There’s still romance here, but the seat of monarchs has given way to humble, suburban dreams
What’s going for it? Linlithgow wears its 21st-century role as a commuter town in the sweet spot between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the way a megastar of stage or screen might – someone who, in later life, has had cause to stack shelves in Lidl. Nothing wrong with stacking shelves or, indeed, Lidl. But Linlithgow has known grander times. This, I’ll have you know, is the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, and it has the palace to prove it, ta-dah on its hilltop pedestal, as if anyone could ignore it. Don’t you know who I was? True, the palace lacks a roof these days. Yet this palace gave birth to Mary, Queen of Scots. This palace was the centre of the Stuart dynasty. This palace’s fountain once flowed with wine, it’s said, for the marriage of James V and Mary of Guise. Still, those days have long gone. Although there’s romance still in its polished old streets, today it’s a romance designed, not as a stage set for monarchy, political intrigue and government, but for more humble, suburban dreams, and propping up house prices. Linlithgow has grown accustomed to its new role: capital of Silicon Glen, Queen of Middle Scotland, provider of comfy sofas and Netflix filming locations to the strivers of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The case against… It’s a small town of commuters: kids and beatniks will want to escape – though worry not, the fleshpots of Edinburgh and Glasgow are nearby. It’s a victim of its own popularity: traffic, parking, house prices and oversubscribed schools.
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