We continue from the Falkirk Wheel and arrive at our first fort just outside of Edinburgh. Stirling Castle is one of the largest castles in Scotland and looks back on an eventful history. At least eight sieges are documented, as a result of which the Scottish flag and the English flag flew over their roofs. In any case, this fortress is part of our Explorer Passes, so we have to visit it for that reason alone.
Many great names in Scottish history are closely intertwined with the proud walls of the castle: Robert the Bruce defeated the English troops in sight of the castle in the Battle of Bannockburn and Mary Stuart had herself crowned Queen of Scotland here in 1542.
Built in the 13th century, Doune Castle is of paramount historical importance. In 1975, a Trojan rabbit was rolled in front of the castle gates as a sophisticated siege ruse when King Arthur and his men tried to snatch the Holy Grail from the French lords of the castle in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“.
Coconut halves are still available today for the film’s loyal fan base to experience the historical aura of the place up close.
However, not for us. We’re too late and the nasty French are closing the gates right under our noses. We also set up a Trojan rabbit in front of the entrance, but we forget to hide in it and stay outside. Who knows, they might have let Mary Stuart in with her coconuts.
We have had enough of the Lowlands and now turn to “wild” Scotland, its Highlands and Highlanders. – Chris & Alex