Stirling: Why our nearest city is well worth a visit

stirling blog

Baldiesburn’s Stirling Blog

From Baldiesburn, an easy 30 minute car ride or 1½ hours cycle takes you to one of Scotland’s newest but most historically significant cities. Stirling is set in the heart of the nation, making it a natural gateway to the Highlands and Islands whilst retaining close proximity to both Glasgow and Edinburgh, whatever your mode of transport. This vibrant and modern small city boasts an excellent selection of shopping and dining opportunities as well as many historical and iconic attractions to rival those in the Capital.

stirling blog

Stirling Castle is one of the finest in Scotland. With a major upgrade completed in 2011 to the Royal Palace it has become one of the country’s favourite tourist attractions. The investment ensures that the interior of the Palace retains the vibrancy of the furnishings and decorations of this 16th Century royal home with it tempestuous past. The views from the castle walls afford unsurpassable panoramic views out across the city down the Forth Valley as well as to the mini-Alps of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park. The perfect centerpiece to a fabulous family day-out, the Castle and its neighouring Old Town are within (upward) walking distance of the city centre.

Stirling’s royal palace demanded a church as grand as a cathedral; the Church of the Holy Rude which stands austerly looking down Spittal Street as you make your way to the Castle. A young Mary Queen of Scots worshipped at this Chapel Royal and her infant son James VI was crowned here on 29 July 1567, the coronation sermon preached by John Knox. Dating from the 15th Century, you can’t help but be impressed by the outward beauty of this extensively renovated building with its unique place in Scottish history; it is the only church in the United Kingdom other than Westminster Abbey to have held a coronation and still be a living church in the present day. As you drink in the atmosphere, the medieval oak hammer beam roof, memorials and stained glass provide more resounding testament to the historic importance of this significant and active church.

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Just out of the city is the magnificent Wallace Monument. It was built in 1869 as tribute to one of Scotland’s great historical warriors, William Wallace. The highlight of the monument is the display of the huge sword used by Wallace to slay his many enemies. Best tackled on a clear day, the summit (after 246 steps) brings panoramic views that show-off the Ochil Hills and several battlefields of huge importance for Scotland in centuries past. This includes the nearby town of Bannockburn famous for possibly the greatest battle between Scotland and England. It was here in 1314 that King Robert the Bruce took on the much larger English army to win the freedom that shaped Scotland’s future.

The below picture shows the undulating Ochils in all their glory. These same hills run for miles, continuing as far as our bed and breakfast at Muckhart.

stirling blog

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