Castle viewings

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Apr 05, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today we left Banchory, packed up and headed off in a southerly direction. Due to our inability to stop at Dunnottar Castle on the way up, and because we’d discovered that it was the seat of Clan Keith at one point we made a slight deviation to their on our way.
It was SO worth it!
The day was spectacular, bright blue skies, barely a breathe of wind – chilly but beautiful and the castle looked amazing. We joked on arrival that people could need 2 hours to fully appreciate this castle. We didn’t even get to go inside because it was a Thursday and we were there for just over an hour. We get it now.
The cliff setting is amazing, as a ruin it is stunning so to imagine what it would have been like as a full blown castle!!! This amazing castle held out for 8 months in a siege with Cromwell and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels. The castle itself was the home of the Earls Marischal (pronounced Marshall) who were once one of the most powerful families in the land. Unfortunately they were on the “wrong” side of the Jacobite uprising and the last Earl was convicted of treason and all their estates, including this castle were seized.
After we finished there, we hopped in the car and headed towards Glasgow. We made a stop in at Stirling Castle to admire its domination of the skyline at Stirling. This castle was built about 900 years ago, and it was believed that “he who holds Stirling – Holds Scotland” because for a long time the bridge across the Forth of Stirling was the only way to get from the Lowlands to the Highlands of Scotland. Subsequently in 1297 at Stirling Bridge William Wallace, and then in Bannockburn 1314 Robert the Bruce fought their greatest battles against the English here. After winning his battle Robert the Bruce actually ordered the destruction of Stirling Castle, and it wasn’t until 1356 when the War of Independence finally ended did this castle get rebuilt.
Overall it was a pretty great day of castle viewings. We arrived in to Glasgow at about 4pm, and have no settled into our apartments have the internet again so we should be able to update about our adventures for a bit longer!
And – as will be always, the best photos will be found on Nigel’s flickr
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