Things to See and Do in Stirlingshire
Located between the lowlands and highlands of Scotland, Stirlingshire is famously known as the gateway to the highlands. This amazing place once held the capital city of Scotland and has quite a remarkable history. Many battles from the War of Independence have occurred here, most notably the Battle of Stirling Bridge (shown in the movie Braveheart), when William Wallace defeated the English even though vastly outnumbered. However, it was not until 2002 and the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the II that Stirling was elevated to the status of a city. Stirlingshire simply does not disappoint when it comes to things to see and do. From the time you arrive to the time of your departure, you will be left yearning for more of Stirlingshire.
For any travel enthusiast, Stirlingshire provides one of the most breath-taking travelling experiences in the world. Visitors are treated to both manmade and natural edifices that will simply blow your mind. Here is a short list detailing some of the best things to see and do in Stirlingshire.
Visit the National Wallace Monument
Standing on a hilly part of Stirlingshire, the National Wallace monument is a spectacle to behold. Built in the 1860′s, the tower has stood the test of time and honors Sir William Wallace as one of the main heroes of Stirlingshire. It stands in the exact same place as the famous battle ground where Sir William was able to lead the Scottish army to defeat the English. If you are a history enthusiast this is the place to be, as it definitely takes you back to the 13th century. You can enjoy a breathtaking view of the river Forth from the top the 246 steps that make up this monument.
Tour the Stirling Castle
A visit to Stirlingshire isn’t complete without visiting the Stirling Castle. This is one of the most fortified buildings in the city and used to be home to some of the famous king and Queens of Scotland, a list that includes Mary Queen of Scots, Mary of Guise, and James V. The castle was built on top of a volcanic plug just so that it could offer a great view of the entire city at the time. Visitors are given an opportunity to view the whole city while standing at the top one of the greatest castles in the world. Free guided tours are also provided every hour from 10 am – 3 pm, or you can get a map of the castle and wander through at your leisure.
Enjoy the Stirling Ghost Walk
I must confess that this tour is not for the faint hearted; it involves a visit to the old town as you look for ghosts. Most people claim to see ghosts while on this tour and this fact has made the tour quite popular. The ghost of Jock Rankin (one of the old executioners) is said to often be seen roaming the streets. If you believe in ghosts, this is a very interesting tour to go on. If you don’t, this guided tour of Stirling’s historic Old Town is still well worth your while. Who knows, after this trip, you might even become a convert.
Visit the Bannockburn Battlefield
This battlefield is by far one of the most famous battlefields in Scotland. It signifies the major battle in which Scotland finally defeated the English in 1314. The battlefield holds a lot of meaning when it comes to Scottish independence, as it held the last war that was waged before the Scottish got their independence. This battlefield now has a famous Visitors Centre that allows visitors to relive history as you learn more about the war.
Stroll through the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum
For lovers of art, this is a museum you must visit. Admission is free. It provides some of the most intriguing art pieces in the world and you can also learn more about the history and culture of the Scottish by visiting this museum. It has art pieces from both the ancient and not so ancient history of Scotland. Some of the must-see art pieces include the world’s oldest football, an amazing statue by Alexander Stoddart, the exclusive collection of Thomas Stuart Smith’s works, as well as many others.
Go Hiking at Dumyat Hill
If you are more of an outside person, why not enjoy a relaxing walk up this spectacular hill? The hill is great for both newbies and expert hikers and is perfect for nature lovers. The paths are clearly marked and the views are simply gorgeous. For parents hoping to teach their little kids the fundamentals of hill walking, this is an ideal location.
Go for a safari at Blair Drummond Safari Park
Enjoy the numerous animals found in this amazing park as you sample the beauty of the savanna. There are numerous game drives that give visitors an opportunity to see most of the animals found only in the African Jungle. The park is one of the best places to enjoy a lazy afternoon with your kids as you get in tune with nature.
Visit the Dunblane Cathedral
Built in the 12th century, the Dunblane Cathedral is one of those amazing historical landmarks that have managed to stand strong long after its time has passed. This Cathedral was built during the medieval times one cannot help but be awed by the architectural genius that built this magnificent structure during that time. You will be amazed at the detailed statues that are found throughout this historical masterpiece.
Go Golfing at the Brucefields Family Golf Centre
Golf is a sport that not only helps bring people together but also allows them to relax as they play. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro in golf, this golf centre provides an excellent facility to help you enjoy the best golf has to offer. Visitors are given a chance to relax and unwind over a game of golf. The centre also caters to family needs and provides golfing lessons for kids. It is a great experience to enjoy a game of golf in this amazing place.
Fiona Thomas is a freelance writer for Holidays Parks Scotland.