With so many of us leading an inactive lifestyle, sitting at a desk or in front of the TV, it's more important than ever to get moving. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking, 5 times a week helps to maintain good health and well-being. Best of all it's free! Ramblers Scotland Medal Routes were designed to make it easy for everyone to get out there and start walking with routes taking 15, 30 and 60 minutes.
As our German volunteer, Steffen, is currently staying at Stirling Youth Hostel - a Medal Routes walking hub - he set off with a map and a camera earlier this week to test out Stirling's Silver Route...
We've been lucky to get a few crisp, sunny days this March and a day like this is perfect for a walk. Everything feels fresh and Stirling Old Town looks even better than usual with the sun streaming down over the rooftops. I start my walk at Stirling Youth Hostel, the former church facade makes you feel like you've travelled back in time, and turn left up St John Street making my way towards the castle. I pass the old brick and eerie towers of Stirling Old Town Jail (now home to Destination Stirling but was once the the only military prison in Scotland) and the Church of the Holy Rude where I stop for a moment and walk up the passageway.
At the end is Cowane’s Hospital and from here the view is fantastic, the bright day even makes it possible to see the hills in the distance!
I head back down to the street and keep on walking along the route. When it comes to a fork in the road the map says I should bypass Stirling Castle but, as it's such a beautiful day, I can't miss out on seeing it. On the right-hand-side, there are the Ochil Hills with the Wallace Monument and Stirling University in the foreground. I sit back on the grass relaxing for a moment and when I'm feeling re-energized I make my way down beside the castle. You walk a bit in the shadow of the Castle wall and arrive at Commonwealth War Graves. Here the walk makes a loop around the cemetery but I recommend taking a stop here on one of the benches and just letting your imagination run free - maybe you turn back to the Medieval Age, saving princesses and fighting the Battle of Bannockburn! Or you could just enjoy the sun and the view over the countryside with River Forth meandering through Stirling.
Overall it's a great easy walk - but with some uphill sections - and it helped me get to know the area around Stirling Youth Hostel better. If you get the chance to try out this Medal Route then pop into the youth hostel on your way back down...we're always keen to hear from you and what you thought of the walk.
Biography for Hostelling Scotland
Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join 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.