Last week I turned 20 and I also had a visit from Bradley. He arrived on my birthday and needless to say, he was my favourite birthday present this year! I worked quite a lot during his stay, but we had time to squeeze in a trip to Stirling.

Brad had never been to Stirling, in fact, I don't even know if he had even heard of the place before. But when I mentioned there was a castle, he was sold. He spent the train journey declaring his excitement and looking out of the window with a grin across his face. He might look a bit intimidating, but he is a big child at heart, and he couldn't wait to gallantly stride around the castle wishing he was a medieval knight!

On the day we visited the sun was shining and we could really appreciate Stirling for the medieval old town that it is. Any time I had visited previously it had been drab and rainy - such dreich weather never done much for the beauty of the city. We walked our way up to the castle, weaving our way through the shops and being drawn into a record store where we bought some vinyls. Afterwards we headed onward to the Church of Holy Rude where we wandered through the cemetery before reaching the castle.

We explored all the nooks and crannies of the castle, taking our time through exhibitions and walking along the wall. As you would expect, you get an amazing view of the city from the castle - you see the Wallace Monument peering through the trees and the vast countryside that surrounds Stirling. It really is beautiful, and serves as a glimpse into Scotland's royal past, which was upset by the emergence of new religion. It is without a doubt one of the most significant castles in Scotland, and it shouldn't be missed on your visit.

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Published by Sarah Shields