Fa­mous fortress still stands guard

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - DAY TRIP -

Stir­ling Cas­tle re­mains one of the most im­por­tant land­marks in Scot­land, writes Brian Crisp

THERE’S no bet­ter time to visit Stir­ling Cas­tle than early morn­ing when the mist is rolling over the hills and the cold air is still grab­bing the breath from your chest.

Stir­ling Cas­tle was the favourite res­i­dence of the Stewart kings and queens, ar­guably the most fa­mous dy­nasty in Scot­tish his­tory.

Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at Stir­ling when she was nine months old. Ap­par­ently she cried loudly through­out the cer­e­mony.

It was strate­gi­cally im­por­tant dur­ing the Wars of In­de­pen­dence.in the 13th and 14th cen­tury.

The fa­mous fortress is about an hour by car from Ed­in­burgh and 30 min­utes from Glas­gow.

The gates open at 9.30am but be early be­cause Stir­ling Cas­tle is very, very pop­u­lar – and the carpark of­ten over­flows caus­ing traf­fic chaos along St John St.

Al­ter­na­tively, and just a thought, if you are not early be late as the bus tours de­part about 2pm.

The cas­tle, with its mix of Late Gothic Re­vival, Re­nais­sance and Scot­tish Ba­ro­nial ar­chi­tec­ture, has su­perb views over the River Forth to the Na­tional Wal­lace Mon­u­ment, Ben Lomond moun­tain and the Ochil Hills.

Most visi­tors agree that it is Scot­land’s finest cas­tle – bet­ter even than Ed­in­burgh.

Ad­mis­sion is about $20 (de­pend­ing on the ex­change rate) and park­ing is about $7.

The cas­tle has rea­son­able wheel­chair ac­cess con­sid­er­ing it is an an­cient build­ing.

It is best to tour the cas­tle with a guide but if you don’t want to fol­low a group then you can rent an au­dio tour that

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