Stirling Castle

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Stirling Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Loch Ness from Edinburgh and tour the Scottish Highlands. See the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, keep an eye out for Nessie on a boat cruise and enjoy a picnic lunch. Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, fresh fruit, shortbread, and Scottish mineral water. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is eqipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the on board bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers, and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

2. 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.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

3. 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.

From Glasgow: Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Tour

4. 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.

From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

5. 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.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

6. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience Dalwhinnie Scotch Whiskey-Distillery for an optional tasting tour before you visit the historic Dunkfeld Cathedral on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

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

7. 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

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

8. 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.

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

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

Leave Edinburgh and head west to the ‘Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond’ where you'll take time at Balmaha to admire views of Ben Lomond. You'll get the chance to go on a woodland walk to get some great views of the Loch. The afternoon is spent exploring Stirling. Discover impressive Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most important structures both historically and architecturally. Many have been crowned at Stirling Castle, including Mary Queen of Scots, and it was central to William Wallace’s and Robert the Bruce's fight in the Wars of Independence. Alternatively, explore historic Stirling, geographically one of the most significant towns in Scottish history. On your return to Edinburgh you'll have the chance to visit and marvel at the stunning Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures dedicated to the horse powered heritage of Central Scotland, designed by Andy Scott. Finally, return to Edinburgh by early evening.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

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 a bed and breakfast 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.

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 5,120 reviews

Our guide, Neil, was what made the best part of our tour! His shared knowledge of history, geography, and lore was very informative and entertaining. The castle was a great stop, and we were very pleased with how accessible it was to the public. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise as well. The town we stopped in for lunch offered many venues, al within a block or two of the parking area. We agreed that we all enjoyed this excursion, and again, Neil was a superb guide!

The trip was well planned, covering the vast essential attractions in the Scottish Highlands, as well as extra viewpoints. We also had some time to spend in small local villages and bask in the atmosphere. Steve was a wonderful guide, very entertaining and informative. Even though the group was a bit quiet, he still managed to remain spirited and kept up the cheer with his amazing Scottish music playlist.

Великолепная поездка. Гид Роб очень увлекательно все преподносит и действительно много знает об истории Шотландии. Замок Стирлинг стоит посмотреть. Также понравилась экскурсия на завод виски. А вот озеро немного разочаравало. Нету возможности нормально подойти к берегу даже для фото, всюду заборы.

It was an amazing experience ,Alan our guide had a good sense of humor and so much knowledge on the history of each and every destination we covered . 5star for sure …

Thank you very much to our knowledgeable driver for the beautiful experience!