9 years ago today I became a mother. Daniel’s birth was very quick and hideously painful. I did not get any pain relief for his birth because although I asked for an epidural, there was no anaesthetist available at the hospital in Christchurch to administer one. It was ghastly. But now he has grown into a kind and gentle boy and I love him to bits. Happy birthday, dear Daniel.

We are celebrating his birthday with him by spending the weekend in Stirling. I asked Daniel whether he wanted a party or a weekend away and he chose a weekend away. Last year we went to Aviemore for his birthday and that was really nice. However, Stirling is even better in many ways because, historically, it’s a very interesting place and we also woke up this morning to a landscape dusted with snow.

Here are the kids at breakfast this morning.


We’re staying in a Victorian school that has been converted into a hotel and it’s wonderful. We ate breakfast in one of the old classrooms:


If you look closely you can just make out the William Wallace Monument in the next two photos:



Daniel got straight into his task for the day of throwing as many snowballs as he possibly could:






Ben got his obligatory, “I hate snow” photo:


We walked passed The Church of the Holy Rude (haha, Rude …. being the immature person that I am, I couldn’t resist getting a photo of the sign)


Stirling is a really pretty place. The architecture is beautiful and there are views in almost every direction.




We walked up to Stirling Castle and then the sun came out and it was magnificent. My photos don’t do it justice.






We made a snowman, of course:



Stirling Castle is one of the best castles we’ve visited. There are so many things of interest to children and lots of hands-on activities. They even had dress-ups for little AND big people:


The kids enjoyed sitting in these thrones and pretending to be King and Queen:



I got myself a hat to match Elizabeth’s πŸ™‚


I love living in Scotland. We’re so lucky to have so many cool weekend destinations to choose from. Stirling is only a couple of hours by train from Aberdeen. Everyone here is also incredibly friendly.

27 thoughts on “Stirling”

  1. The kids are so cute, and beautiful pictures of snow. I wish I had thought of giving my child the choice between a party and a weekend away. She never really enjoyed them, although I hoped she would, but it’s easy to get swept up in the pressure of having to have a party, who to invite etc.

      1. I think there is a general perception that everyone must like parties that is really not true. I remember not liking them as a child, and having to do an exercise in a class when I was about 12 where you have to categorise things into “light” and “dark” and knowing that I was expected to put “birthday party” into the “light” category and deciding to put it into “dark” instead. Happy birthday to Daniel.

      2. I agree that parties are not always necessarily in the “light” category. I also sometimes find them tiresome and I think my preference is probably for small gatherings rather than large ones.

  2. Happy Birthday Daniel πŸ™‚ It was well worth all your pain (And if Men had to give birth, the Human race would have died out long ago!)
    Stirling does look lovely – as does all Scotland! I love it too πŸ™‚

  3. Actually I think if men had to give birth it would be completely pain free by now; there’s not a chance we’d have allowed centuries of such pain. Love the views and envy the snow.

  4. Happy 9th birthday to Daniel.

    Glad that he preferred an experience to a party.

    Lovely photos. Seems Stirling is a nice place. Perhaps time to upgrade your phone 😊

    1. I know. I’m still using an iPhone 4s but I can’t justify buying a new one when my old one still works. It is getting rather slow now though and the battery doesn’t last very long when I’m taking lots of pics so I have to carry a backup battery.

      1. I understand; it is hard to blowup 1000 bucks on a new phone when the current one still works okay.

        I am still living with my five year three month old iPhone 4; although I also have a three year old iPhone 5 from work.

      2. Wow, you’re doing well to still have an iPhone 4. Do you use it? Yeah, I just can’t justify buying a new one and now I’ve set a bit of a challenge for myself to see how long I can make this phone last πŸ™‚

  5. Wonderful photos. I love being able to see some of Scotland through your eyes. You upstage the rest of the family with your red coat and playfulness. You are a good mom πŸ™‚

  6. The countryside around Stirling is lovely. What a great way for Daniel to celebrate his birthday! I see that Ben must have copped a snowball just before you took one of your photos. Enjoy the rest of your time in Stirling. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday to Daniel as well. πŸ™‚

  7. Stirling is great – once spent a winter day there wandering aimlessly while my broken down car got fixed – loads of history plus some nice cafes – I’m sure too many folks blast past on the M90 on the way somewhere else and don’t stop to explore

    1. I think you’re probably right. There weren’t all that many people at the castle yesterday so I suspect a lot of people skip it in favour of Edinburgh or Glasgow. But Stirling Castle is way better than Edinburgh Castle in my view. There’s also surprisingly lots to do here.

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