Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Wallace Monument

It was Vicky's birthday this week so we had a couple of days together in Scotland. We stayed in Stirling which was ideal for us as we wanted to visit The Trossach's National Park and Loch Lomond, The Wallace Monument, the Stirling Highland Games and a couple of other places while we were there.

Setting off in the morning it took us a few hours to get to Stirling but we had just enough time to visit the National Wallace Monument before going to our hotel. When you arrive in Stirling it's hard to miss the impressive monument as it stands on a hill and towers above the field where William 'Braveheart' Wallace, during the Wars of Scottish Independence, led his troops to victory over the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. 

Arriving at the Monument you have the option of walking up the hill to the tower or taking the free shuttle bus. We walked - it seemed a good idea at the time - but you might like to take the bus. It's only a fifteen minute walk up the hill and you can take you time... walking or crawling to the top. That's just the start of the walking and climbing though as there are 246 steps up to the very top of the Monument itself. 

The first few steps are straight but after that they  twist round in a narrow spiral staircase with 3 different rooms to explore on the way to the open floor at the very top. 

It's well worth the climb... You can look at weapons, shields and armour, and discover more about Wallace and the battle of Stirling Bridge in the Hall of Arms. Carry on up to the Hall of Heroes where you can find out about other important Scots (like Robert The Bruce) and see Wallace's sword on display.

The next floor up is the Royal Chamber where you can find out about the building of the monument and lots more...

Finally it's on to the very top where you get amazing views of the surrounding land. There was hardly a breath of wind on the ground, but up at the top of the Monument it was very breezy... I can easily imagine what it would be like on a windy day.

After a leisurely walk back down, and a little visit to the gift shop, we headed off to our hotel for tea... all set for the next few days. More of our Highland trip to follow very soon.