Stirling Aberdeen 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 Scotland's north east coast, the city of Aberdeen is a harbour city located roughly 120 miles north of Edinburgh and 400 miles north of London. The city does not attract as many tourists as other Scottish cities and as a result can feel more authentic. It is a good base from which to explore the surrounding region and take in the castles, golf courses, whisky distilleries and mountains.
Walking is an excellent way to get around Aberdeen, particularly around central areas, as the city centre is relatively compact. Walking is also by far the best way to appreciate the grand architecture of the city. However, the city is not that small (e.g. Union Street is one mile long) so for journeys outside of the city centre it may be better to use public transport.
The Aberdeen Art Gallery is located in a Victorian building that has an exquisite marble and granite main hall. Admission is free and the gallery contains modern works including pieces by Tracy Emin and Gilbert & George and more traditional paintings and sculptures including works by the Scottish Colourists.