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34 Things To Do in Stirling

34 Things To Do in Stirling

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Stirling is a city I visit often. Home to some of Scotland’s most important history, this city has witnessed it all. From Robert the Bruce and William Wallace to Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie- almost every prominent figure has been drawn to Stirling in one way or another. In this guide, I’m sharing my recommendations for things to do in Stirling, and also a few activities that lie just outside the city walls I feel are worth adding to your itinerary.

For a relatively small city, Stirling’s history is monumental. In fact, the city was named after its turbulent history; The name is derived from ‘Striveling’, meaning ‘place of strife’!

Modern-day Stirling is just as enthralling, although there thankfully aren’t as many skirmishes as there were in the old days.

In this guide, I’ve included the must-sees to check off your bucket list when visiting Stirling, but I’ve also included some local recommendations that the guidebooks miss completely. I’ve also included some local businesses that visitors to Stirling will love.

One thing you should know about Stirling is that some of its attractions lie outside the city walls. Because of this, I’ve also included my favourite things to do around Stirling (within a 20-minute drive). So let’s get cracking!

More Stirling tips: I also recommend reading my guide about visiting Stirling which includes lots of helpful tips!

Things to do in Stirling: Exploring the City

Here are some of my recommendations for things to do in Stirling itself.

1. Stirling Castle

things to do in stirling

The mighty Stirling Castle

The most popular of things to do in Stirling is undoubtedly Stirling Castle.

Stirling Castle is one of, if not the, most strategically important castles in Scotland.

The castle was the meeting point between the Highlands and the Lowlands, and it was known as the key to Scotland.

Situated atop a wooded crag, this hilltop fortress has an excellent defensive position and unspoiled views for miles- making it extremely hard for unwelcome visitors to arrive unannounced.

Several of Scotland’s kings, queens and famous historical figures have visited Stirling Castle, including Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, William Wallace, and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Gory fact: William the 8th Earl of Douglas was murdered at Stirling Castle. In 1452, James II had the Earl assassinated and his body was flung from a castle window down into the gardens.

Tips for visiting Stirling Castle

  • Book your tickets online- it’s cheaper! Currently, online prices are: £17.50 for an adult; £14 concession; £10.50 child (7-15); Free entry for Historic Scotland members and Explorer Pass holders; family passes are also available.
  • Book your tickets to Stirling Castle in advance, especially during the summer when it’s busy. You don’t want to miss out!
  • Afternoons at Stirling Castle are usually a quieter time to visit.
  • Allow 2-3 hours to get around the castle and see all the rooms, exhibitions, and displays.
  • Don’t have time to read all the displays in the interactive museum? Take photos on your phone to read later.

2. The National Wallace Monument

Wallace Monument

The National Wallace Monument is a striking Victorian Gothic tower that was built to commemorate Scotland’s hero of the people, William Wallace, and his decisive victory against English forces at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

The monument bursts out above the trees of Abbey Craig, piercing the Stirling skyline. Entry to the gift shop is free, but you will need to pay to climb the 246 steps for a rewarding view of the countryside. There are also interactive displays on each level that tell the story of William Wallace.

If visiting on a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday in summer there are actor performances of ‘Scotland’s National Hero’. Visit the Wallace Monument website for more information.

An excellent view of the Wallace Monument can be viewed from the Stirling Castle esplanade.

Cost: £11.30 per adult; £7.10 per child (Age 5 to 15); £9.20 for senior citizen (Age 60+); Family admission available.

3. Stirling Old Town Jail

Stirling Old Town Jail

A tour of Stirling Old Town Jail is a fascinating and educational experience. The jail was built as a rehabilitation jail after the Stirling Tolbooth was quoted as being ”the worst jail in Britain.”

Enjoy a theatrical tour of the jail, where your guide will dress up as several different characters to give you an understanding of what life would have been like in the Victorian jail.

Tours last 30 minutes, and you are free to explore more rooms and a scenic rooftop view at the conclusion of the tour.

This is an activity that’s great for kids- I actually took Alex on this tour when he was 6-months old! However, the actors play some rather colourful characters, so if you think loud noises may upset your baby, perhaps wait until they are a little older to do the tour! I think the tour is suitable for ages 5 and up.

Book your tickets in advance as spaces do fill up quickly.

Cost: £12 for adults

4. Old Stirling Bridge

stirling old bridge and wallace monument

Old Stirling Bridge with the Wallace Monument in the background

Stirling Old Bridge is a 15th-century stone bridge and one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. It replaces an earlier bridge that was the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Today it provides transport for pedestrians and cyclists across the River Forth.

When standing on the west side of the bridge looking northeast, there is an impressive view of Wallace Monument in the background. It makes for a great photo!

What was the Battle of Stirling Bridge?

The Battle of Stirling Bridge was an important victory for William Wallace and Andrew Moray against English forces in 1297. It was a battle in the First War of Scottish Independence. As the English attempted to cross the bridge, they were trapped between the Scottish army and the river. The Scots relied on their spearmen and eventually separated the English cavalry from the rest of their army on the other side of the river. Cut off and unable to retreat, huge numbers of English were killed and many drowned in the river. The victory meant that England relinquished their control of Scotland.

5. Cambuskenneth Abbey

Cambuskenneth Abbey

Cambuskenneth Abbey is a peaceful monastery and the final resting place of King James III and his wife Queen Margaret. The abbey was founded in 1140 by King David I to serve Stirling Castle.

King James III requested to be buried at Cambuskenneth Abbey. He died during the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488, in a battle against his son (the future James IV of Scotland). Despite his involvement in his death, his son attended his funeral, and for atonement for his sins, he hired a chaplain to sing for the salvation of his father’s soul.

The tomb of James III and his wife, Margaret of Denmark

The tomb of King James III and Queen Margaret is located at the eastern end of the abbey.

Robert the Bruce also held parliament here in 1314 and 1326.

King James III’s tomb with Wallace Monument in view

6. Old Town Cemetery

The Old Town Cemetery is atmospheric and utterly fascinating and has a history associated with grave robbing, witches, Protestant martyrs and reformers, and more.

Take a wander through the graveyard which features Celtic crosses, Victorian statues, and graves of the people of Stirling’s past. From here you can view Lady’s Rock where Bonnie Prince Charlie stood and directed the last-ever siege of Stirling Castle in 1746.

My favourite piece of history in this cemetery is the grave of a Dominican Friar who was alive during the Wars of Independence in Stirling. His gravestone is made from the last piece of rock quarried from Abbey Craig that helped to build the Wallace Monument! It’s an incredible tribute to a holy man who may have witnessed William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Edward I of England and the battle for Scotland.

7. The Star Pyramid

The Star Pyramid

Located in the Drummond Pleasure Ground, you will find the Star Pyramid– a tribute to everyone who suffered martyrdom in the cause of civil and religious liberty in Scotland.

Look out for the marble bibles encased on each side of the pyramid. A bible and the Confession of faith were interred within the pyramid.

8. Church of the Holy Rude

visiting stirling travel guide

Church of the Holy Rude

The Church of the Holy Rude lived through a turbulent history of politics and religion ever since the first church was established in 1129 on Castle Hill.

After their chieftain was murdered by James II, Clan Douglas burned the original church to the ground (along with much of Stirling). A new church (the one you see today) was built in the 15th century.

The church was popular with the Stuart Kings and Queens. Mary Queen of Scots worshipped here, and it was the site where her son, James VI had his Coronation at just one year, one month, and five days old. It is the only church besides Westminster Abbey to have hosted a Coronation in Britain.

The church is staffed by friendly volunteers, who will happily tell you the history of the church. Be sure to check the opening times before you visit.

Did you know

The ‘Holy Rude’ (or Holy Rood) is a relic of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. You will see other buildings in Scotland with this name, including the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

9. Mar’s Wark

Mar’s Wark (previously known as Mar’s Lodging) was the townhouse of John Erskine, Earl of Mar, who was the keeper of Stirling Castle during the 16th century. Not much remains of the house today, but it’s a remarkable example of Renaissance architecture.

Interesting history of this building:

  • James VI and Queen Anne stayed here in 1593 during preparations for their reception at Stirling Castle.
  • During the 1715 Jacobite Rising, the 6th Earl of Mar (another John Erskine) transformed the house into army barracks. When the Rising failed, the 6th Earl of Mar was forced into exile and his estates were forfeited, including Mar’s Lodging.
  • It was then leased to the Town Council as a workhouse, where Stirling’s destitute were provided with food and board in return for labour. It was around this time that its name was changed to Mar’s Wark.


Who was John Erskine, the Earl of Mar?

Image credit: Wikipedia

John Erskine, Earl of Mar (1572) was an aristocrat and politician. He was the governor of Edinburgh Castle during the regency of Mary of Guise, the mother of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1565, Erskine was granted the earldom of Mar when the queen restored it to his family. The title was previously held by her half-brother, James Stewart. However, after Mary Queen of Scots was suspected to have been involved in the plot of the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley, Erskine turned against his queen and as a result, lost his governorship in Edinburgh. He then became keeper of Stirling Castle, a position his ancestors had held since the time of King Robert the Bruce. When Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate and flee Scotland, Erskine was given custody of Queen Mary’s son, the future James VI, when her brother who was caring for him was murdered. Erskine briefly became Regent of Scotland but died a little over a year later.

10. Beheading Stone

The Beheading Stone

The Beheading Stone, as the name suggests, was a site for public executions during the 15th century. The stone is located on Mote Hill, which is also where a Pictish Fort once stood.

James I sent his cousins and rivals, the Albany Stewarts, here to be executed. Beheadings were specifically reserved for those who were found guilty of treason.

The Beheading Stone is framed within a steel cage; you can also see two old canons nearby. The view from the hill is one of the best views taking in the Ochil Hills and the Wallace Monument.

The Beheading Stone is a 20-minute walk from Stirling Castle. I recommend following this route and taking in the Old Town along the way.

11. King’s Knot and the Queen’s Knot

The King and Queen’s Knots are giant earthworks, the former in the shape of an octagon. It’s located on the grounds of the old Kings Park, which dates back to 1190. Activities such as jousting events, hunting and hawking (hunting using birds of prey) once took place here.

The Kings Knot and the Queens Knot made up part of the royal garden and were placed strategically so they could be viewed from Stirling Castle. They were created for the homecoming of Charles I.

12. Walking Tours in Stirling

A walking tour of Stirling is a fantastic way to explore the city and learn about its history. This walking tour with Walking Tours in Stirling is 1.5 hours and is a great introduction to Stirling. You’ll explore the old town area of Stirling with a local and have the opportunity to taste a local Scottish beverage.

I suggest booking a walking tour and visiting Stirling Castle after your tour ends, as this is where you will finish your tour. There is also a private tour option.

13. Stirling Ghost Walk

The Stirling Ghost Walk is a super fun tour that combines comedy, drama and storytelling of spooky Stirling. The tour lasts 75 minutes and shines a light on some of Stirling’s lesser-known historical figures, myths and legends.

A must-do if you’re spending the evening in Stirling!

Cost: £8 per adult; £6 concession; £6 per child.

14. Argyll’s Lodging

Note: Due to essential maintenance, Argyll’s Lodging is closed to visitors until further notice.

Did you know that entry into Argyll’s Lodging is included in your ticket to Stirling Castle?

Argyll’s Lodging is described as ”the most splendid and complete example of a 17th-century townhouse” though the oldest part of the house dates from the mid-1500s.

The impressive Renaissance property was built for John Traill, a wealthy burgess, and later used as accommodation for noblemen serving the royal court.

In the 17th century, the house passed to Sir William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling and Lord Stirling.


Who was Sir William Alexander, Lord Stirling?

Sir William Alexander was a talented poet and courtier. He was born at Menstrie Castle in 1567, which he later inherited. When he was young, Alexander was appointed tutor to the Earl of Argyll and travelled with him abroad. He then became a gentleman usher to Prince Charles, son of James VI. When James VI ascended the English throne, he moved to London alongside him and became Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and Master of the Household. He was later gifted vast lands by the King and established Nova Scotia.

Image credit: Wikipedia

15. Made In Stirling

Made in Stirling shop

Made in Stirling is a fantastic shop run by Creative Stirling that showcases some of the best creators and makers in the region.

They sell items such as art prints, candles, jewellery, homeware, beauty products, textiles, wooden crafts and much more.

I absolutely love shopping here, and always find something to take home!

Address: 44 King St, Stirling FK8 1AY

Opening hours: 10am-5pm, Monday to Sunday

16. Tinsel & Tartan

The gorgeous Tinsel & Tartan Christmas shop

This bonnie wee Scottish-themed Christmas shop is an absolute must-see when visiting Stirling.

Lyndsey, the owner, dresses in tartan every day of the year, and is basically the spirit of Christmas in Scotland!

Be sure to pick up a Christmas decoration (or five) for your tree! I love collecting Christmas decorations from every country I visit, so that each year when we hang them on our tree we can reminisce about our adventures around the world.

Address: 2 Spittal St, Stirling FK8 1DU

Opening hours: 10am-5pm, Monday to Sunday

17. Tinkerbell’s Emporium

tinkerbells emporium stirling

Tinkerbell’s Emporium

The kids (as well as your inner child) will love Tinkerbell’s Emporium, a gift shop which, as the name suggests, is filled with faeries and mythical gifts to fill your home or garden.

When you walk into this magical shop, expect to be delighted with twinkling fairy lights, trailing ivy, and colourful wee fairy homes dotted about.

There is also an assortment of books, toys, candles, stunning jewellery, and locally-made products to suit everyone. For those of us who are woo-woo, there’s an assortment of crystals, oracle cards, and spell-casting kits!

When Alex is older, I can’t wait to bring him back to Tinkerbell’s Emporium so he can choose a fairy house for the garden.

Address: 2 Friars St, Stirling FK8 1HA

Opening hours: 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday

18. Stirling Bagpipes

Stirling Bagpipes

This charming wee store is located at the bottom of the hill from Stirling Castle.

They specialise in making hand-crafted highland bagpipes, smallpipes, borderpipes and piping supplies- so if you’re after an expertly crafted set, this is the place to go!

I personally love photographing the wee shop, so if you’re a photographer be sure to stop here.

19. Escape Stirling

If you’re looking for a fun activity with your friends or family, Stirling is home to an Escape Room!

Escape Stirling has three escape rooms to choose from: Witchcraft and Wizardry, The Bank Heist, and The Cabin. Faced with a variety of challenges and puzzles, you have 60 minutes to get out. Are you up for the challenge?

Prices: Starts at £24 for two people (the more people that join, the cheaper it becomes).

How to book: Book Escape Stirling online by clicking here.

20. Hire a bike and explore

One of the many cycling paths around Stirling

If you’re blessed with nice weather in Stirling, hire a bike from Nextbikes and cycle one of the many trails around the city. It’s just £1 for the first 20 minutes, with a maximum charge of £10 for the day. You will need to sign up by downloading their app, and then you rent your bike via the app.

There are 8 stations across the city. See the map below for the bike locations.

21. Cowane’s Hospital

Cowane’s Hospital is a 17th-century almshouse, a charitable housing organisation. It was established in 1637 by the estate of merchant John Cowane. The building is a rare survival of 17th-century burgh architecture and one of the finest buildings of its kind in Scotland.

Today, Cowane’s Hospital can be hired for events, ceilidhs, and weddings.

Inside the building, there is an exhibition on Cowane, and the new Macmillans Kitchen Café serves tea, coffee, and baking. The gardens are a must-see, they are a rare survival of an institutional garden of the 17th century.

If you’re interested in John Cowane, be sure to walk the John Cowane Trail!

Things To Do Around Stirling (Within 20 Minutes By Car)

22. The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre is a popular attraction just outside of Stirling.

Here you can experience a digitally re-created version of the famous battle, which was one of Robert the Bruce’s greatest victories in his fight for an independent Scotland.

You need to pre-book your visit in advance as there are timed entries.

Cost: £7.50 per adult, £20 family pass, £16.50 one adult family pass, £5.50 for concession, free for National Trust members.

Directions from Stirling: The easiest way to get here is by car- it’s less than 10 minutes. You can also catch the bus to the Milton Brae stop, and then it’s just a few minutes walk.

23. Blair Drummond Safari Park

A day at Blair Drummond Safari Park is one of the most fun family-friendly activities near Stirling. With over 300 animals (including lions, tigers, giraffes, penguins and elephants), amusement park rides, and a safari drive-through, Blair Drummond is buckets of fun for the whole family.

We took Alex when he was six months old, and I’m not sure who enjoyed it more- us or him! You can easily spend most of the day here, and I suggest allowing half a day, minimum, to explore.

Cost: £21 per adult, £15 per child (3-15 years), £15 per senior (60+), free for infants.

Directions from Stirling: It’s just 15 minutes by car, or 30 minutes by bus.

24. Deanston Distillery

Deanston Distillery is the closest whisky distillery to Stirling. They offer distillery tours and tastings, so if whisky is your dram of choice make sure you drop by!

Their Warehouse Experience is a good one to try, where you get to sample three distillery exclusives that have been extracted directly from the cask in one of their warehouses.

Directions from Stirling: Deanston Distillery is just 15 minutes by car from Stirling, or 24 minutes by bus. If you’re planning on doing a tasting, I recommend booking a taxi or taking the bus.

25. Doune Castle

Doune Castle

Doune Castle is a famous filming location for TV shows such as Outlander, Game of Thrones and the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail– but it also has an enthralling history of its own.

It once belonged to the ‘Uncrowned King of Scotland’ Robert Stewart, the 1st Duke of Albany and Governor of Scotland.

When James I was taken prisoner, Robert Stewart ruled Scotland for just a few years before his death. Though no expense was spared in building Doune Castle, it was never completed.

The Woodside is a nice restaurant if you want to grab some lunch or dinner after visiting the castle.

Directions from Stirling: The easiest way to get to Doune Castle is by car- it’s just a 16-minute drive. There is a bus that takes you to Bank Street, and from there it’s a 10-minute walk to the castle.

26. Menstrie Castle

Menstrie Castle

Mestrie Castle is located 6 miles from Stirling (around 15 minutes by car, 20 minutes by bus).

You can actually stay in this castle, at the fabulous Menstrie Castle Stay apartments. If you’ve got a car, it’s an excellent base to explore Stirling, and personally, it’s my favourite place to stay in the area!

Get 5% off your accommodation at Menstrie Castle Stay with the code HAGGIS5

Interesting history: It was the home of Sir William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling and Lord Stirling (I previously talked about him under the Argyll’s Lodging section, number 14 in this article).

There is a small museum in the castle which covers some of the history of Sir William Alexander, but it’s only available to see by appointment.

Directions from Stirling: It takes just 15 minutes by car to reach Menstrie Castle from Stirling. There is a bus that takes just 15 minutes- get off at Brook Street and it’s a short 3-minute walk to get to the castle.

27. Alva Glen

If you want to add a nice nature walk to your trip to Stirling, one of my favourite walks is the Alva Glen. The glen is located at the southern front of the Ochil Hills and is a spectacular short walk which climbs up into a ravine.

You can continue further up the hill for beautiful views of Clackmannanshire and Stirling, and there is a cave you can explore. I was heavily pregnant when we did this walk, so we didn’t go right to the top- but this is a choose how far you go adventure, making it suitable for all levels of fitness. Please note it’s not friendly for buggies and wheelchair users.

This is a good guide on the walk.

Scotland Travel Tip: Alva Glen is absolutely stunning in autumn!

Rating: Easy to moderate
Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Distance: 2.5km / 1.5 miles

Directions from Stirling: The drive to the car park at the start of the walk takes 20 minutes from Stirling. You can also take the bus to the Johnstone Arms Hotel, and from there it’s a 7-minute walk to the start of the walk.

28. Dunblane Cathedral

It’s estimated that this site has been a religious centre since the 9th century.

The red sandstone tower is the oldest part of the church, built in the 1100s. Inside the cathedral, you can see Pictish carved stones, magnificent stained glass windows, and some of the oldest oak misericord woodcarvings in the country.

In 1889, the cathedral underwent a massive restoration by leading Scottish architect, Sir Rowand Anderson.

Directions from Stirling: Dunblane Castle is just a 12-minute drive (6.3 miles) from Stirling up the M9. You can also reach Dunblane Cathedral by train followed by an 8-minute walk.

29. Blairmains Farm Shop and Coffee Bothy

The view from Blairmains Farm Shop

Blairmains Farm Shop and Coffee Bothy is one of my favourite stops whenever I visit Stirling. The family-owned farm shop sells a variety of furniture, homeware, skincare, jewellery and gifts. There is also an extensive range of produce, pantry items and healthy ready-made meals.

One of my favourite things to do is stock up on fresh ingredients and cook up a delicious meal back at my self-catering accommodation, or pick up some ingredients for my pantry at home. There’s also a coffee bothy (coffee shop) where you can sit down and relax and enjoy farm views.

Directions from Stirling: Blairmains Farm Shop is just a 12-minute drive (4.3 miles) from the centre of Stirling. You can also catch the bus, which takes around 20 minutes. Check out the Traveline Scotland website or use Google Maps to check for buses.

30. Hike Dumyat

The view of Dumyat from Menstrie Castle

Dumyat is one of the smaller hills in the Ochil Hill range but has some of the best views of Stirling and the Central Belt. It’s a popular hill walk with locals and visitors to Stirling and is suitable for the majority of walkers.

This is a great guide to hiking Dumyat.

Time: 2.5 hours
Distance: 7km / 4.25 miles

Directions from Stirling: The easiest way to reach the Dumyat Car Park, which is the starting point of the hike, is by car. There are buses that get you close, however, it’s an additional 30-minute walk to reach the starting point of the hike. Check out the Traveline Scotland website for bus information.

31. Bridge of Allan

Bridge of Allan is an old Victorian spa town, and home to some fantastic independent boutiques, shops, and restaurants. Located just 3.5 miles from Stirling, it’s a popular village with Stirling locals for lunch and shopping. I recommend grabbing lunch at Friend of Mine and wandering the High Street for a spot of shopping.

Directions from Stirling: Jump on the train (it’s just 4 minutes) from Stirling to the Bridge of Allan station. It’s 10 minutes by car.

32. David Stirling Memorial

The David Stirling Memorial

If you’re interested in World War history or the SAS, a visit to the David Stirling Memorial should be on your list.

Sir David Stirling was the founder and creator of the Special Air Service (SAS). The SAS was instrumental in destroying enemy aircrafts, vehicles and supplies on the ground.

Sir David Stirling was captured by the Italians in 1943, and escaped 4 times (!) before he was sent to Colditz Castle in Germany, where he remained for the rest of the war.

The statue of Sir David is placed near his ancestral home. The site of the memorial is incredibly atmospheric; the views across Stirlingshire towards the Ochil Hills are lovely. It’s easy to feel emotional when you read all the names of the soldiers from the Special Air Regiment who lost their lives during the Second World War.

If you’re interested in reading more about the SAS, here are some book suggestions from the Haggis:

Directions from Stirling: The only way to get here is by car. The journey takes 12 minutes (6.6 miles).

33. Gilmour’s Linn Waterfall and Charlie’s Cave

Gilmour’s Linn Waterfall (also called the Touch Glen Waterfall) is a beautiful hidden gem located 15 minutes west of Stirling.

It is said that before the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745 (one of the Jacobite’s first victories), Bonnie Prince Charlie visited the cave for some quiet contemplation. This is why the cave is known as Charlie’s Cave.

There’s a rumour he hid in this cave after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden, however, this is unlikely due to the proximity of the cave to the Isle of Skye, where Bonnie Prince Charlie made his escape back to France. It’s a neat story, though!

The Linn is a great swimming spot, so pack your bathers and go for a dip under the waterfall!

Directions: Pop the postcode FK8 3AH into your SatNav or Google Maps and park by the waterworks at the end of the road.

Time: It’s a 20-minute walk to reach the waterfall and cave.

34. Alloa Tower

Alloa Tower

A trip to Scotland is never complete without exploring a castle or palace – but what about a tower?

A tower in Scotland is actually a small castle; towers were cheaper to build and easier to maintain. Alloa Tower is located 20 minutes from Stirling, located in the town of Alloa.

John, one of the guides at Alloa Tower was wonderful. A proud Scot, he took me on a tour and was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of the tower. He has been working there for over 20 years, and his job is his hobby. Make sure you ask for him if you visit Alloa Tower.

Alloa Tower was built in the late 14th century by the Erskine family, one of Scotland’s most prestigious families. They were so well thought of that they were entrusted with looking after the royal infants, including James IV, James V, Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI.

Baby James VI’s high chair from the 1560s is even on display at the tower!

The top floor has the most original settings of the castle, while extensive renovations were done on the lower floors in the early 18th century when the 6th Earl of Mar decided to transform it into an elegant modern house.

Directions from Stirling: It’s 20 minutes by car or you can ride the train to the Alloa station, and from there, it’s a 10-minute walk.

Do you have any questions about planning a trip to Stirling? Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help!

>> Be sure to read my guide on visiting Stirling which is full of helpful tips!

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Kristy Tiernan

Sunday 28th of January 2024

Fabulous guide!! We loved visiting Stirling! We also visiting an Alpaca trekking farm nearby here that was fabulous. The kids enjoyed it so much. Your guides are wonderful! We are going to Ireland this summer and I’m struggling to find as good of a travel blog for my next trip- you’ve spoiled me.

Yvette Webster

Sunday 28th of January 2024

Thanks Kristy! I am hoping to travel to Ireland more next year and put together some guides :)