Following two previous failed attempts due to bad weather, today we finally visited Lochleven Castle on Loch Leven. The castle is largely 14th century in date, and stands on an island at the west end of the loch. It is accessed by a small boat run by Historic Scotland.
Lochleven Castle consists of a square tower – where Mary Queen of Scots was famously imprisoned – surrounded by a courtyard wall.
There isn’t much else on the island, but with Loch Leven having a bird sanctuary on its shore, the island is teeming with birdlife. While there we saw black pheasants, Greylag Geese and herons.
After a good explore we made our way back to the “mainland” on the ferry, leaving Castle Island in our wake.
A quick ice cream was taken for refreshment in the spring sunshine, then we moved on to the nearby Burleigh Castle. It’s notable for having a rather unusual tower which is rounded at the bottom but rises to a square section at the top.
In the neighbouring field were a small herd of Highland cows sunning themselves and grazing.
Lochore Castle – as its name suggests – also enjoyed a lochside setting when it was built. However the loch was drained in the 18th century in the name of land improvement, and the castle now stands on dry land at the entrance to Lochore Meadows Country Park. I didn’t really know what to expect as I hadn’t seen much information on the castle prior to visiting, other than the fact that it was ruined. And ruined it certainly was, with all four walls being split apart leaving four stacks of masonry at each corner.
It’s in rather a sad state now, but after doing my research it actually had quite an interesting history, and was clearly an important castle centuries ago. You can read more about it on the Lochore Castle page.