A view of Stirling Castle, one of the biggest castles in Scotland

Things to do in  Stirling

Where rebels and royals roamed

Steeped in Scottish history and scenically set in the central lowlands, Stirling packs a punch for its small size. The city was central to some momentous Scottish history, including William Wallace’s defeat of the English at the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge—the National Wallace Monument here honors him. Perched atop a bluff, the city’s old town is a beautifully preserved jumble of historic buildings and cobbled streets that wind up to the majestic Stirling Castle. It’s an easy day trip from Edinburgh or Glasgow with many things to do.

Top 7 attractions in Stirling

Stirling Castle

Perched above the city of Stirling on a chunk of volcanic rock, this mighty Scottish fortress has seen it all, from attacks by Robert the Bruce to the coronation of the infant Mary Queen of Scots to the premiere of the movie “Braveheart” in 1993. In addition to the impeccably recreated Royal Palace interiors and the sheer amount of history held within its robust walls, the castle also offers superb views over Stirling and Scotland’s green hills and valleys.More

Loch Lomond

Straddling the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, this island-studded loch has the largest surface area of Scotland’s lakes. Made famous by a Scottish folk song, the lake has mirror-clear waters that reflect the nearby crags and peaks, most notably the 3,195-foot (974-meter) Ben Lomond, with views of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.More

National Wallace Monument

Built in the mid-19th century, this Gothic-style tower commemorates William Wallace, the medieval Scottish freedom fighter whose story was fictionalized in the 1995 blockbuster, Braveheart. Exhibits chronicle key episodes from Scottish history, while the top offers views of Stirling Castle and the surrounding countryside.More

Doune Castle

A favorite filming location for movie and TV productions, medieval Doune Castle has appeared inMonty Python and the Holy Grail,Game of Thrones, andOutlander. Built for the Duke of Albany in the 14th century, the castle—now semi-ruined—has welcomed such illustrious guests as Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charles.More


Made famous in the final scene of the classic film Braveheart, the Battle of Bannockburn was where King Robert the Bruce led the greatly outnumbered Scottish forces to victory over the English in 1314. To this day, the victory is hugely celebrated in Scottish history, and the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in central Scotland.More

Deanston Distillery

Housed in a converted 18th-century Cotton Mill on the banks of the River Teith, the Deanston Distillery boasts a scenic location for whisky tasting and thanks to its close proximity to Stirling Castle, it’s fast become a popular destination for whisky enthusiasts. Established in 1966, the distillery has earned a reputation for its use of hydro-energy and lays claim to the title of Scotland’s only self-sufficient distillery, with electricity generated on-site.Visitors can enjoy a range of tours at the Deanston Distillery, learning about the history of the distillery; taking a peek at the copper stills, maturation warehouse and open mash tun; or strolling the 18th-century ‘workers’ village located nearby. All tours include the chance to taste Deanston’s renowned single malt Scotch whisky, but there are also opportunities to indulge in an expert-led whisky or whisky and chocolate tastings in the Deanston Tasting Room.More
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders' Museum

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders' Museum

Housed in the Old Building of Stirling Castle, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders' Museum offers a fascinating insight into one of Scotland’s most important military regiments. Trace the history of the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders and the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, who merged in 1881 to become the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and have since battled both on home soil and overseas.An impressive ode to the regiment’s military evolution, achievements and losses, visitors to the museum can follow the personal stories of soldiers from the Boer War to the WWI trenches to some of WWII’s most notorious battles. A sizable collection of artifacts and memorabilia is also on display, including photographs, uniforms and official documents, alongside medals, weapons and ceremonial bagpipes.More
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Stirling

When to visit

When it comes to weather, visitors to Scotland should always expect the unexpected, but May, June, and July offer the best chance at sunny days. Spring and summer also have the advantage of extended daylight hours (in June the sun sets after 11pm.) The gloomy winter months, on the other hand, bring chill, lots of rain, and short daylight hours.

Getting around

There’s no need to have your own vehicle in Stirling as the city center, which is home to most attractions, is compact and easy to get around on foot. You can also easily reach nearby destinations by bus or train—the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, for example, is just a 15-minute bus ride from the city center.

Traveler tips

North of Stirling (around 30 minutes by bus), the imposing Doune Castle has starred in many movies and TV shows, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail,Game of Thrones, and Outlander. Built in the 14th century, the castle is in partial ruins, but it retains one of Scotland’s best preserved great halls.


People Also Ask

How do you spend a day in Stirling?

Start with a visit to Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Monument. For more history, head to Cambuskenneth Abbey, King James III's burial place, and the Church of the Holy Rude. Afterward, stroll along Lover’s Walk, which meanders through the city center, and grab dinner in the historic center.

Is Stirling worth visiting?

Yes, Stirling is worth visiting. This small city has played an outsize role in Scotland’s turbulent history and visiting the locations of historic events offers a deeper insight into Scotland's past and its people. The city also has a large student population, which adds a cosmopolitan flavor.

Is it worth going inside Stirling Castle?

Yes, it is well worth buying a ticket to enter Stirling Castle. You can explore the Great Hall, Royal Palace, Chapel Royal, and Great Kitchens, and then check out Argyll’s Lodging townhouse and take a wander around the peaceful Queen Anne Gardens. Booking tickets in advance is recommended.

How much time do you need in Stirling?

One day is plenty of time to spend in Stirling. The main attractions are all close to each other so you can see everything in just a few hours before returning to Edinburgh or continuing on to nearby Glasgow or Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Should I visit Glasgow or Stirling?

It depends on your interests. Stirling is a great destination for those with an interest in history. And although Glasgow doesn’t have an attraction that can compare to Stirling Castle, it is a more colorful and livelier city that offers far greater options for entertainment and dining.

Which is better, Stirling or Edinburgh Castle?

Many travelers say that Stirling Castle is better and offers better value. However, Edinburgh Castle has the advantage of holding the Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Scone (Stone Destiny). It's worth visiting both. While they have similarities—they're both dramatically perched on a bluff, for example—each has its own character.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in Stirling?
What are the top activities in Stirling?
What are the top things to do near Stirling?
Check out things to do near Stirling: