London Stirling Train
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London is the capital city of both England and of the United Kingdom and spans both banks of the River Thames. Present day London can trace its history back 2,000 years from when it was a Roman settlement. London is a truly global city that has strengths in arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, media, research and development and tourism. London has the largest financial services sector in the world, the world's largest city airport by passenger numbers and world class universities including Imperial College, King's College the London School of Economics and University College London.
Due in part to its port London has a diverse population from around the world. It is estimated that more than 300 languages are spoken within the city's boundaries. This ethnic diversity enhances London's cultural offering. Among the many landmarks and historic buildings visitors are particularly drawn to the four sites that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, the combined Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church and Greenwich which includes the Royal Observatory and the fact that Greenwich marks the Prime Meridian, 0 degrees longitude and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
The Scottish city of Stirling is the largest city on central Scotland and is build around the fortress of Stirling Castle. The castle sits on top of Castle Hill and is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. Several Scottish monarchs have been crowned at Stirling Castle including Mary Queen of Scots in 1542. The castle is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is now a popular visitor attraction which is managed by Historic Scotland.
The Top of the Town is made up of Broad Street, Castle Wynd, Ballengeich Pass, Lower Castle Hill Road, Baker Street and St Mary's Wynd which all lead up to the castle. This area is popular with visitors who also visit the Old Town Jail, Mar's Wark (a ruined building dating back to the 16th century), Argyll's Loding and the castle itself. Ballengeich Pass leads to the graveyard at Ballengeich and the Castle Wynd winds past the old graveyard. Craft shops and tourist-focused shops are evident on the way up and once at the top, panoramic views are available across Stirling and beyond.
Stirling is a major centre of sports training and education in Scotland. The headquarters of the Scottish Institute of Sport is a purpose-built facility on the campus of Stirling University, which opened in 2002. Also at the university is the Scottish National Swimming Academy, as well as the Gannochy National Tennis centre, which is seen as a tennis centre of excellence.