About Blackness CastleExplore the area with Forth Boat Tours

Banner Blackness Castle 01

About Blackness Castle – one of Scotland’s leading historic sites

Blackness Castle, located on the Firth of Forth in Scotland, is a historic fortress with a rich and intriguing past. Sitting dramatically at the water’s edge, this formidable stone structure has played diverse roles throughout its history. Ranging from medieval stronghold to royal residence and military fortress.

Perched on a promontory jutting out into the Firth of Forth, Blackness Castle’s strategic location allowed it to control access to the important waterway and served as a key defense against maritime threats.

Built in the 15th century, the castle is often referred to as the “ship that never sailed” due to its distinctive ship-like appearance, with its long, narrow design and high curtain walls resembling the hull of a vessel. This unique architectural style has made it a standout among Scottish castles.

A wealth of History

Originally constructed as a royal residence by King James II of Scotland, Blackness Castle later transformed into a military stronghold. It played a significant role in various historical events, including conflicts between Scotland and England.

During the 16th century, the castle served as a prison for high-profile prisoners, including political figures and military leaders. The grim conditions of the castle’s dungeons are a testament to the hardships faced by prisoners.

Blackness Castle’s strategic importance continued into the 17th century when it played a role in conflicts such as the Covenanting Wars and the Jacobite uprisings.

Over time, the castle’s military significance waned, and it served different purposes, including as a munitions depot and a barracks for soldiers. It even became a popular filming location, appearing in several movies and television series.

Today, Blackness Castle stands as a well-preserved historic site under the care of Historic Environment Scotland. Visitors can explore its stone walls, dungeons, and fortified features. The castle’s impressive courtyard offers spectacular views of the Firth of Forth and the surrounding landscape.

Blackness Castle today

The castle’s history comes to life through interpretive displays and exhibitions within its walls. Visitors can learn about the lives of both the castle’s inhabitants and its prisoners, gaining insights into the hardships and challenges they faced.

Blackness Castle’s role in popular culture has grown thanks to its appearances in movies and television series, most notably in the hit television series “Outlander,” where it served as a backdrop for key scenes.

Beyond its historical and cinematic connections, Blackness Castle continues to attract visitors with its imposing presence and the opportunity to explore its architecture, history, and the scenic beauty of its waterside location.

Blackness Castle is a remarkable fortress with a past that encompasses roles as a royal residence, military stronghold, and prison. Its distinctive ship-like appearance, strategic location on the Firth of Forth, and historical significance make it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and tourists exploring Scotland’s rich heritage.

To explore more of Blackness Castle, book our Blackness Castle Cruise below.

Blackness Castle Cruise

Blackness Castle Cruise


Enjoy one of the best days out in Scotland. Take in views of the Three Bridges as you have never seen them before. View Blackness Castle (as featured in Outlander and Outlaw King) and known as the ship that never sails. We pass Limekilns village, as mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson’e Kidnapped. It was from Limekilns that David Balfour and Alan Breck were carried across the Forth in a rowing boat.

Why not enjoy this most British of meals while gliding past the iconic riverside views with an afternoon tea or cream tea on the Firth of Forth. Relax with a nice cup of tea while admiring the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Bridge, take your pick from the sandwich selection on your way to Limekilns, and enjoy scones, clotted cream and jam as you cruise past Blackness Castle on your afternoon tea or cream tea river cruise with Forth Boat Tours.