Tuesday, 7 June 2011
As regular readers of this little blog will know, I am a big fan of the place I live - this wonderful city of Stirling. One of my favourite pastimes - apart from running, knitting, drinking wine or dancing tango - is to get out and about around Stirling with my camera. And it's not because I'm easily bored, or because I'm a skinflint - it's just because there genuinely is so much to see and discover in this fair city.
For example, if you like the big set pieces, you'll love our heritage sights - the Castle, the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn Heritage Centre. If you've got little people in tow, or are just young at heart, you won't go wrong with the Old Town Jail, Blairdrummond Safari Park or the Kings Park play area. The Smith Museum with its child friendly dress up box and outdoor adventure garden will probably please too.
Shopaholics will just love the Thistles/Marches shopping mall, Stirling Arcade and just a 5 minute train ride away, the quirky boutique shops of Bridge of Allan. Sporty types are also well catered for, whether it's participating - at the Peak, the University Sports facilities or just getting out and about in the surrounding countryside and hills, including Scotland's first National Park, or spectating there's lots for you too. Go and see the mighly Stirling Albion at Forthbank Stadium, Scotland's only fan owned professional football team. Or pop down to Bridgehaugh and see Stirling County Rugby club strut their stuff on the field. If you fancy a slighty slower pace, try New Williamfield, Stirling's own international standard cricket square. Or even drop by the Peak again to see international hockey, curling or any number of other sports. If you look hard enough there's even Petanque to be found in Stirling!
But the thing I really love most about Stirling is just wandering round and looking at what there is to see. Stirling is one of those places where, if you look hard enough and lift your head (and eyes) above the street in front of you, there is a wealth and abundance of quirky features and beautiful features just waiting to be discovered. And hidden places too. Like Ailie's Garden at the Smith; like Pithy Mary's pond in the Old Town Cemetery; like the views from the Back Walk below the Castle (Europe's best urban walkway); like the Provost's Lamp-post in Cambuskenneth - and many many more.
I could go on but then there'd be nothing for you to discover yourself when you come to Stirling. Because you should, you really should. It's Scotland's newest city and - although I may just be a little biased - its best!
Coming soon - a blog post that scotchs the myth that there's nowhere decent to eat in Stirling. Fie on you for saying that. Meanwhile I'll leave you with another teaser about the fabulous new Royal Apartments at Stirling Castle. If this doesn't capture your attention, nothing will.