Travel: The Things I've Seen: Robert The Bruce's Cave

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The Independent Travel
Getting into Robert the Bruce's cave was easy. That disappointed my assistant, who had recently become quite immersed in early Scottish history.

When Robert the Bruce occupied the hidden cave near Kirkpatrick-Fleming (now in Dumfries and Galloway), he had to be lowered down on a rope. Today there is an iron walkway attached to the sheer cliff face.

We entered the cave and turned round to peer across a secluded valley. It was here in these dark quarters that the king spent three months in hiding after suffering defeat at the hands of the English. And it was here that the endeavours of a spider working at its web are said to have inspired him to 'try, try, try again' in his struggle against the English.

King Robert then went forth into Scotland to gather support. The English had for many years wreaked havoc among the Scots, but when Edward II's great army attempted to cross the Bannock Burn in 1314, Bruce was waiting. His forces fell upon the English and defeated them decisively.

'And wreik on thame the mekill ill / That thai and tharis has done us till,' said my assistant darkly. As I said, my assistant had recently become quite immersed in early Scottish history.

Robert the Bruce's cave is at OS grid reference NY 265704 (Photograph omitted)