National Wallace Monument is staging free holiday fun days

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Forth Valley’s iconic Wallace Monument is offering free family-friendly activities every day this month and next.

Events on offer include everything from falconry and archery to face painting and live actor performances.

Organisers say the scheme aims to help answer the fact that the cost of entertaining children during the summer break has increased by 25 per cent over the past five years (according to research by the Post Office).

The special programme of events has been launched to provide families with fun and affordable activities as part of the Monument’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Every Monday between 10am and 5pm expert falconers will be on hand to discuss the majestic birds of prey on display at the Monument, and archery instructors will provide lessons on Tuesdays between 11am and 4pm.

There will be warrior training, with demonstrations and games every Thursday, while Family Fridays will see face painting, balloon swords and fun activities related to Scottish history taking place at the famous landmark between 11am and 4pm.

Special performances of Scotland’s National Hero, “a gripping recounting of Scotland’s past” from a costumed actor will take place every Wednesday.

In July, two soldiers from opposing sides meet after the Battle of Stirling Bridge in the Tales from the Battlefield weekend performances, while in August weekend visitors will be regaled with battle stories from costumed soldiers in A Battle Won.

Visitors wishing to climb the Monument’s 246 steps to the top of the tower to witness beautiful views of Stirlingshire and the Highlands from its crown can purchase a family admission for £27.50 (valid for 2 adults and 2 children).

This ticket will also give access to the newly refurbished galleries which feature brand new exhibitions, videos and interactive activities across three floors.

Ken Thomson, marketing manager at Stirling District Tourism, the charity that operates The National Wallace Monument, said: “Our free activities in July and August have been specially designed to entertain and engage young people and families over the summer.

“The school holidays can be an expensive time, so we think they will love taking part in these cost-friendly events and will discover a different side to Scottish history.

The Monument’s official anniversary date is September 11, which will be marked by an evening lightshow with animations projected onto the Monument, and further events will follow.

Tickets to The National Wallace Monument’s exhibition galleries and the 150th anniversary Wallace Wha Hae! festival can be bought from www.nationalwallacemonument.com.