Stirling Exeter Train
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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.
Located on the south coast of Devon, the city of Exeter is an historic mid-sized cathedral city with a good blend of arts, education, retail and history. The central area of the city is fairly small, so it is easy to get around on foot. However, buses within the city are available and are operated by Stagecoach Devon, who also operate buses to most regional destinations. Other regional routes are operated by FirstBus, and by small independent operators. Cycle paths of varying quality run through the city with the most scenic route running along the canal towpath.
To enable people with limited mobility to enjoy the city, Exeter Community Transport Association provides manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters (called Shopmobility) for use by anyone suffering from short or long-term mobility impairment to access to the city centre and shopping facilities, events and meetings with friends and company.
Located just outside the castle, Northernhay Gardens is the oldest public open space in England, being originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for Exeter residents. There are many statues in the gardens, including the war memorial by John Angel, The Deer Stalker by E. B. Stephens, and the Volunteer Memorial from 1895, which commemorates the formation of the 1st Rifle Volunteers in 1852.