The Removal of the William Wallace Statue in Stirling,
A grand memorial to Scottish hero William Wallace the 13 foot, 12 ton sandstone “Freedom” statue created by Tom Church once dominated the parking lot of The National Wallace Monument in Stirling.
A historically accurate depiction of William Wallace, “Freedom” was hand chiseled by Tom Church in 1997 after watching the film Braveheart. Immediately upon unveiling, Church and his statue immediately came under fire by critics, who claimed that the statue did not look like the historical figure William Wallace, but more like Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Wallace from Braveheart. Others claimed that the statue itself looked utterly ridiculous, and was not worthy for a place at the Wallace National Monument. I myself do not see any resemblance to Mel Gibson, and obviously many simply cannot see the artistry, craftsmanship, and historicity of this grand monument.
“Freedom” came under physical attack from historical revisionists, postmodernist vandals, and those who wish to erase or re-write Scottish history, resulting in the park placing a protective cage around the statue. Finally the Wallace National Monument decided to removed the statue in 2008, claiming they needed the space in order to expand their visitor center and restaurant. Of course, it was evident that the statue was removed for political reasons. The statue was returned to it’s sculptor, Eric Church, who remains in possession of it to this day.
So Im planning a trip to Scotland soon and really have no idea where I would like to really visit. Since you seem to know alot about Scotland, is there anywhere you would suggest I visit? Sites to see?
i’m actually most definitely not the first person you should ask about doing touristy things in scotland as i haven’t been there yet (i’ve been to the uk, but not scotland), so instead, here’s @kazliin‘s guide to scotland:
Edinburgh (the capital) - there’s loads to do in Edinburgh including Edinburgh castle (make sure you’re there for the 1 o'clock canon), Edinburgh Zoo with the pandas and the penguin parade, Edinburgh dungeons if you like cool scary historical tours, if you’re there from the 4-28th August definitely go to the Fringe Festival because it’s full of really amazing acts and shows. There’s also lots of museums and historical things to visit like Greyfriars churchyard.
Glasgow (the biggest city) - Glasgow is full of things to do. There are lots of amazing museums like Kelvingrove, Riverside and the Science Centre and historical things like Mackintosh house and the Tall Ship. Glasgow also has a really good music scene so there are big venues like the Hydro or little famous ones like King Tuts where people like Oasis and Paramore played before they were famous. Glasgow is also the best for shopping so places like Buchanan and Sauchiehall street and good places to go. There’s also lots of weird and wonderful things to see in Glasgow like Sharmanka and there’s plenty of theatres and opera houses if you want to see plays/shows/opera etc. Glasgow is also surrounded by lots of mountains (as are lots of cities in Scotland) so there is plenty of outdoor activities and hiking to do
For other outdoor things, Scotland is very beautiful so there are lots of things like Lochs to go and visit if you want to do outdoors stuff. Loch Lomond is very pretty with lots of good walking trails and hiking opportunities around it, as places like Loch Ness (plus you can try and spot the monster). Scotland also has hundreds of castles and they are always worth going to see. Some like Doune Castle have had famous things like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Game of Thrones filmed there and some like Eilean Donan are very beautiful and full of lots of history, especially Jacobite stuff.
Wherever you are in Scotland, there is almost guaranteed to be a castle nearby and they are always worth visiting because they usually have fun guided tours or cool things to do and see.
There are loads of other historical things in Scotland that are really fun to go to. Places like the Wallace monument in Stirling (it’s not just a monument, there are historical reenactment, costumed guided tours and things like archery), Calanais standing stones, the Antonine wall, St Andrews cathedral etc.
It all really depends on what you’re looking for, cultural, historical, outdoors or city life.
But you can pretty much guarantee whatever city you go to, if you pick up a tourist brochure at the local visitors centre there will be tons available to do.
Apart from that just remember to pack an umbrella. Because you’ll need it.
From what I’ve picked up in my research for BtDS, I know that Scotland is known for scotch (of course), and mead and fruit wines (there’s a couple interesting small wineries that specialise in those things).
Also, there’s a railroad line from Glasgow that goes up to Maillaig (which is roughly where I’ve located Torvill lol) called the West Highland line that has been rated the top rail journey in the world (even past the Trans-Siberian railway). It goes past Loch Lomond, I believe. Parts of the Hogwarts Express were filmed there, as well as in Maillaig, and also from Maillaig you can take ferries or other trains out to islands in the Hebrides, which are another set of really great locations for hiking and photography and things.
As for other cities you could visit if you’re in the Highlands and stuff, I’ve heard Inverness is pretty cool. It’s the capital of the Highlands, and there you can find Macbeth’s castle, the fields of the battle of Culloden, etc. Fort William is also on the West Highland line, and is the location of Fort Con, which is a pop culture convention! Besides that Fort William is good for hiking and outdoorsy stuff, and is also the setting for a lot of films as well (Braveheart, Harry Potter, etc)
If you’re really looking to get away, the Orkneys are a good place to do so, though I hear it gets terribly cold up there all the time. There’s some fascinating cliff structures up in the Orkneys that definitely influenced the look for Torvill, so yeah.
If you…. um. Want to go seal watching (because why not?), harbour seal pupping season in Scotland is from mid-June to roughly mid-July or August (followed by the moulting and mating seasons), and you’ll get to see tons of the cuties all over the Hebrides and Orkney and Shetland and stuff. There aren’t as many harbour seals as there are grey seals (and I know you’re not going to Ireland but bruh, Wicklow City in Ireland has their own Katsudon – look up Sammy the Seal!) but from the photos I’ve seen they’re all ridiculously cute.