• 2017.04.20
  • Stirling, a weekend away
Stirling is a popular weekend destination for Edinburgers (it’s a funny name I give to people living in Edinburgh, do you like it?) and it has always been a strategic point since Roman times when it was just a fortress home to several fortifications that served, at different times, even as royal residences. The town was then built in the middle ages and today it is almost completely replaced by newer buildings.
Some attractions still bring back the charm of the past and the tourists visit it especially thanks to the legend of William Wallace, the Braveheart of Scottish independence depicted in a famous film “Braveheart.”Tour guides offer two routes that allow the discovery of the Stirling Castle and the town and one is the tour I took which combined the visit of the Rosslyn Chapel and the Wallace Monument.

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During my visit I discovered that the first settlement of what would become Stirling dates back to the Stone Age. Its dominant position at the foot of the Ochil Hills was and is a meeting point between the Lowlands and the Highlands (Scottish mountain ranges).
Stirling was also the most southern place for the crossing of the Forth River and remained so until the construction of the Kincardine Bridge. It was thanks to the River Forth and the bridge that Stirling became a rich and influential town which endured 12 different medieval sieges.
The city’s port has been an important focal point for trade with other countries and in particular for the tea trade with India and the timber with the Baltic. In the nineteenth century with the arrival of the railway, the decline of the river trade began and the construction of a railway bridge further downstream greatly reduced the space for ships. But enough with the history lesson!

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In the present day the city is an important place which combines history with monuments such as the castle or the Holy Rude Church with the excitement of a rich commercial and cultural centre typical of a college town.
Here you can find theatres, cinemas, contemporary art galleries and spaces dedicated to live performances. A big shopping centre makes it the shopping capital to neighbouring villages. For travellers, Stirling still performs its function as a link between the Highlands and the Lowlands and many choose it as a base for exploration of other major cities in Scotland like Glasgow and Edinburgh itself.
During my visit I particularly liked the Stirling’s castle. Scotland’s history has passed through the castle of Stirling, first fortress then royal palace, housing soldiers and finally opening to the public after a huge restauration in the 90’s. Abode of Stuart and refuge of Mary Stuart, it was the theatre of coronations and assassinations and it was besieged by the English and the Scots during the wars. Today you can explore it in all its parts: the ramparts of the Royal Palace, the Great Hall, the banquet hall, the Royal Chapel and the chapel (now also rented for weddings and events).

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I can now unveil the purpose of my trip…I came here to check out the wedding chapel because I’m planning to get married here next year.
Stirling is magical and it’s a very romantic place because it well combines its historical and (bloody) past with a thriving present.
So what’s so special about Stirling?
Although it’s a town with only 30.000 souls, the place is lively and perhaps even more so than Edinburgh, at least during the day.
The fact that people from all over Scotland and the UK come here to pay tribute to the Home of Freedom (as some call it) make it a meeting point for many. Here I met many people that were visiting the place for a variety of reasons and I found out that many Edinburgers have a country home here where they come when they want to ‘retire’ from the busy city life.

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REPOTER

  • Patrick Sacco
  • AgeBird(TORI)
  • GenderMale
  • JobENGINEER AT ELLIOT & CO CONSULTING

HELLO! MY NAME IS PATRICK AND I LIVE IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, WHERE I WORK AS A CIVIL ENGINEER AND I’M ALSO AN AMATEUR POET IN MY SPARE TIME. I MOVED TO SCOTLAND ABOUT 9 YEARS AGO FROM ITALY AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THE RAINY WEATHER BUT IT’S THIS TYPE OF WEATHER WHICH ALLOWS THIS REGION TO BE SO LUSH AND GREEN. WHENEVER I HAVE THE CHANCE I TAKE MY CAR TO THE COUNTRYSIDE AND I GO EXPLORE THE MANY LAKES AND VALLEYS AROUND EDINBURGH.

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