No stay in Edinburgh, Scotland would be complete without making a side trip to the neighboring town of Stirling. From Waverly Station, Stirling is a quick and inexpensive jaunt. When you get off the train in Stirling, you can easily grab a taxi. We chose to walk. The signs are pretty easy to follow, though it is up a long, winding hill.
Stirling Castle is the famous once-home of James V. The guided tour will take you on a journey back in time to the 1540's during the childhood of Mary, Queen of Scots. The beautiful view overlooks the battlefields of Bannockburn where William Wallace and Robert the Bruce won victories in a war for independence against England. You can also see the battlefield of Stirling Bridge from this castle which sits on volcanic rock.
On your way out of the castle, stop by the Argyll House. Argyll House was the 17th Century residence of the Earl of Stirling. It is decorated in true Renaissance fashion. This beautiful piece of history is managed and maintained by Historic Scotland, and makes a brilliant addition to a side trip to Stirling.
A side trip to Stirling doesn't necessarily have to cost you more than a half day, though you could stretch it out with an exploration of the quaint shops and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhoods.
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