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Book in advance to visit Scotland’s historic places. Before you travel, please check the latest Scottish Government guidance.

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Overview

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.

Interpretive Talks: Meet historical characters

  • Prickat Witch: 31 October and 1 November
    • Join Peggy Tulloch, a castle servant, in the great hall to hear the tales of local women accused of witchcraft and discover the fate of those found guilty. Learn how to protect yourself from malignant forces and find out what ancient Scottish traditions form part of our modern Halloween.

Drop in to the talks between 10am and 4pm. Included in normal admission price, but booking in advance is required.

Book Admission Tickets

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
  • 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 while exploring the castle (also in French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, ScotsSimplified Chinese and Spanish). Available on site.

Opening times

1 Aug to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 6pm
(last entry 5.15pm)

1 Oct to 31 Mar:
Daily, 9.30am to 5pm
(last entry 4.15pm)

Advance booking required.

Facilities

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