STIRLING is full of history and its castle is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Scotland. The nearby Wallace Monument – built in the 19th century to commemorate one of Scotland’s favourite sons – is also a tourist hotspot.
Rather less visited is the site of Cambuskenneth Abbey, the burial place of James III. All that remains of the building is the 13th century bell tower, but from the centre of Stirling it is a good place to aim for on foot after crossing the River Forth. A country lane then leads to the mighty rock of Abbey Craig, which hosts the Wallace Monument, and offers great views of the Ochil Hills and the Trossachs, as well as across to Stirling.
DISTANCE 6 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED 350ft.
TIME 2∫ to 3 hours.
MAP OS Landranger 57.
PARK There is plenty of parking in the centre of Stirling, but going by train is the best way to arrive.
IN SUMMARY Turn left out of Stirling railway station and cross a glass-walled footbridge over the train tracks. On the other side go left and pass to the left of an engine shed currently being restored. At a road go left, then, at a small roundabout, go right to walk along the side of the River Forth.
The road rises to pass a row of shops (on the other side) then continues past houses before turning sharp left. Just after this, go right to cross Cambuskenneth Bridge – a footbridge built in 1935 to replace a ferry over the Forth. This leads to the conservation village of Cambuskenneth – go straight on at the end of the bridge, and after about 40 yards go right into Cambuskenneth Park (the entrance is next to an information board).
At the other side of the small park go through a metal pedestrian gate and follow a short path round to the left to reach the end of a track, next to a farm. The track leads to Cambuskenneth Abbey – although closed for the winter it is still an impressive way to approach it. Follow the track round to the left and then continue on a road with the Wallace Monument straight ahead. The road leads out of the village and continues in the direction of the monument. It eventually bends left, goes over a level crossing and reaches a main road – the A907.
Cross the road carefully and go right, along the pavement. After a few hundred yards, just after a cottage with the number 79 on it, you should go left, following a footpath sign for the Wallace Monument. After going through a gate follow the track on the other side for about 30 yards before ascending a short flight of stone steps on the left.
A footpath then twists up through woodland. As you get higher the path leaves crags on the left and drops slightly to the right – ignore a path on the right and then continue uphill. Two more paths go off to the right before you reach an access road which leads the last few yards to the monument. Take time to look around and admire the views before returning the way you came.
REFRESH There are plenty of places in Stirling.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA The Wallace Monument with its exhibitions is worth a visit. www.nationalwallacemonument.com. You also get great views from the ramparts of the impressive Stirling Castle. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk n