For our anniversary this year, Dena and I decided to stay close to home and be tourists near where we live. We made our way up to Stirling Castle. We shared posts here and here from when we briefly visited the beautiful old city a few months ago. That visit made us want to go back and check out everything in greater detail. I have to say, if I was going to live in a castle in Scotland in the Middle Ages, I do believe it would have been this one. Granted, part of the reason behind this was just how much of Scotland’s history surrounded what happened in this castle. This castle was at the center of several major battles . In one 50 year period, the castle changed hands 8 times between Scottish rule and the English.

We walked the grounds, explored the enormous halls, and looked at the private living quarters of the royalty. Of everything we saw, I have to say that my favorite part was seeing the “Stirling Heads.” The Stirling Heads are a series of portraits that James V had carved from oak to adorn the ceilings of his private living quarters. They depicted himself, his family and historical and mythical figures who influenced him. Dena’s favorite section of the day was the enormous castle kitchens. When royalty lived in the castle, the kitchens were bustling with dozens of chefs, bakers and workers. At any time they housed every kind of drink and food one could think of or have a craving for.

We were very thankful for the time away to celebrate our anniversary. We look forward to many more in the years ahead!