Our marketing intern, Monika, is spending 12 weeks working with us here in National Office. No tea-making duties here, instead we sent Monika out of the office for the afternoon to join Stirling Walking Tours on a sightseeing trip around Stirling...
Stirling is where I call home during term-time at university, so for me I associate it with socialising, shopping and studying, rather than the history and stunning scenery that attracts visitors from all over the world.
I did take for granted what was right on my doorstep, and I mean this quite literally, as the view from my window last year was Stirling Bridge and I only knew a little about the history surrounding it.
I knew I was missing out by not visiting Stirling’s landmarks or looking further into our famous icons such as William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots. This is why, when the opportunity to go on a guided walking tour of Stirling came up, I was more than happy to go.
The day of the walking tour came, so I ventured out of the office and headed up past Stirling Youth Hostel to Cowane’s Hospital which was our rendezvous point. As I walked up the path I immediately spotted David, the tour guide, as he was kitted out in full costume. Not only did he look the part, he adopted his character in such a professional manner; his acting skills coupled with his knowledge of Stirling’s history made him the perfect tour guide.
As you may expect, it was day of typical Scottish weather. Luckily I had checked the weather the night before so I was ready to face all four seasons in one day which meant it didn’t affect the walk.
The walk covered many landmarks in Stirling’s Old Town and we stopped often to be told stories of battles, famous Scottish icons and various scandals that had taken place in Stirling.
These came with a wealth of information and David did a great job of making them funny and engaging. This has made it easy to retain a lot of the information that was covered, certainly more than you would from reading plaques, information boards or a textbook.
I have definitely come away from this walking tour knowing so much more than I did before. I’ve also found places that I didn’t know where accessible to the public for free. The cemetery behind Church of the Holy Rude was my favourite and I’ll make sure I go back again. From there you can see for miles in every direction which gives you stunning views of Stirling and the surrounding area.
So thanks to this walk I’ve found a few hidden gems in Stirling and improved my local history knowledge, which I can hopefully put to use in a pub quiz! I would recommend Stirling Walking Tours to both tourists and locals, as I’m certain it will give you a new appreciation for Stirling.
Get 2 for 1 on Stirling Old Town Tours until 27 September 2015! More info here.
Plus, throughout August, join David Kinnaird every Tuesday from 7pm for "But that's another story...!" - odd tales of the old town of Stirling. Free to youth hostel patrons.
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Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. Go on a #SYHAdventure! As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes and the maintenance of the hostelling network, particularly in rural Scotland.