To the north is the 220ft high tower of the National Wallace Monument commemorating Scotland’s great hero William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson in the Oscar-winning movie Braveheart. From the castle you can look down over the scene of Wallace’s greatest triumph, the battle of Stirling Bridge, where he defeated the English army in 1297. To the south is Bannockburn where, in 1314, the great Scottish warrior-king Robert the Bruce defeated the English army of Edward II. The battle was fought for possession of Stirling Castle but eventually led to a far greater prize for Scotland – the restoration of independence. It’s an area alive with history and you stop at the castle to give you time to soak up the history and heritage of this great site.
From Stirling you head into the Highlands and an area known as the Trossachs. Known as ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, it marks the point where the Lowlands meet the Highlands and entering this beautifully picturesque area feels like going into a different country. With its shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens it’s easy to forget that this was once thought of as a dangerous frontier fought over by the fiercely territorial Highland clans. You stop here for lunch in the village of Aberfoyle, made popular in Victorian times due to its great location.
After lunch you ‘take the high road’ or back-road to Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest lochs at over 22 miles long, your will travel through the protected lands of Scotland’s first National Park. The route you take is along the eastern shores, a beautiful sheltered stretch of the loch with noble mountains dominated by Ben Lomond, one of the most climbed mountains in Scotland and our most southerly “Munro”.
You stop on the shores of the loch, the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’, up to a viewpoint for a fantastic view of the loch and the mountain it’s named after, Ben Lomond. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. Made popular by many books and films Rob Roy lived an incredible life as a soldier, businessman, cattle-rustler and outlaw. By spending time on the trails by the loch you will undoubtedly be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s great legends. There is also an alternative option to enjoy a drink at the local inn and sample the views. Leaving Loch Lomond you head east through the agricultural lands found on the west of Stirling. This area which was once an impassable bogland, inhabited only by wildfowl and a few outlaws. In the 1760s families were attracted here with offers of land and reduced rents provided they cleared the peat and expose the rich clay beneath. This scheme came to an end in 1865 and the area now is associated with some of the best hay cultivation in Britain. From here it is a short journey back to Edinburgh.
Return time - Approx 6.00pm
Adult Price: £40
Child Price: £37 (3 - 16 yrs)