Tag Archives: stirling

Photo Tour of the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling, Scotland

As I hadn’t been to the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling for decades, and the weather forecast predicted rain, I decided to pay a visit during a recent trip to the area.

I wasn’t able to take any photos of the exterior, or the garden, of the Smith Stirling, as  heavy rain had started just before I arrived.

The entrance to the Smith Stirling is attractive, with large blue doors and colourful stained glass.

entrance to smith stirling

I started off in the Lecture Theatre, which had stained glass windows depicting Scottish scenes. Quite often the scenes on stained glass windows have titles, but I didn’t spot any. I thought that the one below might be of Cambuskenneth Abbey.

stained glass abbey at stirling smith

I didn’t recognise the location of the river portrayed below.

waterfall stained glass at stirling smith

There was also some more modern stained glass, depicting local attractions such as the Wallace Monument.

local scenes stained glass at stirling smith

Local landscapes were also featured in a ‘2014 Stirling’ textile art piece.

2014 textile art at Smith Stirling

My favourite section portrayed Stirling Castle, Stirling Bridge and the Wallace Monument against the backdrop of the Ochil Hills.

wallace monument stirling bridge and stirling castle textile art at stirling smith

In another section, I thought that top left was the bell tower at Cambuskenneth Abbey, top right was Stirling Castle, middle left was the Smith Stirling and middle right was Stirling Bridge. I wasn’t sure about the bottom two.

local scenes textile art at stirling smith

There were some relief sculptures on the wall. I thought that the one below looked rather like the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

relief sculpture at stirling smith

The Wallace Sword in the painting below is now on display at the Wallace Monument.

bruce receiving the wallace sword at stirling smith

I liked the painting of the miner.

miner at stirling smith

The series of German towns and cities was painted by Otto Lamb, a German prisoner of war in the 1940s. From memory, Lamb painted directly on the walls of the camp’s Assembly Hall.

I recognised the cathedral in Ulm, as Amanda has written an article on Europe a la Carte about it being the tallest church in the world.

smith stirling ulm by otto lamb

I’d never heard of the town of Braubach. It’s situated on the banks of the River Rhine, close to Koblenz.

braubach by otto lamb at the smith stirling

Another painting which caught my attention was ‘Outside Right at Sunset Gate’ by Steven Campbell.

outside right at sunset gate at the stirling smith

‘The Pity of War’ by Anda Paterson was on loan from the Scottish CND.

the pity of war at the smith stirling

The Smith Art Gallery and Museum is free to enter. It’s located a ten minute walk from Stirling’s city centre. There’s free parking for visitors. You need to ask for a token at the reception desk to open the barrier when leaving. It’s closed on Mondays, open 10am to 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays and 2pm to 5pm Sundays. The cafe at the Smith looked pretty popular with locals.

The Old Town Cemetery in Stirling

After a very wet afternoon in early May, I took an evening stroll up to the Old Town Cemetery near Stirling Castle. I was extremely lucky that I didn’t get wet and the sun even made a brief appearance at just the right time.

old town cemetery pond

There’s even a pyramid in the Old Town Cemetery in Stirling.

old town cemetery

It’s called the’Star Pyramid’ which was built in the 1860s by William Drummond, as a monument to Scottish martyrs who died in the cause of religious and civil liberty. Each of the four faces of the pyramid features an open white marble Bible.

old town cemetery star pyramid

The area around the ‘Star Pyramid’ with the pond and shrubs is called ‘Drummond Pleasure Garden’.

old town cemetery pond1

If you’re in the Scottish city of Stirling, set aside some time for a walk around the Old Town Cemetery.

Review of Premier Inn Stirling City Centre

I stayed at the Premier Inn Stirling City Centre on a mid-week night in May 2014. It cost £35 on an advance booking non-refundable rate. The hotel is behind Stirling rail station in a recently redevoped area by the River Forth.

premier inn stirling city centre from distance

You can reach the hotel on foot in less than five mintues over the pedestrian bridge by the railway station

footbridge to pemier inn stirling city centre

The Prermier Inn Stirling City Centre offers free guest parking at the rear of the hotel, but you need to give your car’s registration number at check in. There’s an adjoining Beefeater restaurant and a cinema and another couple of restaurants opposite the hotel.

I was allocated a room at the back of the hotel on the first floor. This is a new hotel so everything is fresh. The room had air conditioning, which would be great in the Summer, but I’d have preferred to be able to open the window.  There were plenty of electrical sockets by the desk. You get 30 minutes free WiFi at Premier Inns, but I stuck to my mobile broadband.

premier inn stirling city centre room

From the window in my room, I could see the Rvier Forth and the Ochil Hills through the foliage. When I sat on the bed, I could also see the Wallace Monument. There was a footpath along the riverside.

premier inn stirling city centre view from window

The shower was very good. Although I’m not a fan of shower curtains, the curtain rail curved out, so I didn’t get the usual horrible shower curtain sticking to my arms effect.

The toilet seat in my room was cracked. I’d put that down to design as the seat curved up to join its hinges. I could have gone to reception to request another room, but as I really liked the quiet, scenic outlook from my room, I decided to stay in that room and report the issue on check out.

There was no-one at reception when I checked out, so I left a note, rather than buzz for a member of staff to come down.

For me, the Premier Inn Stirling City Centre offered a winning combination of a conmfortable, reasonably priced room with free parking in a quiet location within a few minutes walk of tranport links and a city centre with plenty of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Click here to check availabity and prices at the Preminer Inn Stirling City Centre.

Review of Premier Inn Stirling City CentreKeep It Real Travel Review – No Fluff

Back Walk in Stirling

If Stirling Castle is closed or you don’t want to pay the entrance fee, you can still have a very interesting and scenic walk. You’ll find the steps down to Back Walk at the top left corner of the castle car park. Back Walk is the oldest publicly maintained road in Scotland, following the perimeter of the Old Town walls.

castle from the esplanade

Sitling Castle

wallace monument from stirling castle

Wallace Monument from Stirling Castle Esplanade

At the bottom of the steps are the Old Town Cemetries.

church of holy rude

The Church of the Holy Rude behind the Old Town Cemeteries

threatening clouds over valley cemetery

Threatening skies above the Old Town Cemeteries

dumbarton road from back walk

Looking toward Dumbarton road from the Old Town Cemeteries

headstones in old towm cemeteries

Headstones in the Old Town Cemeteries

star pyramid

The Star Pyramid in the Old Town Cemeteries

castle walls from old town cemeteries

Stirling Castle walls from the Old Town Cemeteries

view from back walk

Looking down from Back Walk

As you descend, the leaves on the trees obscure most of the views. Back Walk ends beside the Albert Halls, just up from the main shopping area in Stirling.