Stirling Castle

As promised, a few more photos from our trip to Stirling Castle the other weekend.

Stirling PalaceStirling Castle fortifications
The entire purpose of this trip was to feel that we’d justified our Historic Scotland membership, which we bought with some Christmas money last year.  The idea was that we’d be out at different castles every weekend, getting some fresh air and actually visiting some of our local tourist attractions without having to wait for any foreign visitors to come along.

Of course, it then got to November and we’d been exactly four places.  Not really getting our money’s worth.

Stirling appears to be the second most expensive Historic Scotland property after Edinburgh Castle, so useful on the money’s-worth front.
Stirling Castle old entranceI keep thinking that I hadn’t been to Stirling Castle before our visit this month but then it just seems really unlikely to me that I haven’t been.  Surely with school or something?  My dad doesn’t remember taking me but thinks that I must surely have been at some point.  We did traipse around endless castles when we were younger so it seems unlikely that we totally missed such a major one.

Anyway, Stirling Castle has changed a lot over the last decade or so.  They rendered one of the buildings in bright plaster – controversial at the time although apparently historically accurate – and this year they opened the newly renovated palace, with stunning fabrics and tapestries as well as marvellous ceilings incorporating replicas of the Stirling Heads (the Stirling Heads themselves were my favourite bit, but impossible to get a picture of, being behind glass in low light). The palace has amazing sculptures on the outside – they definitely wanted a castle with a bit of bling! There are some pictures of how they would have looked originally, when painted.
Sculpture on Stirling palace
Another sculpture on Stirling palaceI was very impressed with the tour we went on – not too long and we got a lot of information on the history of the castle from a chatty but not annoying guide.  They also have audio guides but I can’t abide those things.

Being in the off-season, it was pretty quiet for a weekend.  I imagine it gets horrendous in the summer.

If you fancy going yourself, you can sign up for a free visit to a Historic Scotland property this weekend here.

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