Horses, Castles, and Monuments

Yes the title might sounds like a scene from Game of Thrones but in actual fact it describes my recent weekend checking off a few things form my “to do” list. Everyone has a list, a list of places they’d like to go or visit, usually more things get added to that list than removed, but this weekend I finally check a few off. The best part, they are almost on my front door and I can’t believe it took me so long.

So, what is it I’m actually talking about? Well I finally took the time to visit The Kelpies, Stirling Castle, and Wallace Monument. Granted the weather was terrible and it was raining the whole time but even still, some of the views were brilliant. Not only that but I can’t help and add these places back on to my “”to do” list come summer when there is a smidge of a possibility it wont be raining and the temperature might be over 10 degrees. A man can dream.

The Kelpies

Sitting right beside the motorway I always presumed The Keplies were simply built on a concrete platform with a simple path up and round to view them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have actually been built on and around a canal route linking up with the Falkirk Wheel. Even on a grey and stormy day with rain coming in sideways, the two Kelpies were pretty impressive. I like that fact that the sculptures appear anatomically realistic rather than say an abstract impression, yet the use of material and construction style help to pull out the artistic status.

Stirling Castle

I do have a soft spot for history and castles rank up there quite highly. Stirling castle is an impressive place to visit that starts at the journey from the town up to the car park. It’s not hard to imagine that your in a small version of Edinburgh as you twist thorough the small cobbled streets. Stirling castle is a tourist attraction and for that once you get there you find a well laid out and looked after piece of Scotland’s history. Offering some great views from the battlements as well as some impressive “scratch your head” how did they build this back then architecture.

Wallace Monument

Pouring rain and howling a gale is probably not the most inspiring time to climb the 246 steps of the Wallace Monument, but after a rather heavy lunch it was actually nice to burn some of it off and work the legs! Even when paying for the tickets the staff warned us about the wind and told us to take care as we started up the steps. Narrow and dizzying you get a break at levels on the way up that also give you information about the monument, its history, and the person it built to honor. At the top though you are treated to a stunning view for 360 degrees of the surrounding area and even on the stormy, gloomy day I’d found myself climbing up the monument, it was worth it for the view.

The best thing about all of the tourist attractions I’ve just commented about is the fact they are all not only in the grand scheme of things on my front door, but only a short drive separates one from the other. The only down side about the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle would have to be the admission costs, which I understand go to the upkeep of these wonderful buildings but doing them all on the same trip doesn’t half make you notice the screams coming out of your wallet.

Still, if you remember what I said at the start of this post, all of these tourist points are back on my list simply because they were so good to visit and appreciate. Now I’d love to get to the top of Wallace Monument on a clear sunny day to really appreciate the view, or visit The Kelpies at a dry cloud free night to see them all lit up. Moral of the story, there are some lovely places to visit in Scotland – and some are closer than you think.

Thanks for reading.

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