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Day 10–June 26–Day Trip to Stirling Castle

We got up early to take the train to Stirling to visit the Castle, and got there before some of the sites were open, but fortunately the castle opens at 9:30. We took a guided tour (they start every half hour) and then had tea before spending an hour or so in the exhibit for the carved medallions in the palace. This is definitely the portion of the castle where many will want to spend their time budget. The comparison of 17th Century and modern fashions was fascinating, as was the selection of clothing as a political statement as relevant today as then.

After lunch we went to catch a local bus to take us to the Wallace National Monument. In Stirling, there are two bus companies and the tickets are not interchangeable; the M buses only run once an hour which is important to know when allocating time at the tower. Do not miss the last bus (we did not). We took the shuttle up the hill to the tower and then climbed it–all 270-some steps. The view is incredible, and gives a good understanding of the Stirling Bridge battlefield.

At this point, our original plan of seeing the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies was clearly beyond hope, so we got tea, hopped a train back to Paisley via Glasgow Queens and Glasgow Central, had dinner at the same Italian restaurant near the Paisley train station, and walked home. Kristin’s Garmin said that she had walked 8.6 miles.

For planning trips in and around Glasgow, you will probably have to travel between Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queens train stations at least once. There are busses, you can walk or take a taxi. Taking a taxi and walking are probably about the same time, depending upon traffic. Taking the bus is the slowest. It is about a 10 minute walk and would be manageable with roller luggage; but you will need to use a cell-phone mapping program or have a map in hand, as there are a couple of turns that are not well marked.

Stirling Castle is part of the Explorer Pass.

Stirling Castle is well worth half a day. The cafe has a terrace that is a great place for a late lunch at the end of your visit to the castle.
Stirling--Stirling Castle
Allow ample time to tour the various rooms with medalion ceiling and the related displays describing the people and fashions depicted. For the history-minded, this is probably the place to allocate most of your time budget after taking the docent-led walking tour of the castle.
Stirling--Stirling Castle
Stirling--Stirling Castle
The view from the top of the Wallace National Monument is impressive, but it is fairly crowded and not a place for quiet contemplation as you recover from the climb.
Wallace National Monument