The Wallace Begins Trail

Follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s Braveheart!

William Wallace is famous the world over, and many tourists flock to Scotland to follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s Braveheart.

Wallace led Scotland in its first wars of Independence in the 13th Century but did you know that Paisley and Renfrewshire play an integral role in the life of one of Scotland’s most venerated heroes?

Scotland’s Braveheart was born in the 1270s in Elderslie, Renfrewshire and although very little is known about his early years it is believed that young Wallace was educated by the monks of Paisley Abbey.

As the second son of a minor noble, Wallace may have been expected to become a priest. Of course, his life took a very different direction…

Renfrewshire is the perfect start and end point for your Wallace Begins trail!

The Wallace Begins trail will take you through the national hero’s journey from his birthplace in Elderslie, to Paisley Abbey, the National Wallace Monument and then back to his final Scottish residence, Dumbarton Castle where he was held before he was hung, drawn and quartered in London.

Wallace Begins one-day trail

Arrive in Renfrewshire the night before for a two-night stay. We have a variety of accommodation options to appeal to every type of traveller.

  • 9am – Wallace birthplace, Elderslie
    Start your trail at the beginning of William Wallace’s journey, his birthplace
  • 10am to 11.30am – Paisley Abbey
    Paisley’s medieval Abbey was a centre of learning and it is believed Sir William Wallace, was educated by the monks at Paisley Abbey. It also has a cafe and shop.
  • 11.30pm to 12.30pm – Lunch in Paisley
    Stay for lunch in one of the town’s many cafes or restaurants
  • 12.30pm to 1.30pm – Travel from Paisley to Stirling
  • 1.30pm to 3pm – The National Wallace Monument (seasonal opening hours)
    One of Stirling’s most distinctive landmarks, it overlooks the scene of Wallace’s victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
  • 3pm to 4pm – Travel to Dumbarton
  • 4pm – Dumbarton Castle (seasonal opening hours)
    Follow the legend by heading to Dumbarton Castle on the River Clyde, where Wallace was held before being sent to London for his execution.

Now, head back to your hotel and enjoy a relaxing meal in one of the many restaurants in Renfrewshire – you’ve earned it!

If you don’t manage to reach Dumbarton Castle before it closes, don’t worry – you can soak up the scenic views from the foot of the Rock on the river bank, and watch the sun set over the River Clyde.

You can also pop back the next morning for the full experience – it is just a short trip over the Grade A-listed Erskine Bridge from your hotel in Renfrewshire.

Other areas of interest

Read on for more history on our Scottish heroes

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