Stirling Castle

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Stirling Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

1. Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Spend a day experiencing the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park from Edinburgh. Enjoy a memorable visit to Stirling Castle, explore the pretty villages of Aberfoyle and Loch Lomond Shores, and set off on a spectacular cruise across Loch Lomond. Departing Edinburgh, head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour-long cruise taking in spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Loch Lomond Shores, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline.  Enter The Trossachs National Park and experience its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests. Continue on, past medieval Doune Castle, to the pretty town of Aberfoyle, situated on the banks of the River Teith in Stirlingshire, where you stop to enjoy some lunch.  Travel north-west for your last stop of the day at magnificent Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most historically significant castles, sitting high on volcanic rock and offering wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historical figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. Travel back to Edinburgh at the end of your tour.

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Loch Lomond, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle Small-Group Tour

2. Loch Lomond, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle Small-Group Tour

Leave Edinburgh and travel through the historic grace of Linlithgowshire. Your guide will help you spot Linlithgow palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. On the way to Loch Lomond you stop at the Kelpies Monument. These two horses’ heads stand as a testament to the horse power that drove the industrial development of Central Scotland. From here you head to the shores of Loch Lomond, which is Scotland’s largest loch and is protected as Scotland’s first National Park. This is the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’ and take in fantastic views of the mountains. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. By spending time on the trails by the loch you’ll be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest legends. You then head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. Steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests: this area is stunning. You stop for lunch in the heart of the National Park then continue to the city of Stirling where you can visit one of Scotland’s most magnificent castles. You can choose to take in the views from inside and understand why this castle was so instrumental in Scottish history. From here our short journey back to Edinburgh passes the Kelpies once again before arriving back in the capital.

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Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

3. Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a full-day tour of the Scottish Heartlands departing Edinburgh and traveling in small groups for a more intimate experience. You will take a scenic drive through Perthshire, looking at the lochs and glens of the Highlands. Cross the Forth Road Bridge, passing one of Scotland's great engineering wonders, and continue into the Kingdom of Fife. Pass Loch Leven Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. You will also pass Perth, before crossing the Highland Boundary Fault line. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, on the banks of the River Tay, visit the cathedral town of Dunkeld and the Hermitage, to take a fantastic woodland walk up to the Black Linn Falls. Stop at the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, and visit the great shops and restaurants, or take a stroll down towards Loch Faskally. See the unmistakable peak of Schiehallion, and beyond to the mountains of Glencoe. Continue alongside Loch Tummel, and head past the spectacular 16th-Century Castle Menzies towards the town of Aberfeldy and Dewars Whisky Distillery. After enjoying a dram of the "water of life", the tour returns to the lowlands and back to Edinburgh at approximately 6:30 PM.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

4. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

Take in wild landscapes, pretty villages, and historic monuments on this guided tour from Edinburgh. Experience the many sides of the Highlands on this inclusive excursion. Depart from the old town of Edinburgh in the early morning and travel by coach or minivan into the Highlands. Admire the dramatic scenery and enjoy views of Stirling Castle, a famous royal abode that was once the home to the mighty Stuart monarchs. Pull up in the picturesque town of Callander and stretch your legs while admiring shaggy Highland cattle grazing in surrounding pastures. Continue north across rugged terrain to Glencoe valley, with its craggy mountains and sweeping vistas perfect for photographing. Arrive in Fort Augustus and spend some time at your leisure. Cruise the calm waters of Loch Ness, tuck into a spot of lunch or stroll along the Caledonian Canal. Next, it's back to the bus for the World War II Commando Memorial. Continue your journey as you look out the window for Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. Hop off the coach once more at Loch Laggan to admire the powerful Laggan Dam. During summer, your next stop is a visit to Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral and pretty village. In winter, head for Pitlochry and its salmon ladder, or sip on a dram of warming whisky in a local pub (own expense), before returning to Edinburgh.

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From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

5. From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

From Edinburgh, travel west, passing the historic and imposing Stirling Castle, high on its volcanic rock, and on to a visit at the magnificent Doune Castle (which featured in the cult movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"). From there, drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig and up through impressive Glen Ogle, stopping nearby for lunch and beautiful views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, stopping to view one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle, jutting into beautiful Loch Awe and stunningly framed by the surrounding mountains. Then it’s on to Inveraray, a quaint small town built in the mid-18th century, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (April to October only), the historic home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, which is set in large beautiful gardens overlooking Loch Fyne. Now start your homeward journey, driving over the Arrochar Alps, an attractive range of mountains, with a brief pause near the top of the "Rest and Be Thankful Pass." A little later, reach enchanting Loch Lomond, where you'll stop at the pretty lochside village of Luss before returning to Edinburgh. *Inveraray Castle open Apr-Oct, alternatives offered Nov-March

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Isle of Skye and Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Edinburgh

6. Isle of Skye and Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Edinburgh

Tour the Scottish Highlands and explore the Isle of Skye on a 3-day guided tour from Edinburgh. You’ll see castles, craggy mountains, picturesque towns, and maybe even a monster on this excursion. Stay overnight in B&B accommodation. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: A Spectacular Route North On the way to Skye your route takes you past beautiful Stirling Castle, across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. As you near the coast, you’ll see Eilean Donan Castle (optional tour available), which was featured in the film Highlander. Overnight stay in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. If you like, you can take it nice and easy but still see all the sights. Highlights include the the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and stunning Trotternish Peninsula. You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Return to Inverness for your overnight stay. Day 3: Monster Spotting on Loch Ness Drive along the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. As you head back to Edinburgh, your route will take you through Inverness, the Cairngorms, and Pitlochry. At the Culloden battlefield, the site of the defeat of the Jacobites, there is the option of taking a tour. Continue on through the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and stop to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry.

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Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

7. Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

As you drive north from Edinburgh on this 9-hour excursion you’ll marvel at the engineering miracle of the Forth Railway Bridge. Then, as you travel through Stirlingshire, your guide will bring to life the turbulent times of William Wallace, dramatized in the film Braveheart, and explain his link to the area you're passing through. Your first stop is the city of Stirling, where you'll have ample time to visit the stunning castle (admission not included) or enjoy a walk along the atmospheric, ancient streets that surround it. You'll then have the opportunity to visit one of Scotland's best known distilleries, where you’ll learn how they make their whisky and get a dram of their Highland Single Malt Whisky (optional extra). The tour route takes you past Loch Lubnaig and then through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, home of the Highland rogue Rob Roy. Stopping at some of the best view points, you’ll be able to take in the view from the An Ceann Mor platform at Inveruglus and then walk the shore of Scotland’s biggest loch at Luss.

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From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

8. From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

After leaving Glasgow, stop at the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Take a one-hour cruise, enjoying spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Luss, with its quaint houses, cafes and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline. Eat lunch in the small village of Aberfoyle, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Trossachs National Park. After lunch, continue through the Trossachs, Scotland’s first national park, known as ‘the Highlands in miniature’ for its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests. It is also known as the homeland of legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. The final stop is the magnificent Stirling Castle, which sits high on volcanic rock and offers wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. You will have time to visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historic figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. With plenty of interesting things to see and do, the Stirling Castle experience is well worth a visit. You then make your way back to Glasgow. Please note: the Loch Lomond cruise is only available in winter for groups of 6 and over. If this number is not met, an alternative stop will be offered.

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From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

9. From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

Depart Edinburgh and journey northwest to Midhope Castle (April 1 to September 24), site of Lallybroch Castle in the time travel TV series "Outlander." Next, stop in the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow and enjoy a photo stop at Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison in "Outlander"), originally a royal retreat between Edinburgh and Stirling Castle. Continue to the 14th-century country pile of Callandar House, where ties to Rome's northern frontier in Europe at the Antonine Wall have been traced. Following in the footsteps of Claire and Jamie, visit Falkland, Outlander's Inverness. Many of the streets here were used as filming locations in Outlander, including when Claire sees Jamie's ghost. Move on to the Royal Burgh of Culross to discover a tiny village nestled on the coast of Fife. Arguably the best example of a 17th-century Scottish village, the gardens at Culross were featured in "Outlander" as Claire's herb garden, as was the mercat cross (market cross) from Cranesmuir Village. Saunter along the cobblestone streets and see the quaint Biscuit Café before stopping for photos at Tuilyies Standing Stones (time permitting). End the day at South Queensferry for beautiful views over the Forth and photos of the Forth Rail Bridges.

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From Glasgow: Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Tour

10. From Glasgow: Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Tour

Discover Scotland's glorious past on this exciting tour in the hearthland of Highland heroes such as Rob Roy, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. Marvel at the natural beauty of the forests, lochs and mountains in Loch Lomond National Park. You will depart Glasgow at 9 AM and travel towards Stirling, along a route that has been used for thousands of years by invading armies. It was the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire, and was later used by the English King Edward I as he marched towards Stirling. As you approach Stirling the magnificent castle dominates your view and you make your way up towards the high volcanic rock where it imposes itself upon the surrounding land. To the north is the towering National Wallace Monument commemorating Scotland’s great hero William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson in the Oscar-winning movie Braveheart. To the South is Bannockburn castle where, in 1314, the great Scottish warrior-king Robert the Bruce defeated the English army of Edward II. From Stirling you will travel into the Highlands to an area known as the Trossachs National Park. Often referred to as "The Highlands in Miniature" it marks the point where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. You will stop here for lunch in the heart of the National Park forest outside Aberfoyle, where you can enjoy the magnificent nature all around you. After lunch you "take the high road" or back-road to Loch Lomond. With 79 islands, it is Scotland’s largest loch,andt takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond on the eastern shore. Following a walk out along the west highland way you travel onto the picturesque Distillery of Glengoyne, one of the bestselling malt whiskies in Scotland, where you have the option to tour the Distillery or enjoy the refreshments that are on offer at their "Slainte Mhath Shop." From there, it’s just a short drive back to Glasgow at around 6 PM.

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Planning Your Visit

  • What are the opening times?

    The castle is open 7 days a week, in winter 9:30AM to 5:00PM and in summer 9:30AM to 6:00PM.

  • How much does entrance cost?

    A standard adult ticket costs £14.50

  • Do I need to take a tour?

    Tours are not compulsory, however they are reccommended and highly enjoyable!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Seven days a week, winter 9:30AM to 5:00PM and summer 9:30AM to 6:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Regular adult ticket costs £14.50.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    The castle is about a 10 minute walk uphill from the Stirling train station, reached easily from Edinburgh or Glasgow.
  • Additional information
    ** Free guided tours are run by the castle staff throughout the day and audio-guides are available in several languages! | There are no facilities for luggage, so plan to leave any at the bust station.*

Other Sightseeing Options in Stirling Castle

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What people are saying about Stirling Castle

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,482 reviews

The whole trip was a great experience. Our tour guide/driver Stewart was so full of energy from beginning to end which made the long trip bearable and alive. I love his trivia and wittiness too. We would definitely recommend this tour to everyone who wanted to see the hidden beauty of Edinburgh.

This was a beautiful tour! Eric was a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide. Stirling Castle was closed, and Eric did an awesome job at showing us beautiful locations that made our time fruitful. Definitely recommend!

What a brilliant day, knowledge, fun and music.provided all the way by our brilliant driver Stewart. An excellent day and highly recommend the additional cruise on the Loch. Thank you

Roger was a great tour guide, very informative and fun, the length of the tour was perfect, and was great to delve into a small part of the highlands

Alix was exceptional and very informative. Excellent service!