Scotland and Ireland Day 2: Castles to Kelpies

Our second day in Scotland had us leaving our first B&B and touring through the Loch Lomond area before heading to Edinburgh. We had put off Stirling Castle the day before and had to make up for lost touring time.

We were better prepared our second day and arrived at Stirling Castle a few minutes after opening. The parking lot had plenty of room, and was totally worth the few pounds we paid to park there. Using our Scotland Explorer pass, we entered Stirling Castle at the main entrance with no wait (no stopping to purchase tickets, etc.).

P1490977.JPGNot too busy (yet)!

This was the first castle I’d ever visited and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The outside was about what I’d expected, but the inside was different. I guess I thought it would be more open and majestic. After touring the castle for a while, I think I was picturing a palace. A castle had a different purpose-defense and safety. The solid walls and small windows are a testament to that.

The guides were very helpful and showed us the parts of the castle that would be most interesting for families.

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We really enjoyed the visit to Stirling Castle. There were sections that were more interesting to children, with dress up, instruments and games available. Plenty of history was available, whether for tourists very interested in Scottish royalty or those just learning.  The scenery was beautiful throughout.

Touring Stirling Castle took about 2 1/2 hours, then we went to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. This was our wettest part of the trip, but in the time it took to break out our ponchos the rain had practically cleared.  We hiked in the park for about an hour. It would have been easy to spend more time here, but we were hungry! Another stop to Deli Ecosse was in order before our drive to Edinburgh.

After eating we made our way to Edinburgh. We had passed these horse sculpture structures a couple of times, and my husband was intrigued. So we made a quick detour to see them up close.

The Kelpies sculptures are part of Helix Park. We parked for 2 pounds and were able to walk to see them up close. Guided tours are available, but they were winding down for the day. The Kelpies were very impressive, but we didn’t necessarily miss taking a tour.

Then we finally made our way to Edinburgh. It was a fun and productive day!