Stirling is a beautiful city, you’ll love it! There’s plenty to see for a short stay and for those of us lucky enough to live here . Here are three sights that you can be easily seen on the way from the city centre to the University.
1. Cambuskenneth Abbey
Cambuskenneth Abbey is near riverside, a short walk from the train station. Take two right turns immediately from the station and you should soon reach a small footbridge over the river Forth. The award-winning village of Cambuskenneth is on the other side. The Abbey is an important site in Scottish history: the first Scottish parliament after the Battle of Bannockburn was held there, and the Abbey also features the tomb of James III. Although the Abbey is largely in ruins now, the bell tower is still standing and is open during the summer months.
2. The auld brig
You’ll pass the auld brig on the bus into University, but its many interesting angles deserve closer inspection. The bridge’s four arches are built upon three man-made islands, in a beautifully symmetric structure. In medieval times the auld brig was the only crossing into the highlands; its strategic importance is clear from its exaggerated size right at the centre of the above map of Scotland. The auld brig stands next to the site of the even aulder brig from William Wallace’s defeat of the English during the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the remains of which can supposedly be seen during low tide.
3. Old logie kirkyard
The old logie kirkyard is just a short stroll from the main University campus. From the management centre, cross over the loch and head towards the golf course. The kirkyard is further ahead at the foot of a path that takes you up local hill Dumyat. The old kirkyard is no longer in use, as a larger church was built down the road 200 years ago. Lots of fascinating tombstones remain in good condition at the old kirkyard. One common inscription is a skull and crossbones, sometimes paired with an inverted heart-shape and the words “memonto mori” – remember you must die.
While most tourists head straight for the castle, Stirling has lots of beautiful things to see, and these are three of my favourites that can be easily packaged with a day-trip to the University.