Declaration of Freedom at Stirling Castle, Scotland

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Grantown-on-Spey¬†in speyside, Scottish Highlands and drove South East for about two and a half hours through Grampian Mountain scenery in the Cairngorms National Park. This route took us through Tomintoul, past Corgarff¬†Castle and through Aboyne, Kincardine O’Neil, Banchory¬†and Stonehaven¬†to our first destination of Dunnottar Castle which sits on an exposed promontory facing the North Sea.¬†

Dunnottar Castle dates from the 1290s and has a long association with Clan Keith. The Crown Jewels of Scotland were held at the castle at one time. Over the centuries control of the castle oscillated between England and Scotland. The current ruined state is due to a Cromwellian bombardment in 1651-2.

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Well at Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Dunottar Castle, Scotland

Next, we drove S.W. to Edzell and Edzell Castle which is a Renaissance era building ( 17th century) with elaborate garden reflecting the scholarship and sophisticated tastes of the Lindsay family. Current damaged state is result of action by Government troops in 1745 and subsequent asset stripping by creditors. The garden was restored in the 1930s. After visiting the castle we drove through the town and environs.

Tour Group at Edzell Castle, Scotland

Edzell Castle, Scotland

Edzell Castle and Garden, Scotland

Next, we drove into central Scotland to visit Stirling Castle, which has been subject to extensive restoration, including the former Royal Apartments.Historically, Stirling Castle was an important power base and experienced many changes of control between English and Scots. Close by were fought the battles of Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). We visited the Royal Apartments, Chapel Royal, Great Hall and Kitchens.

Royal Apartments at Stirling Castle, Scotland

Main Entrance to Stirling Castle, Scotland

‘Royal’ Couple at Stirling Castle, Scotland

‘Royal’ couple at Stirling Castle, Scotland

Finally, we departed Stirling and drove to Edinburgh where guests were deposited at their hotel at conclusion of a successful four-day tour of Scotland.

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