Sat 27 - Mon 29 Jun 2015
Trip to Stirling
This year’s trip was to Stirling
and the surrounding area. We travelled north on Sat 27th June
and returned on Mon 29th. Despite a couple of late withdrawals
because of illness we still had a party of 45, made up of
members of CHAS and friends. We left Chorley promptly at 8.30
and stopped at Tebay Services and Moffat en route. The timing of
the lunch stop at Moffat was impeccable as it coincided with a
parade of vintage cars up and down the high street. It was very
Travelling on, we by-passed Stirling to arrive at the Wallace
Memorial, erected to the memory of William Wallace.
Wallace Memorial, erected to the
memory of William Wallace.
The monument was built in a commanding position with superb
views over to Stirling and its castle as well as of the hills to
the north and the Forth valley. After a restful few hours on the
coach, our muscles were stimulated not only by a steep climb up
to the monument, but also by climbing over 200 steps to the top
of the monument itself. At least that climb could be broken up
by visits to the interesting exhibitions on the different floors
of the monument.
When we came down we were captivated by an actor giving a
Scottish soldier’s view of life in Wallace’s army.
Steady on with that sword! This is
the United Kingdom!!
The photo was taken on a reccie
visit earlier in the year! This is Rough Castle, the remains of
a Roman Fort, which is probably the best preserved part of the
From the memorial we drove to our hotel, The Golden Lion, which
is situated in the old centre of Stirling. It was a very
convenient location and gave us good accommodation on a dinner,
bed and breakfast basis for two nights.
The weather had been fine on the Saturday. It was less kind on
our visit to Falkirk on the Sunday morning! We drove to the
Falkirk Wheel, where we were booked for a trip on a barge at
12.30. This allowed us time to visit the neighbouring Antonine
Wall. It was only a 20 minute walk away, but it rained most of
the way. The following photo was taken on a reccie visit earlier
in the year! This is Rough Castle, the remains of a Roman Fort,
which is probably the best preserved part of the wall.
The Falkirk Wheel lived up to everyone’s expectations. It is a
modern engineering masterpiece that replaced redundant locks and
re-connected and re-invigorated the Forth and Clyde Canal and
the Union Canal. It is stunning to see and thrilling to be
lifted and lowered by it on a barge. Never were so many photos
Lunch was taken in the modern visitors centre. The staff coped
well with our numbers and the soup and sandwiches deal was a
The Falkirk Wheel lived up to
everyone’s expectations. It is a modern engineering masterpiece
that replaced redundant locks and re-connected and
re-invigorated the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. It
is stunning to see and thrilling to be lifted and lowered by it
on a barge. Never were so many photos taken.........
The Bannockburn Experience proved
to be a very modern look at the one of the most famous Anglo-
Scottish battles. Outside the building there is the spot
commemorating where the Scots raised their flag, and statue of
Robert the Bruce.
After lunch we headed off to Bannockburn. Our driver took us by
that other local landmark, The Kelpies.
Indoors, there was a hi-tech, 3d/hologram tour of the battle of
Bannockburn, the leaders, their weapons and strategies, played
out not just in front of us, but around us and between us.
Several of us ducked as the first flight of cross-bow bolts sped
across the room! For most of us, this type of exhibition was a
new experience, but one which brought to life those events so
long ago and gave a clearer understanding of why and how the
Scots won that battle. Afterwards there was an opportunity to
handle the weapons, clothing and armoury that the protagonists
would have used. Steady on Bill!
Steady on Bill!
Rich in the history of the
The next scheduled visit on the programme was to Stirling Castle
was at 12.30 on Monday. However members of the party used the
fine evenings and the Monday morning to explore the Old Town,
taking in such features as the Old Town Wall, Cowane’s Hospital
(and wonderful scones), Holy Rude Church, The Old Town Cemetery,
Old Stirling Bridge and the Beheading Stone. Much to see!
We toured the Castle between 12.30 and 3.30 individually or as
part of guided tours. It provided a wide variety of exhibits
from military history through to tapestries, with stylish
buildings of different vintages, which were rich in the history
of the Scottish monarchs.
And then there were the ramparts
to be walked and the magnificent views to be seen, including the
The return home went smoothly, but our heads were still buzzing
with the sights of the day and with reflections on Scotland’s
history, and, of course, with its often fractious relationship
Christine and John Harrison
Magnificent views to be seen,
including the Kings Knot.