Stirling Castle

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Stirling Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

1. 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: Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour

2. From Edinburgh: Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour

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 Edinburgh: Isle of Skye 3-Day Tour with Accommodation

3. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye 3-Day Tour with Accommodation

Enjoy a full 3 days exploring the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the romance of the island of Skye in a small group tour. Dhoose your accommodation to suit your own budget and you will get an exclusive discount card to receive discounts at local restaurants and shops. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh by luxury Mercedes minibus at and travel west, passing Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Continue towards Stirling with its imposing castle and views of the Wallace Monument. You will pass Doune Castle, movie location for scenes from Monty Python's infamous "Holy Grail," before stopping at the edge of the Highlands for refreshments. As you drive into the Highlands you will pass Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Crianlarich and Tyndrum, stopping for lunch along the way. Drive north through Glencoe, scene of the great massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Continue to Fort William and up to the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, offering magnificent views over Ben Nevis. Next you will take the "Road to the Isles," through the splendor of the 5 Sisters of Kintail, the mountains that guard the pass to the Isle of Skye. Stop to visit the famous Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film "Highlander" and located at the junction of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders. Crossing over the bridge to Skye, you head north to Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Enjoy an evening and dinner at leisure, exploring the town’s Gaelic attractions and harborside. Day 2: You will spend the day on the Isle of Skye with flexible arrangements. There are many possibilities, depending on the weather, and the dynamics of your group. Your driver/ guide's local knowledge will come to the fore to arrange the best day for everyone. You could travel north to explore the Trotternish Peninsula with its stunning Quiraing mountain pass and some of Skye's extraordinary geological scenery. Or head to Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns that are reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt. Enjoy the magic of the waterfall, cascading over cliffs and down into the sea below. Take a short break for lunch, before continuing to explore this most dramatic of islands. Head in a westerly direction to Dunvegan castle, the ancestral home of Clan Macleod, or enjoy spectacular views at Neist Point, the most westerly point of Skye. Return you to your accommodation in Portree in the early evening to enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening at leisure. Day 3: Your driver will collect you from your accommodation and head south through the Cuillin Hills, back over to the mainland for stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Move on to Loch Ness for lunch. Look out for "Nessie," the mysterious monster that has haunted and confounded visitors since the 1950s. Head south through the Grampian Mountains along Loch Laggan, famous as the location for the TV miniseries "Monarch of the Glen," before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland's highest whisky distillery. You will pause for refreshments at Blair Castle, before heading back to Edinburgh via Perth and over the extraordinary Forth Road Bridge.

Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

4. 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. 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. 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," return to the lowlands and back to Edinburgh at approximately 6:30 PM.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

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

Embark on a guided bus tour of Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, and Stirling Castle from Glasgow. Take in the views of the lush Scottish countryside and learn about William Wallace and Rob Roy from your driver. 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 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 village of Aberfoyle, nestled in the heart of Trossachs National Park. Continue through the Trossachs, Scotland’s first national park, known as ‘the Highlands in miniature’ for its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests, and homeland of the legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. Your final stop is Stirling Castle, which sits high on volcanic rock and offers wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. 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. After your visit to Stirling Castle, make your way back to Glasgow.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

6. 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 equipped 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 onboard 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.

From Edinburgh: Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Tour

Explore the Scottish Highlands and admire its spectacular scenery on a guided tour from Edinburgh. Discover more about Scottish historical figures and events with stops at Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, and Kelpies. Depart 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, make a 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. Head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. See steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests. 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, make a short journey back to Edinburgh via Kelpies before arriving back in the capital.

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

8. 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. Day 1: A Spectacular Route North Depart Edinburgh and travel north through the Trossachs National Park. Visit a lovely village and take in views of the UK’s largest expanse of freshwater, Loch Lomond. Continue across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. Learn the brutal story of the MacDonald Clan massacre and take in the weeping waterfalls that inhabit this incredible glen. The highland town of Fort William marks the end of Scotland’s oldest and most popular long-distance walks, The West Highland Way. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. Highlights include the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the stunning Trotternish Peninsula.  You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Visit the capital of Skye, Portree for lunch. 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.

From Edinburgh: 2-Day Eilean Donan, Loch Ness & Highlands

9. From Edinburgh: 2-Day Eilean Donan, Loch Ness & Highlands

This tour departs from Edinburgh day 1, first heading west to collect Glasgow passengers. Journey via Stirling, catching a glimpse of its majestic Castle. Visit the Wallace Monument, the towering stone testimonial to the Scottish legend William Wallace. Afterwards pass Doune Castle, location for the film, Monty Python & The Holy Grail. After lunch, time permitting, a brief stop at Rob Roy’s Grave and then onwards to the pretty village of Killin for photos. The journey continues north via Tyndrum across the atmospheric Rannoch Moor. Next stop is Glencoe, a site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan, for a brief walk and photos. Continue to the stunning Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films, yet another photo opportunity (Apr-Oct). The final stop for the first day is the Highland town of Fort William, where you can check into your chosen accommodation. Day 2 begins by going north into the Great Glen, a geographical fault line characterised by a chain of impressive lochs, including Loch Ness. Enjoy a photo stop at Glen Garry, before arriving at one of the most iconic castles in Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle (interior closed in winter) to explore the castle and its beautiful setting. The journey continues with a stop for lunch and views of Loch Ness in the pretty lochside village of Fort Augustus. After lunch begins the return journey, enjoying a photo stop to admire Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, at 1,344 meters. Travel via The Hermitage, stopping for a gentle forest walk in idyllic Scottish woodland, before crossing the Forth Bridges, back to Edinburgh where your tour will end. 

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.

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Stirling Castle? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Stirling Castle

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5,120 reviews

Our driver Paul Henderson made this day trip most enjoyable and enlightening with his version of Scottish history and other amusing stories that kept everyone entertained. He gave us a fascinating insight into the Scottish character interspersed with appropriate Scottish music. The Loch Lomond boat trip was marred by the inclement weather, but still enjoyable. The lunch break at a Wool Centre with rare breed sheep, near an amazing butchers, introduced some to the famous Scotch pie, not to everyone's taste. Then on to Stirling Castle where we found a nice pub nearby for a pint or two. We made our way through wonderful scenery to visit the Kelpies, the main reason for us to chose this trip. They are fabulous, a must-see for anyone visiting Scotland. Before heading back to Edinburgh, our driver Paul demonstrated on a willing volunteer, how to wear a proper Scottish kilt, such a versatile garment, and he also showed us some ancient swords as used by highland soldiers.

I really enjoyed this trip. Our guide Alister from Glasgow was funny, patient, great driver and made sure to fit in every single thing the tour promised and a few surprises. My BnB was the Almond Bank and my room had a Beautiful view over the Loch, wonderful breakfast and super clean. It was a 15 minute walk from town but walking in Scotland is the norm and it was fun. His stories of the area and Scotland in general were fabulous. The entire bus (16 people) were all thrilled with the tour. I have done a tour with a 32 person bus and I can say with certainty that you only want to do these tours to the highlands in a 16 seater. Just a note: Since covid Portree has a serious restaurant issue feeding the guests that come to stay. Many closed and did not reopen, 3 were open on Sundays, small market ran out of all quick eat food as the tourists bought everything and anything just to eat. Until it gets back to normal; pack some food!!

I came down with covid and was unable to attend this event, however the rest of my group said they enjoyed the day. Their photos are magnificent.

Derek was a fabulous guide with a wealth of knowledge and group was small enough to do things quickly and easily. Would highly recommend.

It was a fantastic tour. Beautiful landscape, lakes, cute animals, lovely guide.