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Stirling Castle

Overview

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's most important castles, due to its strategic position guarding a key crossing point on the River Forth. It is no coincidence that two of the major battles in Scotland's struggle for Independence, Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314), were fought within sight of this castle. 

Stirling Castle is well worth a visit and it rates alongside Edinburgh Castle as a tourist attraction. There is a lot to be discovered in the castle, but one of the highlights is the Great Hall, which has been restored to its 16th century splendour.  The wooden structure of the roof of this hall is very impressive and you can easily imagine the Scottish monarchs hosting banquets here.

The other highlight of the castle is the Royal Palace which lies within the castle walls. The palace has been extensively restored to look much as it would have done during the16th century. The tour of the palace takes you through the King and Queen's outer and inner chambers as well as their bedrooms. Mary Queen of Scots would have been familiar with these rooms.

Stirling Castle was also a military base until 1964, and within the castle you will also find the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Regimental Museum. This is an old fashioned museum, but worth a visit if you have time to read the fascinating stories about the Regiment’s battles. The museum is scattered through several rooms with different exhibitions about the regiment in the periods of the Crimean Wars,  Boer Wars to WW1, WW2 to Korea, and more recent conflicts. There are glass cases with exhibits of soldiers' uniforms, personal items, weapons and medals.

The admission price also includes entry to nearby Argyll’s Lodgings, a renaissance townhouse. Argyll's Lodgings has been carefully restored and visitors can see the basic servants areas as well as the luxurious rooms of the owners. The rooms on the first floor are furnished and you are free to touch and explore so it is good for children. An interesting feature is an  early toilet chamber complete with velvet covered toilet seat. 

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass

Address:

Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April - 30 September: Daily, 9.30am - last entry 5.15pm (closes at 6.00pm). 1 October - 31 March: Daily, 9.30am - last entry 4.15pm (closes at 5.00pm) Christmas and New Year Period Closed 25th, 26th December. Open on 1st, 2nd January - please call for opening hours.

Admission:

£ 16.00 adult, £ 12.80 senior, £ 9.60 child

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

English speaking guides OR audioguides in 6 languages (German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian & Russian) for £ 3.00 per adult, £ 1 per child.

Accessibility:

Yes, most areas except the Kitchens and the Regimental Museum. Cobbled surfaces and gradients may cause problems.

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

Yes (a bit expensive)

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