A Castle, a park and a river

Starting Point for the Walk:
Park at the Castleview Park & Ride area Stirling.  This is adjacent to Junction 10 (M9) NS 778 948.  Parking is free.

Getting there: 30 miles / 36 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow towards the M8 (Edinburgh).   Leave the M8 at Junction 13 onto the M80 (Stirling).  Continue on M80 and leave at Junction 10, going right at the Craigforth Roundabout onto the A84.  At the Kildean Roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Millennium Way and at the next roundabout go right into the Park & Ride area.
NOTE: There are no toilets at the start of the walk.  The nearest facilities are at the Stirling Services Area at Junction 9 on the M80/M9.

The Walk:  A Castle, a Park, and a River – 7.2 miles (11.5 km)
Leave the Starting Point via a path at the SW corner of the Car Park, and head through Castle Business Park.  After half a mile join the rather “over grandly” named Millennium Way which soon leads below the cliffs on the western side of Stirling Castle.  The next half mile meanders below the castle and eventually leads onto an area of intriguing grass-covered mounds called the King’s and Queen’s Knots (generally considered to be the remains of 17th century royal gardens).  The route then briefly enters a residential area before leading into Kings Park.  Continue around the edge of the Golf Course and Kings Park in an anticlockwise direction.  Weather permitting there will be plenty of good views on this section.  After another one and half miles reach The Pavilion Cafe (adjacent to Public Toilets). [Distance so far = 3 miles].  Nearby there is some park seating, making this a good place to have lunch.

Continue walking through Kings Park and then briefly enter another residential area and arrive at the Albert Hall.  The next three-quarters of a mile continues at a slower pace up a couple of paths of varying steepness, eventually emerging at the Church of the Holy Rude, followed by Stirling Castle.  After leaving the Castle, descend on the north side, ‘zig zagging’ down to the “Beheading Stone” – legend says this rock was once a chopping block for public executions.  After completing the descent, arrive at the “old Stirling Bridge” across the River Forth.  The majority of the final one and half miles meanders along the bank of the River Forth, before returning to Castle Business Park and Castleview Park & Ride.

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