Stirling Castle

Looming grandly from the crag of Castle Hill, Stirling Castle is one of the Scotland's most important and impressive castles.

TravelCurious Tip

Be sure to visit the Museum of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and read the soldiers’ letters home during the World Wars

One of Scotland’s most historic castles, Stirling Castle sits atop an extinct volcano near the city of Edinburgh. Surrounded on three sides by precipitous cliffs, its a formidable defensive position. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle - all bloody, and rarely successful - with the last in 1746 by Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The site’s military importance has been recognised for centuries: some speculate that a fortress has existed here since before the Romans arrived. The current castle dates from the late 14th to 16th century when it was a magnificent residence of the Stuart monarchy.

Now the castle has been recently restored to look as it would have done then, just as it was completed by James V’s French masons. A highlight is the Royal Palace, which is a true demonstration of the luxuries of 17th century royal life. Fine fireplaces and exquisitely carved oak fill its six rooms - three for the King and three for the Queen - while an astounding reproduction of a series of tapestries depicting the hunt of a unicorn make for extraordinary decorations.

Fools’ gold

James IV, who reigned 1488-1513, kept a full Renaissance court at Stirling. He wanted to establish is as a palace of European standing, and this meant having a few mad alchemists too. If a satirical poem by the poet William Dunbar is based in fact, the castle walls may have been the site of an attempt at human-powered flight by the Italian alchemist John Damian. He broke his thigh.

The Ladies of Stirling Castle

Stirling has no shortage of female phantoms. They are an unusually colourful bunch: the Blue Lady, the Pink Lady, the White Lady, and, perhaps most famously, the Green Lady. It is said the Green Lady was the daughter of a Commander of the fortress who threw herself from Elphinstone Tower onto the cruel rocks below when her father ended her inappropriate romance by shooting her suitor.

Nearby Attractions

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Wallace Monument
This Victorian Gothic tower commemorates William Wallace, the 13th-century hero who fought for Scottish independence.
Culross is a village and former royal burgh, and parish, in Fife, and one of Scotland's most picturesque villages, often used as a film and television location.
Linlithgow Palace
Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots and one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its magnificent ruins are set in a park beside a loch rich in wildlife.
A kelpie, or water kelpie, is a shape-shifting spirit inhabiting lakes in Scottish folklore
Glengoyne Distillery
Glengoyne Distillery is a established whisky distillery
Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway
Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway. Our award-winning heritage railway is only 40 minutes drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh, located in the heart of the Forth Valley

Related Tours

Scottish Highlands: Day Trip from Edinburgh with Stirling Castle
This full-day trip will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, from the medieval city of Stirling, which ties the Highlands and Lowlands together including its striking castle, to the natural beauty of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park. 

On your private tour to the Scottish Highlands, you will: 

  • Enjoy a scenic drive to the medieval city of Stirling with your private licensed guide;
  • Enjoy the best of the Scottish Highlands: castles, lochs, and whisky;
  • Visit the magnificent Stirling Castle, which overlooks the city of Stirling;
  • Learn about the key moments of Scotland's long and bloody history, as well as renowned characters including Mary Queen of Scots and William Wallace;
  • Stop for a traditional Scottish lunch at Aberfoyle or Balmaha (the cost of lunch is not included);
  • Visit the beautiful lochside village of Balmaha and hike up to Craigie Fort to enjoy stunning views;
  • Enjoy a tour and tastings in one of Scotland’s prettiest whisky distilleries.
On your tour, you will have the chance to visit the magnificent Stirling Castle, which overlooks the ancient city of Stirling. The castle is one of the most iconic historic buildings in Scotland and has come to symbolize the spirit of this great nation. It sits atop an extinct volcano near the city of Edinburgh. Surrounded on three sides by precipitous cliffs, it's a formidable defensive position. 

There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle - all bloody, and rarely successful - with the last in 1746 by Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Learn about the key moments of Scotland’s long, violent and bloody history. 

You will also visit the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park, also known as ‘the Scottish Highlands in Miniature’, for it offers such a splendid view over myriad gorgeous lochs, untamed mountains and wonderful forests. About 100km northwest of Edinburgh, The Trossachs National Park is unrivalled for its scenery, walking and wildlife. The park is centred on Loch Lomond, the largest freshwater expanse in mainland Britain, and has a boundary of some 350km, encircling no less than 21 Munros. It is a place for superlatives.

Please note: if your travelling party is larger than 3, please be in touch so we may work with you on a custom booking.
Outlander Filming Locations: Private Day Trip from Edinburgh
Follow the footsteps of Claire and Jamie and travel back in time to the dramatic - and romantic - world of 18th-century Scotland on this Outlander day trip from the city of Edinburgh. 

During your private day trip, you will: 

  • Explore the fabulous scenery and landscapes of bonnie Scotland as you head to other beautiful locations used in the filming of Outlander;
  • Meet at the World’s End Pub and walk to historic locations just off The Royal Mile used in filming;
  • Visit the picturesque harbour of Dysart, which doubled as the French Port Le Havre in the series;
  • Explore the charming village of Falkland where the early episodes of series 1 were filmed, and where you will recognize several memorable moments from the series;
  • Enjoy a well-deserved lunch break, then look forward to an afternoon of historic castles;
  • Visit Stirling for a timed, guided one-hour tour of the mighty Stirling Castle with its evocative banqueting hall-inspired Diana Gabaldon’s gathering of Clan Mackenzie;
  • Stop for a picture at Bo’ness railway – better known as the London train station where Claire and Frank say farewell;
  • Arrive at the imposing Blackness Castle. Dating back to the 1400s it is Scotland’s most impressive stronghold and became the menacing Fort William, the headquarters of Captain Black Jack RandallJamie’s arch-enemy. Entrance tickets and private tours are included;
  • End your tour with a scenic and peaceful drive back to Edinburgh.

For fans of the amazing Outlander series, inspired by the books of Diana Gabaldon, starring Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe as Jamie and Claire Fraser, this tour is not to be missed! This is a captivating tour of some of Scotland’s loveliest scenery and magnificent castles. Your expert guide will also be a passionate fan of the series and show you the historic locations used for filming during this full-day tour (approximately 9 hours) in a luxury private vehicle. 

Your guide will point out all the fictional Outlander references and also tell you the ‘real’ history of all the sites you’ll take in on this jam-packed, day-long adventure! 

Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Scottish countryside, step back in time as you relive some of the most iconic scenes from Outlander, and walk with Claire and Jamie in spirit. As a note, beware of the unpredictable Scottish weather and bring comfortable clothing, a raincoat and walking shoes!

Please note: If your travelling party is larger than 3, please get in touch so we may work with you on a custom booking.


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