Stirling Castle

  Historical

Perched majestically atop the craggy Castle Hill, the Stirling Castle has been an integral part of Scottish history from medieval times. Take a day trip from Edinburgh to the Stirling Castle and further west to Loch Lomond across the Highland Boundary Fault to soak up the romance and chivalry of medieval Scotland.

Overlooking the Stirling Sill, the castle has been home to Scottish royalty since the 11th century. The oldest parts of the present-day castle date back to the 14th century, with most buildings built between 1496 and 1583. Highlights of the castle are the Royal Palace, Great Hall, King’s Old Building, Royal Chapel and the gardens.

The walls of the Outer Defences (with cast-iron cannons) define the periphery, through which you can enter the Forework that serves as the entrance to the main part of the castle through the Outer Close courtyard. There are 2 circular stone towers on either side of the processional entrance.

The Royal Palace was the first Renaissance palace in Britain, with French-influenced detail and intricate stone sculptures. Commissioned in 1538 and completed 7 years later, its rich ambience and indulgent grandeur speak of the Scottish royalty’s wealth and refinement. It has two apartments, for the king and queen, furnished in luxury with carved stone fireplaces, carved portraits on wooden discs (Stirling Heads) and flamboyant tapestries. Along with the King’s Old Building, Royal Chapel and Great Hall, it encloses the Inner Close courtyard.

The Great Hall is the other striking Renaissance-style building in the complex, built as a venue for state receptions and functions.

The King’s Old Building was where the king stayed before the Royal Palace was built. It houses the Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders which traces the history of the regiment from its inception in 1881 through the African Boer and Zulu Wars, Spanish Peninsular War, Crimean War as well as both the World Wars.

Adjacent to the Old Building is the Royal Chapel, where Prince Henry was christened in 1594. The chapel was used as a canteen and training room when the castle became a military base in 1685, and had to be restored in the 20th century.

Other attractions include the Queen Anne Garden, Great Kitchens, Castle Exhibition, Wall Walk, Nether Bailey, and the Grand Battery. The King’s Knot gardens lie just outside the walls.

You can choose to explore the further into the heart of the Scottish Highlands, with a trip to the Doune Castle, Callander and Trossachs National Park. You can go further up to Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Scotland, with a backdrop of picturesque hills and forests.

Stirling Castle and Nearby Attractions on Map

37 Stirling Castle Tickets and Tours in Edinburgh

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