‘King and Queen’ at Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Ayr and drove north for 90 minutes to our first destination of Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions.

Upon arrival at the Castle we undertook a tour of the extensive site which included:

  • Royal Apartments.
  • Chapel Royal
  • Great Hall
  • Kitchens.
  • Tapestry Weaving
  • Military Museum.

Queen’s Apartments at Stirling Castle

Queen's Apartments at Stirling Castle

Great Hall at Stirling Castle

Learning about Royal Apartments at Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Main entrance to Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Next, we continued north for about 40 mins to the village of Dunning in Perthshire. Here we had lunch at the Kirkstyle Pub and then visited the church opposite, St. Serf’s, which is now a museum they key attraction of which is the 9th century, Dupplin Cross, featuring high quality carvings with symbols and propaganda type messages which experts are still interpreting. The Cross (made of sandstone) was located out in the open for about 1100 years until moved indoors for preservation in recent times. It is likely that the Cross was associated with a Pictish era power base in the Forteviot-Dunning area.

Detail from Dupplin Cross

Dupplin Cross

Tour Group inspecting Dupplin Cross, Dunning

Dupplin Cross

Next, we drove to the nearby Roman Marching Camp and then on to the village of Forteviot where a unified Scotland emerged in the 9th century.

Next, we drove back towards Stirling, stopping for a brief visit to the massive Roman-era ( incepted in 1st century AD) military fort at Ardoch in Braco. Close to the site entrance is a medieval packhorse bridge, still intact.

Defences at Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco

Ardoch Roman Fort

Packhorse Bridge, Braco

Packhorse Bridge

Finally, we arrived at our lodgings for the night in Dunblane, a historical town with large medieval Cathedral, near Stirling.

Tomorrow, we travel to Iona, an island off Scotland’s West Coast.

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