A Stirling Experience

If, on a trip to Scotland, you’ve only enough time to visit one castle then you couldn’t pickbetter than to aim for Stirling. Looking out to the Ochils and the Carselands, and high abovethe Forth, the castle and rock upon which it stands, has seen more action than most.

TheBattle of Stirling Bridge, Bannockburn and Sheriffmuir to name but a few key battles, haveall been played out on the lands that lie below.Stirling was after all, the “Key to the Kingdom” and, with its Royal Castle, one of the mostimportant places in the country.

While many old towns have succumbed to the modern and had their historic buildingsslowly eroded away by development, Stirling has proudly held on to her past.

One of my favourite walks in Old Stirling is to string together many of these fine historicbuildings – Argyll’s Lodging, Mar’s Wark, Cowane’s Hospital and the Church of the HolyRude, not forgetting to stop and say hello to the “Puggy” (Stirling’s affectionate name for thewee unicorn that tops its mercat cross).

The walk then takes me down St John’s Street and Spittal Street – Robert Spittal was tailorto King James IV – returning by the “Back Walk” beneath the old Town Wall. Stirling has oneof the most complete town walls of any town in Scotland.

The biggest mistake you can make on this walk is simply not to allow enough time. Thereare interesting tales and stories to be discovered virtually every step of the way.