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Stirling, Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs Tourism Info
Location: Central Scotland
Counties: Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Dunbartonshire
Main City/Town: Stirling (Population 41,243)
Stirling, Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs Tourism Info
Stirling sits on the border of the lowlands and highlands and for centuries has been used as a strong hold to stop invading forces from advancing to the northern part of Scotland. Like Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle sits on a volcanic rock imposing over the valley. Stirling has been the scene of some of the most important historical battles in Scotland. It was here where Sir William Wallace "Brave Heart" defeated an English army more than 3 times its size, using Stirling Bridge to funnel the troops. The castle itself has been under attack at least 16 times, falling under the hands as such rulers as the Stuart kings, Mary Queen of Scots, Robert the Bruce and Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Stirling Castle is definitely a must see sight when visiting Scotland. The area of Stirling itself has other interesting places to visit as well. Walking up to the castle through the old town you will pass by many historical buildings; Robert Spittal's House was the tailor to King James IV in 1530, founded by Robert Spittal he left money to help the poor. Stirling Old Town Jail offers guided tours with actors displaying how it was in the old days. The Church of the Holy Rude where in the graveyard King James VI was crowned. Then Mar's Wark where it is said the keeper of Stirling Castle lived.
Across the valley from the valley from Stirling is the National Wallace Monument, an impressive tall gothic style tower with great views of the castle and surrounding area. Built in the 1860's for the purpose to commemorate William Wallace and tell his story. Inside you will find artefacts of Wallace's conquest for freedom, such as statues, clothes that he might have worn, and his 5ft 4in long sword (or claymore) where at the sight of it you will be amazed to learn how someone could hold it up, let alone fight with it in battle. The monument was placed in this specific location for it was this mound where Wallace watched the English approach for the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the story is told throughout the museum. On the second floor, or the Hall of Heroes, it also commemorates other Scottish heroes such as Robert the Bruce and Sir Walter Scot.
Near Stirling is also the Bannockburn Heritage Centre which explains the story of the Battle of Bannockburn. The story tells how Robert the Bruce led 7,000 Scots to defeat the imposing 20,000 strong English Army.
To the north is the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park which is the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. This area became most popularly known after the writing of Sir Walter Scott. His book based on the real life of Rob Roy MacGregor, an outlaw yet a folk hero to the Highlanders. The Rob Roy Museum can be found in the town of Callander. The Trossachs are a haven for nature walkers with its rolling rugged hills, dense forests and great lochs that bring you back to the days when the highlanders roamed the land. For more details visit the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park website.
Loch Lomond is the largest single inland waterway in Britain. People for years have been coming to the shores of Loch Lomond to escape the pressures of the city. Picturesque towns surround the loch with unique accommodations from castle hotels to family lodges. In the town of Bolloch you will find many activities available in the Loch Lomond Shores visitors centre. Loch Lomond Shores is a recently opened (2002) complex offering a variety of activities such as an aquarium, bike rental, canoe, kayak, pedal boat hire, hiking information and cruises. For more information visit Loch Lomond Shores website.
Hiking and nature walking is a popular activity in the Trossachs, these 2 in particular are frequently visited; the West Highland Way that leads to Fort William is Ben Lomond, the southern most Munro, a worthy trek where from the top there are spectacular views of the Eastern portion of Loch Lomond. The Rob Roy Way is a 79 mile trail from Drymen to Pitlochry, passing by many places associated with MacGregor.
Castles found in the Loch Lomond region are Dumbarton, Buchanan and Balloch Castle. Dumbarton Castle stands on a 200ft cliff and one of the oldest fortified sights in Scotland. Buchanan Castle dates back to 1225 and was the head seat to the Montrose family. Balloch Castle on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond offer excellent woodland and lochside walks. Loch Lomond Youth Hostel is an impressive country house set in parkland, with stunning views of the hills to the east, and is well known for its ghost resident.
Photo Credits: VisitScotland/Kenny lam
Recommended Tours in Stirling, Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs
• Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh
• Day Tour to Stirling Castle and Loch Lomond from Glasgow
• Oban and West Highland Castles Tour from Edinburgh
more tours Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, The Trossachs
Recommended Hotels in Stirling, Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs
• The Carrick at Cameron House Luxury Lodges 5*
• Foxglove Suites and Cottages 5*
• The Lodge On Lomond 4*
more hotels Loch Lomond, Stirling
Recommended Books of Stirling, Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs
• Loch Lomond, Trossachs, Stirling and Clackmannan: Walks (Pathfinder Guide)
• Stirling Bridge and Falkirk 1297-98: William Wallace's Rebellion (Osprey Campaign)
• Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park: East v. 2
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