Linlithgow Palace Ruins in West Lothian, Scotland

The ruins of Linlithgow Palace are located in West Lothian, Scotland, approximately 15 miles west of Edinburgh.  During the 15th and 16th centuries the palace was one of the primary residence locations for Scottish monarchs.

Linlithgow Palace

Prior to construction of the palace, the hillside was utilized for a stately manor home that had been built in the 12th century but replaced by a British occupier military fortification beginning in 1302.  Six score and two years later a great fire destroyed much of the town of Linlithgow.  King James I decided to rebuild what would be a grand royal palace along with the Church of St. Michael upon that hill.

Linlithgow Palace
There were many additions and improvements added to the Palace by James III, James IV and James V, who was born in the palace in 1512.  Three decades later saw the birth of Mary, Queen of Scots, in what had been, at one time, quite a stately and magnificent residence.  Mary is said to have stayed at Linlithgow Palace at various times during her reign from 1542-1567.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth of England in 1603, the island came under the Union of Crowns, where James VI, King of Scots, ascended to the thrones of England and Ireland.

Linlithgow Palace fountainAfterwards, the palace was little used and fell into disrepair with the north wall having collapsed in 1607.  James VI ordered rebuilding, which began in 1618 and lasted for four years.  However, King Charles I was the last royal monarch to stay at the palace, taking lodging there for one day in 1633.

The grand building lay barren for decades until 1746 when most of the structures were burned by the Duke of Cumberland, who was leading the fight against the Jacobite uprising.

Linlithgow Palace great hallMore decades passed, until the early 19th century when conservation began and management came under the control of Historic Scotland.  The site is currently open year round.  Almost everything that remains is accessible to enter or see.  There are some fantastic views from the top of the towers.

Any time one is visiting Edinburgh, it is well worth the time to manage a trip to Linlithgow Palace, if only to learn more of its historic nature.

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Nubble Light – Cape Neddick, York, Maine

At the southern end of Maine, USA, stands Nubble Light, perched upon a small nub of an island, approximately 100 yards (91 meters) off Cape Neddick Point, in York.

Nubble Light Cape Neddick MaineThe light is constructed of a cast iron plate with brick lining on a concrete foundation and was first lit in 1879 and is still an operational beacon. Although the light itself is only 41 feet (12 meters) tall, it stands 88 feet (27 meters) above sea level due to how it sits on the very small rocky island.

<a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-2470" src="" alt="Nubble Light Cape Neddick Maine" width="300" height="225" /></a>The original name was the Knubble Lighthouse (sitting, as it does, on the islet known as Nubble Island). However, when service of the light was transferred from the Lighthouse Service to the US Coast Guard it was given the official name of Cape Neddick Lightstation.  Nonetheless, most people refer to it as Nubble Light, or The Nubble.

Nubble Light Cape Neddick MaineTo ensure care of the facility, in 1985 the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Then, in 1987, due to shortages of funding and resources to care for the light, and with developing technologies, Nubble Light became fully automated, so there is no longer a live-in caretaker. In 1997, The town of York applied for, and received, responsibility for the upkeep and, since that time, the Parks Department oversees all aspects of operations, while the Coast Guard cares for the actual light and horn.

Nubble Light Cape Neddick MaineAlthough the lighthouse is not accessible to the general public, there are many vantage points for capturing images of this historic site. When visiting the northern East Coast of the United States, a visit to York, Maine, and taking in the Nubble Light, while feasting at one of the many fine restaurants in the area, is definitely recommended.

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Windsor Castle – Berkshire County England

Windsor Castle is the Royal Residence of Great Britain’s monarchy and is located in Berkshire County, England. The castle, originally a strategic defensive fortification, has seen numerous rebellions and wars throughout its thousand-year existence, and even went through a period of neglect in the 18th century.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle from the street

Situated on more than thirteen acres (five hectares), the castle was originally constructed by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Windsor is Europe’s longest occupied royal palace, beginning with Henry I, though George I and George II, in the 18th century, paid little attention to the property, preferring others.

Windsor Castle
South Wing of the Upper Ward

Early in the 19th century, George IV was elaborate in renovations of Windsor, spending approximately £300,000 ($503,000), the equivalent of £245 million ($411 million) in 2008,  to thoroughly refine and modernize the structures.

Windsor Castle
A Peak Inside

The royal palace is huge, at over 44,965 square meters (484,000 square feet) with more than 13,000 rooms. At present, there are an estimated 500 people living and working inside Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle
A View from the Gardens

When visiting anywhere near London, a visit to historically significant Windsor Castle is a must.

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White Cliffs of Dover

Located at the narrowest point of the English Channel, between England and the European Continent, the White Cliffs of Dover are chalk cliffs, also containing significant amounts of black flint as well as quartz, that reach a height of 350 feet (106.68 meters) and stretch for approximately 10 miles (16.09 kilometers).

White Cliffs of DoverThe cliffs were formed, along with the Straits of Dover, during ice age flooding, and, historically, have been both a symbolic defensive shield against invasion from the continent, as well as a marker for travelers, generally being the first sight of England as ships made their way across the channel. In fact, on a clear day the cliffs are visible from France.

Dover CastleThe port of Dover, in Kent county, is near the westernmost point of the cliffs, and the medieval masonry Dover Castle, founded in the 12th century, sits atop the cliffs and is the largest castle in England. There is evidence that other forms of defensive structures may have existed on the site from as far back as the Iron Age (1200 BC – 1 BC), possibly earlier.

White Cliffs of DoverThe Victorian era South Foreland Lighthouse, located at St. Margaret’s Bay, can be viewed atop the cliff. The lighthouse has been inactive since 1988 and is currently owned by the National Trust.

White Cliffs of DoverErosion of the chalk cliffs continues to occur (between 2 and 5 cm annually) though there have been times that large chunks of the cliff have fallen into the channel, with the most recent collapse occurring on March 15, 2012.

White Cliffs of DoverThe White Cliffs of Dover are, indeed, a spectacular natural wonder to view, especially when crossing the channel between Dover, England, and Calais, France (or even in your own kayak). The images seen here were captured from the deck of a P&O Ferry when departing from the port of Dover.

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