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Sally the palace servant loves horses, and runs outside whenever she hears hooves on the cobbles. Join her to meet the horses, ponies and unicorns from Stirling’s history and legends.

Welcome to Stirling Castle!

I’m Sally, a servant in the palace. I love horses and I always run to see them when I hear the sound of hooves on the castle cobbles.

We have lots of different kinds of horses here at the castle and even a unicorn! Let try find them together.

Make an Entrance at the Forework

The Forework used to be the main entrance of the castle. It would have been busy and noisy with people and horses going in and out the castle.

Can you make the noise of the horse’s hooves clip clopping on the cobbles as you go through the arch?

Fight! by the garden walls

If you look down over the garden wall you can see the area that was used for jousting. There would have been galloping horses, colourful tents and fighting knights.

Gallop like a horse getting ready for a joust.

Running Hare and There in the Great Hall

Look for the carved hares in the Great Hall. In Scottish stories, witches often became hasty hares that could outrun the quickest horses and hunting dogs.

In real life, do you think dogs, hares or horses are the fastest?*

Do the highest jump you can like a hare!

*Scroll to the bottom to find the answer!

Unicorn Spotting in the Great Hall

The Great Hall was used for big parties and celebrations. On the roof you can see two stone unicorn statues. Unicorns were the symbol of the Scottish royal family.

Do you know what makes a unicorn different from a horse? 

*Scroll to the bottom to find the answer!

Your Majesty outside the Royal Palace

The palace was the home of the royal family. They had every luxury, including an elegant carriage from France. It never left the castle though because the horses couldn’t pull it on the awful roads!

Curtsey or bow in the queen’s presence!

Attention! in the Chapel Royal

The Chapel was turned into an armoury in the 1700s and all its elaborate decoration was covered up.

Can you march like a soldier or trot like a horse being paraded by a guard?

Food Glorious Food outside the Great Kitchens

Horses would have pulled carts up to the door of the Great Kitchens, filled with food for vast feasts.

Royal feasts sometimes included a cockatrice, a mythical creature that was half serpent and half rooster and made from half a chicken sewn onto half a roast suckling pig!

What would you eat at a banquet held in your honour?

Buzzy Bee! in the Nether Bailey

Busy and bustling, the Nether Bailey was home to many of the castles animal residents, from hunting dogs to military horses. Today, it’s home to the Palace’s bee hives.

Find the bee hives and buzz like a busy bee!

Download the trail

Download a printable version of the trail.

Did you guess correctly?

Did you get the answers to our questions right?

*Hares are the fastest! They can run up to 50 miles per hour, whereas the fastest horses and dogs can only manage around 43 miles per hour.

*A unicorn has a single horn in the middle of its head and is a mythical creature!