Stirling

September 21st

We decided at last minute today to go to Stirling.  Hoofed it to the train station and bought our return tickets and got on the next available train.  Not a long wait!

Stirling has a good reputation for sight seeing and we are heading to Stirling Castle.

Stirling proper (the older part of town) is very cute and quaint.

We spied a future watering-hole for us and took off up, up, up the cobbled roads to the top of the hill.  No sight of the castle immediately, but as we walked up we could see that the building were getting older.

There is a massive church, St Rude, at the bend in the road.  We stopped at the info centre and picked up a map and bought our tickets for the castle itself.

Passing the church we could see a large and obviously very old graveyard attached.  There were old stone walls and massive iron gates.  All very medieval looking.

Up the hill and some stairs we emerged at the top of the hill and even though we were standing in a car park, the fortress looming over us was magnificent.

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There is one statue of Robert the Bruce, King Robert I in the esplanade in front of the castle gates.

 

Stirling Castle has a multi-layered history.  David had read that the free guided tours were very good so we entered the inner gate and waited by the well (now dry) for our tour to start.

The tour guide was fantastic and he obviously loves the castle and the history around it.  He spoke passionately about the various eras, kings and queens and the politics behind many of the battles.

The castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.  It reached its pinnacle during the reign of James VI of Scotland who later became James I of Britain when Elizabeth I died without heirs.  Mary Queen of Scots was also born here.

We enjoyed the vistas and rooms of this castle/fortress

I think Stirling Castle was one of my favourite spots.  But I am not sure, there have been so many great places!!

Stirling Castle was the last stronghold of the Stuart royal line.  Their mascot is the Unicorn!!   If you look on the roofline above you will see a unicorn and a lion (the lion being synonymous with king).

The great hall and my king sitting in his rightful place!  And more unicorns.

The palace had a few rooms that were furnished and actors were there playing the parts of servants for the queen (the king having passed away shortly after the birth of his daughter Mary Queen of Scots)

We left the palace and walked to the high wall walk – what views!!

As we left we checked out the castle ‘vaults’.  Lots of cute little rooms under the castle that have hands on stuff for kids (and big kids)  music, clothes, court life, etc.

They also recreated the castle kitchens.. fun to see

We left the castle and headed back down to town.   We stopped at the graveyard at St. Rude’s medieval church.  Some nice views of the castle above.

Dinner at the aforementioned watering hole!  img_4448And then back to the train to get back to Glasgow.  Just as the rain was starting!

A great day – but we are exhausted!!

 

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