The Engine Shed, Stirling

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Forthside Way,
Stirling,
FK8 1QZ

+44 (0) 1786 234 800
engineshed.scot

SCOUT OUT SOME OF SCOTLAND’S MOST ICONIC SPOTS

Stirling typifies Scotland’s rich history and cultural significance with its castles, monuments, and popular attractions.

Due to its strategic location in the middle of the country, Stirling has been at the centre of much of Scotland’s eclectic past including the trials and tribulations of William Wallace. It’s home to some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks.

Fantastic for children and adults alike, the ideal place to start your exploration of Stirling is The Engine Shed. A dedicated building conservation centre, it houses a hands-on museum and exhibition space covering how the historic buildings of Scotland were built, and are now maintained. It’ll give you the perfect insight into the abundance of historical architecture you can expect to see on your journey through Scotland.

At The Engine Shed, check out their film on how modern technology can be used to preserve and maintain historic buildings. Explore the hands-on exhibition hall to make the most of your visit. At the centre of the hall is a large augmented reality map which allows you to ‘visit’ locations around Scotland via imagery, 3D models and maps. As well as discovering Scotland’s famous historical buildings, you’ll learn vast amounts about the conservation work associated with them. Check out sites like Doune Castle before you really visit them later on your road trip!

Armed with a wealth of knowledge, you’re all set to explore the rest of this charming town – renowned for the hugely impressive Stirling Castle.

Image courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland

At The Engine Shed, check out their film on how modern technology can be used to preserve and maintain historic buildings. Explore the hands-on exhibition hall to make the most of your visit. At the centre of the hall is a large augmented reality map which allows you to ‘visit’ locations around Scotland via imagery, 3D models and maps. As well as discovering Scotland’s famous historical buildings, you’ll learn vast amounts about the conservation work associated with them. Check out sites like Doune Castle before you really visit them later on your road trip!

  • Image courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland
  • Image courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland
  • Image courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland
  • Image courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland

Armed with a wealth of knowledge, you’re all set to explore the rest of this charming town – renowned for the hugely impressive Stirling Castle.

Similar to Edinburgh Castle, it is strategically placed in an imposing position on the top of a crag – with steep cliffs on three sides. From this vantage point, it has overseen many of Scotland’s most important moments throughout history. Events such as the victory of William Wallace at Stirling Bridge, the crowning of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the defeat of the English at Bannockburn all occurred in the area.

Entry to the castle is £15 for adults.

The view from the castle’s promenade is absolutely stunning and worth the entry fee alone. The expanse of fields and distant mountains give way to the National Wallace Monument as you focus in on Abbey Craig. It was built to honour Sir William Wallace and positioned to overlook the scene of his greatest victory – the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

If you are visiting the Wallace Monument on your road trip, be prepared for a steep climb from the visitor reception to the monument itself – with a further 246 steps to reach the summit. However, the climb can be broken up with stops in the Hall of Arms and the Hall of Heroes which houses Wallace’s legendary sword. Emerging into the Crown, you’ll be struck with phenomenal views. Just hold onto your hat!

Braveheart brought the tale of William Wallace to the big screen, but it actually contains many historical inaccuracies. Firstly, Scots didn’t wear kilts or paint their faces for battle during that time period. And, even more obvious, was the lack of a bridge in the film’s version of the Battle of Stirling Bridge – one of the movie’s most memorable scenes.

The National Wallace Monument, Image courtesy of Stirling District Tourism
  • The National Wallace Monument, Image courtesy of Stirling District Tourism
  • The National Wallace Monument, Image courtesy of Stirling District Tourism
  • The National Wallace Monument, Image courtesy of Stirling District Tourism

In reality, part of the victory can be attributed to the English being made to cross the bridge in small groups, making the battle more manageable for the Scots on the other side. Currently, Old Stirling Bridge proudly crosses the River Forth at Stirling and is worth a visit for the spectacular views it offers. Its position now is slightly further downstream from the bridge that would have been present in 1297.

For one of Stirling’s hidden gems, stop by the Church of the Holy Rude and surrounding cemetery. This fascinating church is the second oldest building in Stirling after the castle. Cambuskenneth Abbey lives in the literal shadow of Stirling Castle, but is equally impressive in its architecture and is the resting place of King James III and his wife, Queen Margaret.

Stirling juxtaposes ancient history with modern culture and urban vibrancy. Once you’ve visited some of Scotland’s most iconic spots across the town, delve into the here and now by checking out Made in Stirling. This craft shop supports local artists and is bustling with creativity. Stirling really is a perfect example of what Scotland is able to offer its visitors, so make sure you get a little taste of it.

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