Visit Stirling
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Visit Stirling

The ancient capital of Scotland has been a leading player in Scotland's turbulent history for 700 years. Its Jubilee honour echoes down the centuries to recall the heroic deeds of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace and their victories at Bannockburn and Stirling Bridge, but is also a reflection on the vibrant, modern Stirling of today. Stirling Bridge is only 3 miles from the cottage and the magnificent Wallace Monument dominates the landscape all around. If you climb to the top of the monument you get a bird's eye view of The Carse of Stirling, including the cottage!

The compact heritage mile that links the Stirling's Old Town with its bustling city centre boasts the finest concentration of historic buildings in Scotland. Beautifully preserved medieval and Renaissance churches and mansions cluster around the Old Town, flanked by cobbled streets, period street furniture and Victorian styled iron work.

Stirling's 'Back Walk' is a scenic pathway around the Castle and Old Town that rivals the attractions of the city walls of York or Chester. The heritage hillside takes in the medieval Church of the Holy Rude, where James VI was crowned in 1567, when he was one year old. The grandeur of a leading 17th century nobleman and his family is on display in Argyll's Lodging, a magnificent 1630s townhouse which is furnished as it was in the 1680s. Built in 1632 by William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling, the Lodging was enlarged by the 9th Earl of Argyll in the 1670s to become one of Scotland's finest renaissance townhouses. Specialist furniture makers, upholsterers. silversmiths and glass blowers reproduced the many items described in an inventory of the mansion dated 1680.

Stirling's Old Town Jail has been transformed from a grim Victorian reform prison into a vibrant visitor attraction. In the narrow, dingy cells of the restored 19th century jail, live actors - as prisoners, warders and governors - realistically portray the horrors of the noose, the birch and the branding iron. On show is a punishment machine from which warders got their nickname of "screws". Prisoners had to turn a cranking machine handle 14,000 times a day before they got their dinner. By tightening a number of screws, warders could increase the power needed to turn the handle and the name "screw" stuck. There is also a modern exhibition where visitors can experience Jail life in Scotland today.

The Tolbooth opposite was the previous town jail where up to 25 prisoners were housed in one cell, up until it was closed amid cries for prison reform in the Victorian era. March 2002 saw The Tolbooth transformed into a new music and arts venue, where new architectural ideas are blended with original features. The venue will feature live performances and act as a vibrant new base for street theatre and other arts based events. Rare objects and paintings from Stirling's past, including the world's oldest curling stone and the ancient Stirling jug, are on display at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum. Open free of charge, the 'Smith' has changing exhibitions, children's activities, a gift shop and cafe. 

Distance from the cottage - only 3 miles.