less than £8 a month and gives unlimited access to all our sites and daytime events across the year.  Find out more here.

Whatever you get up to we hope you enjoy some quality family time and fun together.

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About Author

Nicola McCrae

Nicola works in the Marketing Team and has responsibility for Stirling Castle as well as our central properties. She blogs about Stirling and all the fantastic events, stories and people at the site - but is looking forward to discovering wonderful things about the other properties now in her care.

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