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Stirling Guide

Stirling is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area.

The city is clustered around a large fortress and mediƦval old-town. It is a centre for local government, higher education, retail, and light industry. Its population (as of the 2001 census) was 41,243, making it the smallest city in Scotland.

One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a Royal burgh by King David I in 1130, which it remained until 1975, when the county of Stirlingshire was absorbed into Central Region. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.

Here are some facts about Stirlingshire:

• The small town of Doune in Stirlingshire was once famous throughout the world for manufacturing pistols. Some even say that it was a pistol made here in Stirlingshire that fired the first shot of the American War of Independence.

• Stirling carse, the flat farmland stretching west across Stirlingshire from the castle, is an ancient peat bog. When it was drained back in the 18th century people were amazed to find the remains of whales. Nowadays, hay grown on the Stirlingshire carse is reckoned to be the best-quality hay in the country, apparently top thoroughbred horses won't eat anything else.

• It was in Stirlingshire that Robert the Bruce helped secure independence for Scotland through his decisive victory at Bannockburn, just outside Stirling, in 1314. Together the Bannockburn Monument and nearby statue of Robert the Bruce are one of the most visited sites in Stirlingshire.

• Stirlingshire is home to many of the most famous battles in Scottish history, and the Wallace Monument commemorates William Wallace, the 13th Century Scottish hero who fought the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The monument, which is a sandstone tower built in 1869 with contributions from, among others, Garibaldi, is one of Stirlingshire's most well loved attractions.

• Granted it's own coat of arms in 1890, Stirlingshire's banner depicts a St Andrews cross and a red lion. The weapons placed around the cross represent the weapons used against the English during the battle of Bannockburn.

• Culcreuch castle, in one of Stirlingshire's prettiest villages, Fintry, is home to the largest colony of bats in the UK.

Here are just some places to visit in and around Stirlingshire:

Albert Halls
Dumbarton Road,
Stirling, FK8 2QL
Argyll's Lodging
Castle Wynd, Stirling,
Trossachs, FK8 1EJ
Bannockburn Heritage Centre
Glasgow Road Bannockburn, Stirling,
Stirlingshire, FK7 8LJ
Royal Burgh of Stirling Visitor Centre
Castle Esplanade, Stirling
Blair Drummond Safari Park
Blair Drummond, by Stirling,
Stirling, FK9 4UR
The Wallace Monument
Abbey Craig
Stirling Old Town Jail
ST. John Street
Stirling, FK8 1EA
Church of the Holy Rude
St John Street,
Stirling Old Town
Stirling Castle
Esplanade
Stirling, FK8 1EJ
Smith Art Gallery & Museum
40 Albert Place
Stirling, FK8 2RQ

Scotland is packed with stunning countryside views, steaped in history and proud of its many traditions.
There really is something for everyone in Scotland and the BEST way to get the full experience is by camping.
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