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Wallace Monument

This Victorian Gothic tower commemorates William Wallace, the 13th-century hero who fought for Scottish independence.

TravelCurious Tip

The spiral staircase to the top of the monument is narrow, so it can be tricky with people going both ways. Go early to avoid congestion!

Pointing skywards from a crag in Stirling, near Edinburgh, the Wallace Monument commemorates William Wallace, who was immortalised by Mel Gibson in the film ‘Braveheart’. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow wanted to be home to the monument, and Stirling was chosen as a kind of neutral ground between the two.


An early proposal for the monument had been a colossal statue of Wallace, like New York’s Statue of Liberty. In the end they opted for a dramatic medieval tower — a Gothic exclamation mark over Forth Valley. It was completed in 1869 and stands at 67m, atop its 91m crag, offering spectacular views over the the floodplain of the River Forth, a deep green valley that includes the site of Wallace’s 1297 victory over the English at Stirling Bridge. Its panorama of the southern highlands’ striking mountains is unrivalled.


National hero

William Wallace was a key figure in the Scottish bid for independence. He opposed the efforts of King Edward I of England to impose his will over Scotland in the years around 1300. But in fact he only fought two battles, of which he won one and lost one, and he spent a fair bit of time in France before he resigned from his job and in the end was betrayed and executed.


Over the years his image has been polished somewhat, variously by the bard Blind Harry in his epic 1470 poem, ‘The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace’, and subsequently by Hollywood. But the historical accuracy is perhaps less important than that the people wanted a national hero, and Wallace’s legend reflects attributes they admire: grit, pride, independence.


Freedom!

In 1997 a statue of Mel Gibson from Braveheart, called ‘Freedom’, was installed in the car park at the foot of the crag. It was regularly vandalised by locals, before it was caged to prevent further damage. The statue was removed in 2008.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Edinburgh
Scottish National Gallery
The Scottish National Gallery is home to the country's spectacular collection of fine art.
Stirling Castle
Looming grandly from the crag of Castle Hill, Stirling Castle is one of the Scotland's most important and impressive castles.
The Trossachs National Park
The Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park is known for its beautiful lochs, flora and fauna, woodland parks and beaches.
Loch Katrine
A picturesque loch set in the centre of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, fictionalised in Sir Walter Scott's 'The Lady of the Lake.'
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Escape to a wild Scottish landscape of mountains, moorlands, forests, rivers and lochs.
Charlotte Square
This prestigious square is the architectural jewel of the New Town.

Related Tours

Private Excursion to the Highlands
This full-day excursion will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, to the medieval city of Stirling and natural beauty of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park.

  • Enjoy a scenic drive to the medieval city of Stirling 
  • Visit the magnificent Stirling Castle, which overlooks the city of Sterling
  • Learn about  the key moments of Scotland's long and bloody history, as well as renown characters including Mary Queen of Scots and William Wallace 
  • Stop for a traditional Scottish lunch at Stirling (not included in price) 
  • Snap pictures of Scotland's finest natural beauties, the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park
  • Take a stroll near Loch Katrine, which inspired many great literary figures 
  • Stroll through Aberfoyle, an impressive forest park with stunning waterfalls
  • Enjoy a drive back to Edinburgh 
Stirling - the Spirit of Scotland

Leaving Edinburgh, your tour will begin with a scenic drive to the medieval city of Stirling, where you will be visiting the magnificent Stirling Castle. Overlooking the ancient city of Stirling, the castle is one of the most iconic historic buildings of Scotland and has come to symbolize the spirit of this great nation.

During your visit to the castle you will learn about the key moments of Scotland’s long, violent and bloody history. You will hear stories of the fascinating characters who called Stirling Castle their home, including of Mary Queen of Scots, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. You will also have the chance of exploring picturesque Stirling town, where you will have the pleasure of sampling some traditional Scottish fare.

The Scottish Highlands in Miniature

You will then proceed towards one of the most scenic areas in Scotland, 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. You will be making several stops at various scenic locations, to ensure that you get to enjoy the absolute best of the beautiful Trossachs. 

You will have the pleasure of taking a stroll near Loch Katrine, one of the most beautiful in all of Scotland. Set in the centre of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Loch Katrine is said to of inspired great literary figures, including Sir Walter Scott who wrote his famed poem Lady of the Lake in 1810 after visiting Loch Katrine. One last treat will be a stop at Aberfoyle where you will explore the impressive forest park, complete with stunning waterfall and scenic views over the famous Scottish highlands. 
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