Stirling is one of Scotland’s greatest stone castles – an icon integral to how we understand the nation’s story. The castle peaked in importance in the 1500s, but its volcanic crag has been fortified since ancient times.
Generations of Scottish monarchs have enlarged, adapted and embellished Stirling Castle. Explore its three main enclosures, and then admire the refurbished Royal Palace – childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots. The palace’s lavish design drew on European Renaissance fashions to show off James V’s power and good taste.
We have recreated the palace interiors as they may have looked when the Scottish king’s grand scheme was complete. Costumed characters mingle with visitors, bringing the royal Stewart Court to life.
What to see and do
- Stand in the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland
- Step into the Chapel Royal, elaborately redecorated for the coronation visit of Charles I in 1633
- Visit the newly refurbished Argyll and Sutherland Highlander Regimental Museum and explore the story of one of Scotland’s great Highland regiments
- Enjoy majestic views of the King’s Knot and Royal Park, which were once royal properties associated with the castle
- Imagine the great battles that took place around the castle as you look towards the southern Highlands and the Ochil Hills
- Walk through James V’s majestic palace and discover one of Scotland’s great art treasures in the Stirling Heads Gallery
- Enjoy a fun family trail in the Unicorn's Garden
- Explore over 900 years of castle history in the castle exhibition
- Take our fun fact-finding quiz (also in French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Scots, Simplified Chinese and Spanish)
Take a tour
- Discover the people and events which have shaped the castle's past with a tour. Guided tours are included in the ticket price and take place every half hour between 10am and 3pm, starting at the well outside the the Fort Major's House
- Tour the castle with our audio guide using your own mobile phone with internet access. Buy your audio guide when you purchase your tickets, free for Historic Scotland members
- Take a digital British Sign Language Tour with Deaf guide John Hay. Watch the different films as you explore to find out about the areas within the castle
If you are bringing a group to Stirling Castle, we recommend reviewing the below guiding information to ensure an enjoyable visit for both visitors and staff.
- guides are permitted to use wireless transmission whisper systems. This does not include open audio loudspeaker
- guiding is permitted in external areas of the castle as well as the Great Hall and the Chapel Royal
- guiding is not permitted in the Palace Apartments, the Stirling Heads Gallery, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum and the Great Kitchens
- groups should be led through gateways as quickly as possible, and we ask that there is no guiding in queues. This will ensure that the experience of other visitors is not impacted
- it is the responsibility of the guide to keep the group together for the duration of the tour
- children under the age of 16 must stay with an adult at all times
- please show consideration to other guided groups on the site both when they are and are not guiding. This includes official Stirling Castle Guides
- please arrange for your group to meet and gather before entering or leaving Stirling Castle by the Robert the Bruce Statue on the Castle Esplanade. If you require a meeting point within Stirling Castle, please arrange for your group to meet in the Outer Close