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August 16, 2007

Our guide Tom.

Excellent views of the countryside because we are about  250-foot high here in the castle.

Right in the middle of this picture is the Stirling Bridge, where the famous battle was fought by Robert the Bruce.

This bridge is very strategic because you could not get your troops to the highlands by any other route.

This is actually the "new" castle -- built around 1974 -- to replace the old castle which Robert the Bruce demolished so that it would not fall into English hands.  New? !

This is an awesome castle.  We could have spent the day here.  Some people were wandering around with headphones and an audio tour, but we had good old Tom.

During this trip, Karen realized that she definitely prefers a real medieval fortress type castle, as compared to a pretty manor house type castle.

Originally, these towers were much higher.

Tea shop

They are renovating the castle.

To have these ramparts on an interior wall was just a show of military might (the ramparts are useful along the exterior walls during a battle).

Just like the Starbucks logo!


Day Excursion : Braveheart Country & Stirling Castle

Explore Stirling Castle, near the scene of William Wallace’s greatest victory, and also visit
Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce’s victory over the English secured Scotland’s

Bannockburn Heritage Centre - In 1314, eight years after William Wallace’s execution,
Robert the Bruce and the Scots crushed the English at the battle of Bannockburn. Your
visit to Bannockburn Heritage Centre begins with an exhibit on Scottish history from
Robert the Bruce to the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in 1603. Included
is an audio-visual presentation on the battle at Bannockburn. View the equestrian statue
of Robert the Bruce and see a display on Scottish life.

Stirling Castle - Perched atop a 250-foot crag, the present castle dates from the 15th and
16th centuries, when it was the principal residence for Scotland’s monarchs. James III
was born here in 1451; James V spent his childhood at Stirling, and Mary Queen of
Scots was crowned at the castle on September 9, 1543. Your self-guided tour takes in
the central turreted gatehouse, the Great Parliament Hall, and the Royal Chapel, one of
the earliest Renaissance buildings in Scotland.

Photo opportunities abound. In particular, the battlements of Stirling Castle offer excellent
views of the town of Stirling and the site of the battle of Bannockburn.

Browse for souvenirs in the castle’s small gift shop.

Travel along the geological boundary that separates the Highlands from the Lowlands to
Stirling, which stands on the banks of the Forth, a tidal river. For centuries this strategic
site commanded all routes north – it occupied the lowest spot where the Forth could be


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