Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom
August 23, 2011
From journal Around Central Scotland
by Cindy Grant
June 26, 2011
From journal The Scotland Ghostour
June 7, 2006
From journal Scotland, Back to the Home of Golf, and More
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
March 5, 2006
From journal Investigating Tourist Hot Spots in Stirlingshire
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
February 4, 2006
Driving north from Stirling, it's hard to miss the monument I find the most beautiful of any I have ever seen. It sits high on a hilltop, overlooking all the surrounding countryside and backed by the foothills of the Highlands. There is a ruggedness to this monument I have not seen anywhere else, something that makes it very distinctly Scottish and perfect for a monument of the famous William Wallace.
Driving up to the monument, you will, however, be first greeted by the rather newly erected Braveheart statue at the base of the monument. It's great for a laugh and photo ops for fans of the film, though most native Scots cringe at the obvious likeness of Mel Gibson.
You can walk up the hill to the base of the monument for free (quite a walk, but well worth the view), which is what I did the first time, and stand in awe at the base of the structure trying to photograph it. But I would recommend paying the small extra fee (£6 for adults) to walk to the top. This I did on my second visit, and it was well and truly worth it.
Once inside the spiraling monument, you instantly get a feel for the time and incredible amount of work that went into a place such as this. It really is mind-boggling that such a thing was ever constructed, let along in 1869, after only 8 years construction. The tower is, in total, 220 feet high and very steep, with close steps up to the top. If you have any problem with heights or close spaces, you should probably avoid it. It is quite an adventure going up, as the stairway barely accommodates one person's width, so meeting people coming back down can be tricky. Luckily there are levels where you can stop off and take a break and see relics and listen to the taped tour guide. On level one you can see the 5-foot sword of William Wallace and there are some great busts of Scottish patriots as well as fantastic stained glass.
It is a bit of a hike to the top, but once there you get an unbelievable view of the surrounding countryside, Stirling and its castle sitting in the distance, and the Ochil Hills practically resting next to the monument. It is, to date, one of my favourite bits of Scotland to visit and well worth a stop for anyone visiting the area.
From journal Falkirk and Farther into Braveheart Country
Riverview, New Brunswick
September 29, 2005
Leaving the reception centre, you will proceed up a rather steep hill. It is possible to get a free shuttle to the base of the tower, and I advise that you consider it if you doubt your ability.
The tower design was decided by a competition in 1859 with construction beginning in 1861. Eight years later, after considerable criticism and a number of financial problems, it was done. Your climb up the tower is in a narrow, spiral stairway… there are 246 steps. It really isn’t bad, as there are several floors with things to see to break up the climb.
The first level houses the gift shop. The second level is your history lesson… the story of William Wallace and the Battle of Sterling Bridge. Further up is the Hall of Heroes, marble busts of Scotland’s greatest, including Burns, Scott, Livingstone and Adam Smith. On the final level you find a platform that provides marvelous views of Stirling and the surrounding countryside.
The tower climb is one of those "must do" things, and it really isn’t as difficult as it might appear at first glance.
From journal Stirling: Scotland's Heritage City
April 25, 2004
The monument itself is a tower requiring a lot of climbing (some 260 odd steps) on a narrow winding staircase. The climb, however, is worth it to see the four separate floors of activities, weapons, busts of famous Scots, reenactments, and finally the view from on top. The town of Stirling as well as Stirling Castle can be seen with a view that is awe-inspiring. This is where lowlands meet highlands and it is easy to see why the country was so divided both geographically and politically.
The grounds had picnic tables and we sat outside eating lunch on an absolutely gorgeous afternoon. There is a restaurant and nice gift shop on the ground floor of the monument with quality merchandise.
We caught the bus back to town traveling over the famed Stirling Bridge where a major battle for independence was fought.
While waiting for our train to arrive, we explored the area around the station and found nice shopping including jewelry, crystal, and other Scottish goods nearby. My husband's favorite sight was the Hog's Head Pub located at the end of a street about two to three blocks up the hill from the train station. After a couple of pints, the trip back was most enjoyable!
From journal Week in the Scottish Highlands
April 18, 2004
The monument costs between £3 and £4 to get in, and this is worth it for the spectacular view from the top. On a clear day you can see as far as Edinburgh to the east and the Trossach hills to the west. Inside the monument features the story of Wallace and some other great achievements by Scots.
The monument is not suitable for wheelchair users as there is only a twisty, narrow staircase to reach the displays.
From journal Stirling Quality
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
November 9, 2003
To honour the man that many consider to be Scotland's greatest freedom fighter, public donations poured in from Scots people around the world, and The Wallace Monument was built in
1869 on a wooded hill on the outskirts of town.
The monument is a 220-foot-high Gothic tower. There is a large statue of Wallace in the parking lot and partway up the path to the monument is a piper in full regalia who serenades visitors. There are picnic tables set amid the grounds, and even from ground level at the monument, the views of Stirling Castle and town are excellent. The gift shop and coffee shop are open to all, and the only fee charged is to actually climb to the top of the monument.
After paying our £5 admission, we started the 246-step climb. The stairs are circular and
narrow, like a lighthouse, but there are narrow windows along the way that provide natural light and glimpses of the valley below. The tower has three separate levels that visitors can visit before reaching the top. The first is dedicated to Wallace's life from the early years through his struggles with the English and eventually his capture and execution. One of the focal pieces is his gigantic, double-handed broadsword, and there is a multimedia
presentation and a short film. The displays are well done and very informative, and you should allow about half an hour to see it all. The next level contains a chamber called The Scottish Hall of Heroes that features marble busts and information on many famous Scots, including Robert the
Bruce, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and explorer David Livingstone. Near the top is the final chamber that has a 360-degree diorama of the surrounding landscape. This was helpful for identifying landmarks when we eventually got to the outside viewing platform to enjoy the panoramic view. The view was somewhat obscured because of clouds, but I'm told that on a good day, Ben Lomond is visible in the distance.
The monument is open daily. Although anyone with mobility problems can't access the tower, shuttle buses from the parking lot run regularly to the base of the monument, and the view of Stirling Castle and the surrounding countryside is worth the ride.
From journal A Stirling Experience
September 10, 2003
You must first drive to the base of the mountain, where you pay your admission. You then have the choice of walking to the top, or taking the shuttle. I recommend the shuttle as walking can be quite dangerous (pedestrians share the same narrow winding road as the shuttle does).
When you reach the top, you enter the monument and present your ticket. Inside there is a giftshop and a tearoom at the base. To reach the top, you must malk up an extremely narrow circular staircase. There's barely enough room for a single person to walk up, yet you must share it with people walking down at the same time.
Along the way up the the 200+ stairs, there are rooms that house historical displays mostly relating to the life of William Wallace. One display includes what they believe to be Wallace's actual sword.
Once at the top you are presented with a spectacular view of the city of Stirling.
From journal The MacDougalls Go to Scotland