Home to what was once the capital of Scotland, standing at the border of the highlands and lowlands, at the very northern edge of Roman influence, close by the great cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, filled with modern refineries and timeless cottages: this is the Stirling and Falkirk area.
Some people (not followers of this blog, surely
) would be tempted to say, “Ach, you’ve seen one loch
, you’ve seen them. You’ve seen one castle
, you’ve seen them all. One distillery
, one pristine glen
, one church
, one stream
…etc. etc.” But that’s like saying that one sunset
is just like another. Rubbish!
Let’s prove those naysayers wrong as we forge ahead into yet another beautiful part of the country we love! Scotland is always full of surprises, and I imagine that we’ll find a goodly share of Undiscovered Bits
in Stirling and Falkirk that will keep us eternally surprised and entertained.
Here are some Brit-Bits about Stirling and Falkirk:
- As so often happens in this ancient land of Britain, venerable history and somewhat less venerable modernity collide–sometimes with hilarious results. Doune Castle is a primary example of this. No longer remembered simply as yet another 13th century Scottish castle used as a royal retreat, it is now known as an iconic location from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and you can attend “Monty Python Day” here every year.
- Have you ever heard of the Church of the Holy Rude? It doesn’t sound very polite, whatever it means. It’s located on the top of the highest hill in the city of Stirling. Holy Rude has the same origin as Holyrood, and it actually means Holy Cross. Check out the early English poem The Dream of the Rood.
- Falkirk was once the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire! Yep, farther than Hadrian’s Wall.
Falkirk was a vital hub linking the great industrial canals
across the Central Belt. The canals have been restored after a period of neglect, and now stand as symbols of the past as well as lovely places to take a leisure canal boat trip.
- This area is a walker’s paradise, scattered with unique little villages, stunning scenery, and plenty of distinctive pubs.
- Enjoy the local cuisine at places like Paparazzi, where patrons sample “a bewildering array of coffees, teas, shakes and sodas.” Or try The Bank Restaurant in Stirling, ordering a two-course lunch for just £9.95pp while you snuggle into the dark woods of the atmospheric dining room.
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