Exam Escape: Stirling Castle

It’s exam season here at uni. My friends and I locked ourselves away in my room and revised until we had to go to our exam, in what has become known as The Spaceship Protocol. So named because during first semester, it was concluded that a trip into space was certainly doable since we were all collectively able to study in a confined space for over four days without wanting to commit homicide (a quality I look for in all my friends).

Depending on when this ridiculous protocol is instated, we can get a little stir crazy. On our maiden voyage, we were unable to venture out of the spaceship due to the returning wave of freshers flu that kindly paid a visit (bringing a wonderful dose of feverish insanity in its wake…) but this time around we were all in good health and our escapism took the form of a trip to Stirling Castle. 

There are two parts to the castle. The older side on the left and the newer French-style Great Hall in that pale colour. It looks rather out of place but when I visited with my family in March, I learnt that the entire castle would have had the same colouring due to the type of sandstone. (Not too sure I like it now however – it reminds me of a pyramid.)

It’s highly worth a tour if you’re in town. Mary Queen of Scots grew up on this castle and there was a great fear she’d be kidnapped (hence the bars on the windows). It’s full of Scottish heritage and the castle is arguably the most important in Scotland’s history. Also the Great Hall has a heated floor and smells of baking bread…

We weren’t after the castle itself though, merely it’s view.

The Wallace Monument (and Dumyat in the background)
Built on a hill, Stirling Castle has an impeccable view of Stirling and the surrounding hills. On a good day you can see some of the mountains in the distance. The Wallace Monument (built in memory of Scotland’s hero, William Wallace) stands proudly on top of Abbey Craig, where Wallace instructed his soldiers in The Battle of Stirling Bridge. 
Stirling Bridge and the Wallace Monument through the mist.
We sat on one of the castle’s cliff wall near its moat and ate sandwiches overlooking that incredible view. Once we’d eaten our fill, we went for a wander about the grounds. The enormous doors to the castle were closed for the night but we scampered around by the moat and car park, clambering up some walls. 

George, Carolyn and I uncomfortably high up.
I rarely get afraid of heights but being on that wall freaked me out a little. Just look at the drop…

I look far more pensive and much less scared than I felt.
Exams are over for me now though! I had my one and only multiple choice test yesterday which was very easy and we enjoyed some unusually balmy weather beside Loch Airthrey afterwards. T minus two weeks until I’m back in London!

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