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
- 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)
- 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. We'll show you how to load it to your phone in an email before you arrive