House of the Binns

West Lothian | Blackness | Stately home | ★★★

[House of the Binns]

The House of the Binns is a grand country home set on the side of a hill (or ben - which became corrupted to give the name "Binns") above the tidal Forth close to Blackness Castle. Unique among National Trust for Scotland attractions, the property is still home to the family who originally built it: the Dalyells, who have lived here for over 400 years. All tours (which now have to be booked in advance) are fully guided, fully accompanied by the screeching of the estate's resident peacocks, and designed so you visit the most impressive rooms towards the end. Among the highlights are some particularly fine ceilings, commissioned for an expected visit of Charles I in 1633 (which never came to fruition!). Sadly, photography wasn't permitted inside on our last visit. Afterwards it's worth taking the short hike up to the estate's highest point at Binns Tower. This folly was allegedly the result of a wager over who could come up with the most frivolous way to waste a load of money - the tower being the winning suggestion.

[Binns Tower]

Location & info

📌 House of the Binns ★★★
Off A904 1 mi south of Blackness, G.R.: NT 051786 ///commuted.entitles.affair
🚌 Bus stops on A904, near entrance to grounds but 0.5 mi from the house | 🚗 Car park
House open weekends by appointment only, May to October. Grounds: daily | House: £10.50 adult / £7.50 child / free for National Trust for Scotland members. Grounds: free

[Peacocks strutting their stuff in the grounds]


[There are two ways up to Binns Tower. The north option has good views over the Forth...]

[...while the south path visits a cave where General Tam Dalyell used to escape to for peace and quiet]

[House of the Binns from the front]


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