Stirling, Scotland is a beautiful city with so much history all around. As it dates back to even before the 12th century, there are plenty of important sites to see and learn from. From Stirling Castle to the Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge, it is almost impossible to go about your day without experiencing these incredible sights that both ignite curiosity and make you feel just a little bit closer to the many generations and royalty of Scotland’s past.
On my very first day in Stirling, I visited the castle which, though has since been renovated, was first erected in the 12th century. It sits atop a massive hill in all its glory, and one can only imagine how grand it would have looked in medieval times when royalty roamed the grounds. Once home to Mary Queen of Scots and other famous royal figures, this castle is one of the most important and grand in all of Scotland. Because of its placement high above the town, it can be seen from various points and it is a reminder of Stirling’s past.
As I walk around campus at the University of Stirling or as I take the bus into town, one thing that can always be seen standing majestically amongst the hills is the Wallace Monument. This 67-meter-high monument was opened in 1869 to commemorate the Scottish war hero from the 13th century, Sir William Wallace. It is wonderfully designed: there is a spiral staircase that can be climbed all the way to the top, with a series of rooms to be visited on the way up. One of those rooms has the very sword Wallace himself used!
Another historical landmark that I pass on my bus ride to town is Stirling Bridge, where The Battle of Stirling Bridge took place back in 1297. This battle was one of the First War of Scottish Independence, where William Wallace and Andrew Moray lead their forces to victory against the English. Though the bridge was wooden at the time the English tried to cross the River Forth to get to Stirling Castle, it has since been rebuilt and is a beautiful bridge to remind us all of their victory.
Though these are just three historical sites I experience (and never take for granted) every day, there are so many more in Stirling that keep its history alive in our modern world, which is something I feel is really important. Especially when it is as interesting and lively as it is here in Stirling!
The world awaits…discover it.