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Go Boil Your Silly English Bottoms, You Silly English Pig Dogs

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Learn about our other adventures from the UK Extravaganza 2011: 

Day 4 on our UK Extravaganza took us to Stirling, Scotland, just a few minutes from our hotel in Dunblane. We had four stops: Stirling Castle, the William Wallace Monument, Doune Castle and the Dunblane Cathedral.

First off, Stirling Castle, which was an important stronghold in the Scottish Wars for Independence. At one time or another, both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce had possession of Stirling Castle, though James V probably had the biggest hand in designing the property. James VI of Scotland (also James I of England) was its last royal inhabitant.
Nothing says, "Top o' the mornin' to ye" like a little interpretive dance.

In front of James V's Royal Apartments

In the Great Hall

The Great Hall

We played dress-up in the children's section of the castle!

Next up was the William Wallace Monument, built during the Victorian period by the Scots who felt that it was horrible that one of their national heroes didn't have a permanent monument in Scotland. There are over 280 stairs to the very top (and no elevator!) and three exhibition halls on the way up: William Wallace's biography room, the Hall of Heroes (focusing on the contributions of the Scots people to the world) and a history of the monument. 

the view from the top of the monument

from the outside of the monument. See the little spiral-y thing on the left hand side? That's the staircase. The LOOOONG staircase.

William Wallace's sword. It's pretty much as tall as I am.

Clemson spirit abounds even at the top of the Wallace Monument!

the view from the top of the monument

Third stop of the day: the on-site film location for "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," also known as Doune Castle in Doune, Scotland (thus, the post title). 

That silly Arthur King and his silly kanigets don't have anything on me!

It was very quiet at Doune Castle, too, so (again) we had the place to ourselves. We had a great time wandering around that drafty, quiet castle!

The final stop of the day was Dunblane Cathedral, which had an incredible back story. A tower was originally built on the site in the 1100s, and the cathedral was built around the tower about 100 years later. During the Scottish Wars for Independence, Edward I took the lead roof off of the cathedral to use for bullets. As the nave of the cathedral was now roofless, the congregation turned the nave into the graveyard, and walled off the choir area to use as the new, smaller church. It set up stayed this way until the Victorian period when the congregation put a new roof on the nave and opened up the entire cathedral again. They didn't move the graveyard though, so there are graves still under the nave!