I can guarantee that any visit to central Scotland is incomplete without a visit to the Stirling Castle that sits high on a volcanic rock, creating an imposing picture in the mind of the viewer.

Stirling-Castle-ScotlandFlickr/Horia Varlan

As it guards the lowest crossing point of the River Forth it was, since ancient times, a place of strategic interest to anyone who wanted to conquer or control central Scotland. There are myths associated with the Legend of Camelot being based on the castle during King Arthur’s conquests of areas in Scotland. It is the geographical centre of Scotland, and has become a stylish showpiece for visitors with its renaissance decorations

The sterling story of Stirling

The castle was founded in the twelfth century and was architecturally modified in the sixteenth century by Kings James IV, V and VI. Scottish architect J.J. Joass, in the nineteenth century, recreated the renaissance magnificence of the castle.

The complex layout with its awe-inspiring combination of medieval and Renaissance architecture has given rise to such a wonderful masterpiece of architectural genius. The castle also was home to Scottish kings and queens from the time of Alexander I.

The outer defenses were built based on the work of Mary de Guise. The forework and the great hall are legacies left behind by James IV. The palace and the chapel were additions by James V and VI. There are legends associated with the castle like the battle of Stirling that was won by William Wallace against the English.

Places to visit around the Stirling Castle

I visited Tullibardine, situated between Sterling and Perth, which is a Malt Whiskey Distillery. On the upper bridge of Allan I got to see the Drumbrae riding centre that provided a picturesque view of the area and is renowned for providing excellent training to riders of all ages.

The fun of the Scottish outdoors is also etched in my mind with activities like archery, pigeon shoot etc. And if you want a heavenly experience just take a helicopter ride to view the beauty of the castle, the Wallace monument and other structures around. There are cafes and shops for the visitors to relax and buy souvenirs.

No matter what your taste you will find tranquility here, either when you stroll across the gardens, watch the fascinating art inside the castle or just lay back and enjoy the beauty of the whole of it.

Ailean, London

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