We overnighted in Stirling on our way down from the Highlands. Stirling is of significance as it is where the highland and lowlands meet and for centuries was the lowest crossing from lowland to highland. The quotes from William Wallace and Robert the Bruce sum it up as ‘He who holds Stirling holds Scotland’.
Stirling Castle has been extensively renovated and is the best of all the castles we have seen, even more impressive and informative than Edinburgh Castle. The castle was a palace to the Stewart Kings and Queens. Also given the significance of Stirling the castle and area has seen many battles which is evident in the walls and associated damage.
Kerrie and I did the free tour while the girls explored on their own – camera in hand. Looking at their photos they got around more of the castle than Kerrie and myself, even with a girly pit stop to dress up.
The tapestries in the castle have nearly all been made on-site as they resurrect the traditional way of tapestry making. You can watch this being done and you must make sure you take time to look at the tapestries as you explore. Even the girls got into this with Moo and Em giving me a run down on the significance of the unicorn being a symbol of Christ and how it is used in the tapestries to connect King and Christ.
Another key attraction in Stirling is the William Wallace Monument. Atop a hill overlooking the region it is a 15 minute walk plus then 4 flights of spiralling steps, but well worth it for the astonishing view. I did this walk on my own as all 3 girls stayed in the car as they wanted a break from the inclement weather.
The location of the monument was chosen as it overlooks Stirling Bridge and this was where William Wallace and Andrew de Moray defeated the English. We have heard mixed stories on whose tactics played out at the Battle of Stirling Bridge – some credit Andrew de Moray while others William Wallace. Either way a significant moment in Scottish history.
Overlook the Stirling Bridge Battle Ground