Clan Wallace itinerary

For many people, any mention of the name Wallace conjures up images of a blue-faced Mel Gibson in Braveheart. However, William Wallace is undoubtedly a major historical figure in Scotland, inextricably linked with the quest for freedom and independence.

Follow this itinerary and visit the places most closely associated with the Wallace clan, including the atmospheric battleground near Stirling where William Wallace won a famous victory against the English.

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  • Couple walking around the grounds at Dryburgh Abbey
    Dryburgh Abbey
  • Looking through the trees to the National Wallace Monument, Stirling
    The National Wallace Monument, Stirling
  • A view from within the walls of Stirling Castle, palace of Mary Queen of Scots, Stirling
    Stirling Castle

Arrive in the cosmopolitan city of Glasgow, Scotland's largest urban centre and a popular destination for a short break. Glasgow's fine museums and galleries are complemented by the Mitchell Library, one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe and home of the city archives.

Head west from Glasgow to Elderslie near the historic town of Paisley. Here, a recently discovered medieval fortress has given greater credence to the area's claim to be the birthplace of Sir William Wallace (c 1270 - 1305).

Head south into rural Ayrshire to Riccarton, a town that records show may well have been the first home of the Wallace clan, around 1160. Certainly, the Wallace name was common throughout Renfrewshire and Ayrshire from the late 12th century onwards.

On your third day in Scotland, visit Stirling, a must for any member of the Wallace clan. Stirling played a pivotal role in much of Scotland’s medieval history and is forever associated with Wallace.

The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 has passed into Scottish legend, thanks to the cunning and ruthlessness shown by Wallace in defeating the English army sent against him. You can visit the area of the battle for yourself, where the imposing National Wallace Monument offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. You should also make sure to visit to the impressive Stirling Castle, a favoured royal retreat of the Stuart dynasty and the childhood home of Mary, Queen of Scots.

A poignant counterpoint to the previous day can be experienced on a visit to the bustling town of Falkirk, to the south east of Stirling. It was here, in March 1298, that the English army crushed Wallace's much smaller force, with up to 10,000 Scots perishing on the field of battle.

From Falkirk, travel south through the gentle landscape of the Scottish Borders to the small Borders town of Dryburgh, famous for the picturesque ruins of its abbey.

Dryburgh was in fact the first town to erect a monument in honour of Wallace in 1814 and at nearby Bemersyde House, historic seat of Clan Haig, you’ll find a statue of Scotland’s national hero. Be sure not to miss the amazing views over the Eildon Hills and across the Tweed Valley from Scott’s View, the favourite outlook of Sir Walter Scott.

Head back to Glasgow where it’s worth taking some time to explore the modern side of this dynamic and cosmopolitan city.