Holidays are the best. There’s nothing quite like waking up knowing you don’t have to go to work, that time is your own and you can do whatever you like. Sadly holidays also seem to whiz by. I’ve been lucky enough to have the past week off and I can’t believe how quickly it has passed. I’m really not looking forward to the 6am alarm tomorrow.
On Wednesday we took off to Stirling for an overnight stay. While there we made our way to the Wallace Monument. It dominates the skyline and really does look like a Disney castle. Up close it is both impressive and imposing. For once the weather was on side and as we arrived at the base of the Monument after a short but steep woodland climb the sun was out, bathing the sandy stonework.
Perched up on a hill, the Wallace Monument offers panoramic views across Stirling and the surrounding countryside. Personally, I could have stayed at the bottom looking out across the city all day. It was simply breathtaking.
Inside the Monument there are three levels featuring information about William Wallace and the history of Scotland’s struggle for independence from English rule in the late 13th and early 14th Century. The levels are reached via a very narrow spiral staircase which was frequently congested. Visiting in the middle of the summer holidays was probably not the best idea as we ran into people coming down as we went up more than once. In one incident a child screamed right in my ear, nearly deafening me.
Despite this, the Monument is a great place to visit if you are interested in Scottish history. The first room is called the Hall of Arms and this tells the story of how William Wallace came to be fighting for Scotland’s freedom. A timeline ran along the wall, detailing how Edward I of England came to seize control of Scotland and how Wallace and his fellow Scots rose up against him. Examples of the weaponry, such as swords, arrows and shields were on display as were examples of the chain mail the fighting men would have worn.
In the second room there were a series of busts of famous men who helped shape Scottish and British history. Among my favourites were Sir Walter Scott, James Watt and Robert Burns. Here there was information on how Wallace came to be lauded as a hero and freedom-fighter, namely through poetry and verse. There was also a bust of Robert the Bruce, which my boyfriend pointed out bears an uncanny resemblance to Billy Connolly.
We didn’t go into the third room but made our way straight to the top where once again the views were simply amazing. The photos don’t do it justice. This is one of those occasions where you have to see something to really appreciate its beauty.
It was very windy at the top of the Wallace Monument when we visited and, as a result, my hair went wild in every single photo. I had a good chuckle over these when I looked back over the pictures from the holiday.
If you are interested in Scottish history and want to have your breath taken away by the scenery then I would encourage you to visit the Wallace Monument. The climb up the stairs might be a bit heart-stopping but it is worth it for the engaging displays and gorgeous views from the top. I will also reiterate the fact that the Monument resembles a Disney castle. What more could you want from a day out?