Saturday 16th, October. Today we were heading for Stirling for the day. David dropped us off at Wallace’s Monument, so we didn’t have to worry about catching a train in the morning. We had driven past it a few days ago, but today we were going to walk to the top of it. There was a courtesy bus that could take you up the hill to the entrance but we chose to walk it. The hill was a little steep but it wasn’t a bad walk. The path was a little rough in places but it could have been worse. We took a breather once we got up the hill before we headed inside. Obviously we took some photos here. We could see Stirling Castle from here, we would be going there later on.
When we went inside to buy our tickets we also got the audio companion for the tour. It was just a audio player that hung around our necks which gave us information when we typed in the numbers around the monument. The first stage of the monument goes up quite quickly and begins to narrow soon after. Eventually you start climbing the small spiral staircase up the side of the building. On each level we stopped to catch our breath before continuing on. The rooms were a little warm for me but the stairway was cool as it is open to the outside via the small windows in the stone work. Each level was a little different in its displays. At one point on the way up we ran into some people going down and I was forced to move to my right which was the narrowest portion of the stairs. I only just managed to make it past them without slipping.
We finally made it to the top of the monument and could see for miles around. On a good day you can see Edinburgh, but it wasn’t the clearest of days. The tower has a crown spire. It is open and looks like a crown. There are a few towers like that in Scotland and the UK. It was windy up there and Kim had a great windswept look going.
The way down was easier on the lungs but it still wasn’t without some danger. The staircase was narrow and going down it meant I had to go sideways with my feet. We thankfully didn’t run into anyone coming up until we were nearly at the bottom. Some kid was about to try and rush up the stairs we were coming down, but his parent stopped him to let us go by. We had just climbed 256 steps to the top of the monument and back again. We made it back down the hill easily and stopped to buy some more souvenirs from the gift shop. We had stopped at the shop in the monument as well and got certificates stating we had walked all 256 steps to the top. Kids get them for free, we had to pay. It was worth it!