Only a short distance from Edinburgh, Stirling is an incredible city shrouded in fog and an ancient castle which sits on a cliff.
For a tourist, Stirling is a difficult place not to fall in love with. And for the Scots, Stirling represents more than just ancient stories of legend and medieval history. It represents the heart of Scotland.
Once known as the capital of Scotland; before Edinburgh, Stirling is where legendary William Wallace gave back hope to the Scottish people, when he stood with Robert the Bruce and fought back the English at Stirling Bridge.
The battle of Stirling bridge was the first war of Scottish Independence, where the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the English forces on 11 September 1297.
Known as the gateway to the highlands, it has has been often quoted that ‘He who Holds Stirling, Holds Scotland.’ This is because of its key position and location, which is at the lowest bridging point of the River Forth, before it broadens towards the Firth of Forth; making it a focal point of travel when going either North or South.
It’s in Stirling the reputation of William Wallace both began and ended. And a strong reason, why many Scots; and tourists, flock to Stirling in droves each year. Respect for the warrior who fought for the independence of Scotland is remembered strongly.
When you wander the streets, you feel his presence in the people everywhere you look and turn. It’s an incredible feeling to experience and I highly recommend anyone who is travelling to Scotland to take the time and visit Stirling. Especially to visit the incredible memorial built in tribute for this once great man.
With the essence of this great town (or city rather), and the beautiful people who live here, I fell in love with Stirling the moment I arrived.
If and when I ever visit Scotland again, I will most definitely visit Stirling again. And instead of only staying the day, next time I will spend at least a few days, so not to rush my time spent in this magical place.