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1314 and all that

The Bannockburn Visitor Centre reopens today after refurbishment but this isn't any old refurbishment, this is an all-out modernisation complete with what claims to be the world's first 3D battle re-enactment simulator.

It's similar to the sort of battle maps you see the military brass using in old war films, but the 3D aspect means the soldiers and terrain are projected on top of it. Amy Cassells, one of the battle masters at the heritage site, gave us her five reasons to go.

"It's something that's never been done before with a heritage centre so it'll be a new experience for everyone the first time they walk through the doors."

"To learn more about the battle itself. People have their own theories of how it played out. So it's a good opportunity to come and find out more and feel what it was like. Lots of people think it was just Scotland versus England. But there were Welsh archers, Irish foot soldiers and a lot of that is explained with the new interpretation. Robert the Bruce's face was modelled after the Pilkington Jackson statue of the Bruce which was based on his skull that was rediscovered in Dunfermline abbey in 1818. Everything is so authentic and you'll leave having learned exactly what happened."

"You get to meet 3D characters from the time period that you can interact with and find out tips and tricks of how you can maybe win the battle, so it feels like you are communicating with people from the 14th century. At least half of them are based on real people like Sir James Douglas, who fought alongside Robert the Bruce."

"To experience what it feels like to take control of a unit of soldiers - 700 years ago you were given the King's orders and sent on your way and it was up to you to make the decisions when you were out there fighting."

"Even if you don't want to play the game you will engage with the other elements of the exhibition. Some children have come out saying it was quite scary at points, but it's not bloody or gory. It's scary in the sense that you feel what it would actually be like to be there. I am the only female battle master so I am almost a reason for the girls to come along and have a go. Younger girls might want to step back from the battlefield element. But as soon as they see someone like me, it gives them a boost and they feel more comfortable with it. The good thing is that they're the brains of the operation and as battle masters we are the controls. So all they have to worry about is giving the orders but they still feel completely engaged in the whole process."

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