In June we ran a competition in our e-newsletter to win a 2-night-stay at our Stirling Youth Hostel. Also included in the prize was tickets to Stirling Castle and The Wallace Monument. We were extremely pleased to announce the winner as long time hosteller Richard Elloway.
Richard had to answer the question: how many steps are there to reach the top of The Wallace Monument? Of course, he answered right with 246! On his return home, Richard was keen to share his story of his experience with his wife Pamela in Scotland. He tells us what he got up on on his recent trip below.
Richard and his wife Pamela, visiting The Wallace Monument.
"It is always a pleasure to youth hostel in Scotland as I have done many times in past years. I entered one of the email newsletter competitions, for a two-night stay for two people at Stirling Youth Hostel, which included entrances to the Wallace Monument and the Castle. I had forgotten all about it, and then much later, to my complete surprise, I was informed that I was the winner. Wonderful!
Because the journey from our home in Somerset is such a long one, my wife, Pamela, and I, decided to make a week of it. Donna, SYHA Sales Manager, booked us three nights in Oban Youth Hostel before Stirling and a night in Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel afterwards.
Our first day in Oban was spent looking around the town. We found the Cathedral, a small chocolate-making business and a military museum. On the second day, we took a return trip to Mull, where we enjoyed a walk along the coast, and through the woods, past Duart and Torosay castles.
We arrived in Stirling in mid-afternoon and we quickly settled into our superb private room. We spent the remainder of the day looking around the shops and then enjoying a restaurant meal.
The following morning, Donna and her colleague Claire met us and we were driven to the Wallace Monument. After photographs and farewells, a minibus drove us up the steep hill to the base of the tower. It was then time for us to expend our energies by climbing the spiral staircase of 246 steps to the top. This did not have to be achieved in one go, as there were exhibitions to view on each of the three floors. The view from the top was spectacular giving a 360 degree panorama.
It was interesting to see the meandering of the River Forth and how it had such an impact on the terrain that was so influential in the superior strength English army being defeated by William Wallace and the Scots at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297."
Richard, with his prize; tickets to The Wallace Monument
"Having returned to the city in the middle of the afternoon, we made our way up the hill, past the youth hostel to the castle and we were in time to enjoy a guided tour of the most important rooms. Afterwards we returned to learn more of the history from the very well informed guides who were in period costume. Walking back down the hill, we passed Argyll’s Lodging, a 17th Century town house, the residence of the Earl of Stirling and later the Earls of Argyll. This was of particular interest to us as, between 1964 and 1992, it served as Stirling’s first youth hostel.
Leaving Stirling, we travelled to Edinburgh, so that we could visit the Royal Yacht. This was a most interesting experience as we saw every part of the vessel, starting on the bridge and ending in the depths, by the engine room.
This holiday was a memorable experience and we look forward to coming again next year."
If you would like to be in with the chance of winning a break away like Richard or be kept up to date with all of our latest offers, competitions and deals you can subscribe to our e-newsletter on our homepage.
Biography for SYHA Hostelling Scotland
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, which is free to everyone under 16 and students in full-time education. 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.