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20 Dec 2018

Banish boredom at Bannockburn

Written by Lauren Miller
The 3D battlefield lit up in a dark Battle Room. The walls show screens with images of soldiers on horseback, carrying spears.
The Battle of Bannockburn uses 3D to bring the 1314 battle to life.
Blogger Lauren Miller recommends a trip to the Battle of Bannockburn this winter.

Follow the story behind the Battle of Bannockburn which took place in 1314 and was considered to be Robert the Bruce’s greatest victory. Found close to Stirling, this is not your average visit. Its multi-award winning 3D experience allows you to transport yourself back in time to command your own battalion and learn the interesting stories behind the battle.

After being warmly welcomed by the modern and stylish building, I was guided into a small theatre room and watched a 3D video to gain background knowledge on the great battle. The use of cartoon characters and simple language meant that both kids and adults are able to enjoy learning more about Bannockburn.

“The star of the show has to be the interactive battle room.”
Lauren Miller

Next, I found myself walking around a dimly lit room to watch short clips that introduced some of the characters of the time, including spies, children and soldiers. This gives a great insight into the lives of those involved in the Battle of Bannockburn.

270-degree screens showing scenes from the battle surround a display of weapons and armour in the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre.
270-degree screens put visitors right in the heart of the action.

The star of the show has to be the interactive battle room. After booking a place, I took part in the only heritage experience of its type in the world. Follow the instructions and guidance given by a member of staff to lead your own section of either the Scottish or English army, and learn battle etiquette and strategies to win you the Scottish crown. It became a hilarious and competitive game. Those watching were able to laugh at the fatal mistakes made by their peers and cheer at the victories of each army. If you wish to play, you must be over the age of 7.

The statue of Robert the Bruce on a horse, silhouetted against a red and purple sky.
The iconic Bruce statue is a highlight of a visit to Bannockburn.

This amazing experience is free of charge for members of the National Trust for Scotland. Set traps to fool your dad, hide your army behind a hill to ambush your sister or work together to win the battle. Whoever you bring along to this colourful and unique experience, I’m certain it’ll be a day to remember, and a great way to spend family time over the festive period.

The Battle of Bannockburn is open 10am–5pm daily (closed 25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January).