Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Stirling Castle is UK favourite heritage location for 2012

I was mildly surprised, and pleased of course, to see that Stirling Castle featured in a news item which announced that it was voted the UK’s favourite heritage location – and I did look twice to make sure that the report said UK, and not just Scotland.

Stirling Castle voted the UK’s favourite heritage attraction

I think that’s a pretty good result given the competition from some other castles, some of which are in places that are considered to be more important, and some of which are considered to be more romantic or attractive. The other candidates should be fairly obvious, but I won’t name them as I don’t want to start an argument.

Although Stirling Castle used to be a fairly frequent destination for a family trip during a nice weekend, I haven’t actually been inside the castle for many years, and even my more recent visits have really only been as far as the gates and the walls – as a sort of renewal of acquaintance every now and then. In fact, my most recent eyeballs have been from the M9, where the view is more like that seen in the pic selected below. I even spent a frustrating period doing some work for Wang Computers who had a facility in the grounds below the castle – frustrating because the schedule meant I never had time to visit or even look at the castle once, even though I had to drive through some of the grounds, work never finished until everything was closed every day.

There was one amusing incident, while we decided to grab something to eat after being up at the castle.

There’s a pretty good little fish and chip shop in the main road below the castle, just on the way into Stirling itself, and it lies at the bottom of a large tenement block. We’d parked quite close, and were settling down in the car, and attacking another excellent fish supper, and had no idea what was going on a few feet away. Call it intuition, but I decided to move the car away from the shop  – just to the other side of the street – and this only took a moment as there is a roundabout at the end of the road. As we carried on eating, I realised I had been unsettled by a lot of people running around, and that was why I moved. As we watched, still unable to see anything wrong, the sound of sirens announced the arrival of a squad of fire engines – and they promptly took over the spot where we had been parked a few minutes earlier, and we realised that there was, and had been, a fire underway in the tenement, right above where we had just been. Although we saw some smoke, despite the number of firefighters that appeared, it seems to have been a non-event – probably because they dealt with it quickly.

Funny thing was, despite all the fire engines and firefighters, and the fact there was actually a fire in the building above, the chip shop just carried on business as normal, and the customers just kept coming and going as if there was nothing happening.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle © kim traynor

Edinburgh takes title as Europe’s leading destination in 2012

Never one to be upstaged, the capital followed a few days later with its own achievement, and was voted the leading destination in Europe, and beat competition from London, Paris, and Barcelona to take the title.

Edinburgh named Europe’s Leading Destination

I don’t want to sound like too much of a killjoy, but the overpriced pile of rubbish they dumped at Holyrood for £430 million, the Edinburgh crowds, and traffic problems with their trams, I think I’ll be sticking with Stirling as my preferred destination now, and for the foreseeable future.

I like Edinburgh just fine, but it has been ruined in recent years.

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October 9, 2012 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , ,

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