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William Wallace & Robert the Bruce – Scotland’s Heroes
A day following in the footsteps of Scotland’s great heroes - Sir William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce.
- Dunfermline Abbey
- The National Wallace Monument
- Stirling Bridge
- Stirling Castle
- Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
Our first stop is Dunfermline Abbey, final resting place of King Robert the Bruce, victorious leader of the Scottish army during the Wars of Independence with England.
Seven other Kings of Scotland are also buried in the Abbey. Alongside is Dunfermline Palace, birthplace of Charles I.
Our next stop is The National Wallace Monument. With 246 steps to the top, this stunning 19th century tower commemorates Sir William Wallace – famously immortalised in the Holywood movie Braveheart.
Here we can see Wallace’s mighty broadsword, listen in on his trial and further understand his unquenchable thirst for Scottish freedom.
The view from the top is one of the finest sights in Scotland, overlooking the site of Wallace’s famous victory at Stirling Bridge and Ben Lomond to the west.
We visit historic Stirling Bridge, location of Wallace’s great victory in 1297. Never before had a Scottish army defeated the English in open battle and this victory set in motion over three decades of struggle for Scottish independence.
A short drive brings us to the mighty fortress of Stirling Castle. During the Wars of Independence Stirling Castle was seen as the ‘key’ to the Kingdom of Scotland and the focal point of both Wallace and Bruce’s famous victories. Arguably Scotland’s most important historic building, Stirling is undoubtedly a great castle.
A 2012 survey rated it the UK’s favourite heritage attraction. It also featured on a list of Europe’s 40 ‘most amazing experiences’ in a 2013 Lonely Planet guide. The view from the castle across the River Forth to the Wallace Monument is inspiring. Our stop here will include enough time for lunch, either in the castle’s restaurant or in the nearby city centre.
Our final stop of the day is the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. In June 1314 the fate of Scotland as a nation was about to change forever. Robert the Bruce planted his standard and gathered his men to take on the might of the English army led by King Edward II.
We’ll walk the battleground and visit the all important Bannock Burn, a stretch of water that proved the turning point in the battle. The highlight of most visits however, is the state-of-the-art and award-winning 3D battle simulation.
Bruce’s stunning victory at Bannockburn has resonated with Scots throughout the centuries.
It continues to conjure up ideas of freedom, independence, patriotism, heroism, perseverance, and triumph against overwhelming odds, and has inspired many works of art including the nation’s National Anthem, ‘Flower of Scotland’.