Lancaster Stirling Train
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The city of Lancaster, which is located in the north west of England, has a number of theatres and live performance venues. The Lancaster Grand, the Dukes and the Yorkshire House are three fine examples. The city also hosts "The Play in the Park" which is a series of open air performances in the city's award winning Williamson Park. In addition, the city's university also hosts many theatrical productions, live music, exhibitions and contemporary dance performances.
Long existing as a commercial, cultural and educational centre, Lancaster is the settlement that gives Lancashire its name. Lancaster has several unique ties to the British monarchy; the House of Lancaster was a branch of the English royal family, whilst the Duchy of Lancaster holds large estates on behalf of Elizabeth II, who herself is also the Duke of Lancaster. Lancaster was granted city status in 1937 for its "long association with the crown" and because it was "the county town of the King's Duchy of Lancaster". The city's name, first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Loncastre, where "Lon" refers to the River Lune, and "castre", from the Old English cæster for "fort", refers to the Roman fort which stood at the site.
Located in Central Scotland, the city of Stirling is the county town of Stirlingshire. The city is sometimes referred to as "The Gateway to the Highlands" which has led to it having a significant position in Scotland's history. Major battles for Scottish independence took place in and around Stirling.
A major new regeneration project is underway on the site of the former port area and former Ministry of Defence site, adjacent to Stirling Railway Station. Known as Forthside, it has the aim of developing a new waterfront district linked to the railway station via a new pedestrian bridge. The development comprises retail, residential and commercial elements, including a conference centre, hotel and Vue multiplex cinema, that will ultimately expand the city centre area, linking it to the River Forth, which has been cut off from the city centre area since the construction of a nearby road in the 1960's.
In summer there is a sightseeing bus which is a cheap way to get to the sights, as you can "hop on and off" at any time. There are regular coach services to Stirling from all over Scotland run mainly by Scottish Citylink, with regular departures from Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) and Edinburgh (St Andrew's Bus Station) calling en-route to either Inverness or Aberdeen.