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Doune Travel Guide - Scotland

The ancient Scottish village of Doune, situated in Stirlingshire and part of the Trossachs National Park, is a goldmine for those wishing to capture a genuine slice of authentic Scottish history. The small, old-fashioned village packs quite a story, and one of its main attractions includes the stunningly attractive 1300s Doune Castle among a whole host of historic tourist attractions. It is only 8 miles from Stirling located on the river Teith, but despite it being under control of Stirling Council, the village has a Perthshire address.


Doune Castle is unmissable from the village and is only a short walk along the A84 near Dunblane and Stirling. It was built to a very high specification in the 1300s by Scotland's "uncrowned king" Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, and was passed down through various monarchs. Having spent a huge amount of money on it, this stronghold truly is a residence fit for a king. The castle was also fit for the silver screen and attracts fans from all over the world for its place in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" -- the castle's audio tour is even narrated by Terry Jones who who co-directed the 1975 film. More recently, the castle features in the Hollywood production "Game of Thrones". Be sure to visit the gift shop for a souvenirs of your trip to the castle!

Back onto Doune itself. The village was once famous for pistol production, and it is said that the first shot fired in the American War for Independence came from a Doune pistol. Although no longer in production, the old workshop still stands in the village. Doune pistols are now displayed in museums across Europe -- one of the oldest such weapons was made in 1678 by Thomas Caddell in the aforementioned workshop and is displayed in the Neuchatel Museum in Switzerland. A cotton mill was later opened up in Doune and employed 1000 spinners and weavers.

In the 17th century, Doune was once a bustling village of highlanders trading their goods and buying pistols, and was an intersection of the routes used for the herding of highland cattle from the Highlands to Stirling onwards. The bridge over the River Teith was said to have been constructed out of revenge on the ferryman who refused to give free crossing when a tailor arrived with no money to pay for his fare to Doune.

Doune is an ideal base for exploring Stirlingshire and Perthshire, being situated more or less between the areas. Things to see and do in the immediately surrounding area include visiting the castle, the nearby standing stones, Kilmadock Parish Church (1822), the Market Cross (1620), and the Bridge of Teith (1535). For those after a bit more action there is the Doune Motocross (Scotland's No. 1 track) and also the Doune Speed Hill Climb which hosts a round of Britain's Hill Climb championship. We should also mention the Doune ponds which is a nature reserve that makes for a lovely walk and also a chance to view the nearby Red Kite feeding at the centre. Doune makes a good base for visiting Rob Roy's Grave and Stirling Castle, and last but not least, don't forget to have a wild day out at the Blair Drummond Safari Park!

There are plenty places in Doune for the traveller to settle down including cosy and traditional hotels, B&Bs and guest houses to rest your feet after a long day of exploring!
Notice
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