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30 Popular Tourist Attractions to See and Things to Do in Stirling, Scotland

Stirling is a city in Scotland. It is a city that played a crucial role in the country’s Independence. Some of the best things to do in Stirling, Scotland revolve around the history of battles of Independence.

This is a place associated with both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. The city was the site of numerous battles. There are numerous places to visit in Stirling where either of these heroes fought or used as camp. You will get to see sites of important battles like the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Bannockburn. These sites are a major part of Stirling sightseeing.

You will also get to see many artifacts from these battles in the museums and historical buildings. One such object is the Wallace Sword, housed in a marvellous monument dedicated to the hero. It is one of the most popular things to see in Stirling, Scotland. The monument is built like a medieval castle tower. It is also one of the top places to go in Stirling to get a breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings.

Speaking of castles, there are a lot of them to explore around the city. You will see castles built between 13th and 19th centuries. These Stirling tourist attractions were built under different rules and housed some of the most famous people in the nation’s history. These castles have also become Stirling attractions after being featured in movies and TV shows like the Game of Thrones and The Outlander.

Aside from castles, you will also come across several abandoned mansions when you visit Stirling. These houses were once the residence of Earls and Lords. But now they are covered with vegetation. This combination creates a unique visual making these mansions some of the most fascinating places to see in Stirling.

The city is also known as the Gateway to the Highlands. It is surrounded by Glens, Gorges, Forests, Hills, Lakes, Lochs, Mountains, Grasslands, and more. These picturesque landscapes are a blessing for outdoor activities to do in Stirling. Some of the trails through the wilderness also take you to historical sites. That is the beauty of Stirling travel.

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Top 30 Tourist Places to Visit in Stirling, Scotland

1. The National Wallace Monument

This tower stands beside the Craig Abbey, overlooks the city and is dedicated to Sir William Wallace. It is said that he watched the army of King Edward I gather from this site.

The 67-meter-tall tower was built in the Victorian Gothic style and is one of the most impressive things to see in Stirling, Scotland. Inside the tower, you will find numerous artifacts including the Wallace Sword. You will need about an hour or so to explore the monument when you visit Stirling in Scotland.

2. Cambuskenneth Abbey

The history of the Abbey dates back to 1140 when it was founded by David I. Over the years, it was rebuilt and expanded several times. Unfortunately, it now lies in ruins with only parts of the foundation intact.

However, the condition does not diminish the significance of the Abbey. It is one of the most important historical places to visit in Stirling, Scotland.

The site is associated with Edwards Longshanks, Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Margaret of Denmark, and James III. You will need 30 to 45 minutes from Stirling travel to tour the site.

3. Stirling Castle

This is one of the largest castles in Scotland and an incredibly important historical site. The strategically located fort has been the stronghold of the region since the 14th century.

It has also been the residence of several Scottish and English royals. It is one of the best things to do in Stirling, Scotland for those interested in political and military history. You will need about 2 hours to tour the castle and the various exhibits within it.

I suggest you should get your Entry Ticket to Stirling Castle in advance.

4. Mar’s Wark

This structure was built during the 16th century by John Erskine as his own residence. He was the Earl of Mar and the Regent of Scotland. This is yet another one of Stirling’s tourist attractions that now lies in ruins.

But you can get an idea of its scale based on the standing structure. You can parts of the architectural and design features. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore this site.

5. Church of the Holy Rude

This medieval parish church was established in 1129 by David I. Although the majority of the structure seen today dates to the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. It is the second oldest building among Stirling attractions.

The church is known for its architecture as well as historical significance. Its cemetery is the final resting place of many noteworthy individuals. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to tour the church.

6. Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

This museum recounts the political and cultural history of Stirlingshire. The permanent collection exhibits historical artifacts and artworks. You will see archeological excavations of bones, pottery, tools, and weapons. The exhibits also include costumes from different time periods.

You will also come across treasures of the monarchs and equipment of miners. It is one of the top things to do in Stirling for families. The gallery also serves as a platform for contemporary artists. You need at least 2 hours to explore the museum and the gallery.

7. The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

This visitor’s centre is built on the site of the most significant victory of Robert the Bruce. This place gives you an immersive experience of the battle and how it shaped the story of Scotland.

The centre has interactive audio-visual exhibits that narrate the story of both armies. It is one of the most exciting places to see in Stirling, Scotland. You will also get to visit the site where Robert the Bruce raised his Royal Standard a.k.a. Lion Rampant of Scotland, which later became the Royal Banner of Scotland. You need 2 hours to explore this place.

I suggest you should try a Guided Tour of Bannockburn Battlefield.

8. Old Town Jail

This building has a gruesome past. Until 1888 it served as the region’s prison and after that as a Military Detention Barracks. Now it is one of the most interesting places to go in Stirling, Scotland.

This interactive museum recreates the conditions of the time with exhibits, shows, and performances. You will get to know about the various tortures endured by the prisoners.

The performances also narrate the story of Scottish heroes and their oppressors. Old Town Jail is rated among the top activities to do in Stirling, Scotland. You will need about an hour and a half to tour the place.

I suggest you should get a Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket of Old Town Jail in advance.

9. Alva Glen

The gentle slopes and grasslands surround a stream creating a picturesque view. It is a popular spot for hiking and camping. This beautiful valley is among the best things to do near Stirling in Scotland.

You will come across waterfalls and gorges along the path. But the most popular spot awaits the end of the trail: The Smuggler’s Cave. This stream passing through the rock formation creates a waterfall and a pond.

You can relax here after the journey and have a bath in the cool water. While Stirling sightseeing has a lot to offer, you should take a couple of hours to explore the surrounding wilderness as well.

10. Old Stirling Bridge

This 15th-century structure is the site of the famous Battle of the Stirling Bridge. This was the first battle for Scottish Independence fought by William Wallace. The Old Stirling Bridge has been featured in numerous paintings and songs. It is one of the most important ​​historical Stirling attractions and you need 20 to 30 minutes to pay a visit here.

I suggest you should go for a Guided Tour of the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

11. Beheading Stone

This otherwise ordinary stone has a macabre past. It used to be the site of a public execution where the victims had their heads chopped off on this stone. While feared during the 15th century, it has now become a popular place to see in Stirling. You only need a few minutes on Mote Hill to check out the site.

12. Star Pyramid

This monument was built in 1863 by William Drumond. It is dedicated to the people who lost their lives for the liberation of Scotland. The pyramid shape and dark stone structure look strikingly different from any other structure you would come across during Stirling sightseeing.

You can also visit the Old Town Cemetery when you visit this monument. It is also a historical site that serves as the final resting place of many noteworthy figures from local history. You would need 20 to 30 minutes to visit both these places.

13. Plean Country Park

This forested area surrounds the Plean House, which now lies in ruins. It is among the most fascinating things to see in Stirling. The vegetation has taken over the mansion. It creates a mysterious and haunting look.

The park is known for having a lot of outdoor activities to do in Stirling. People can explore the hiking trails, enjoy bicycle rides, take horse-riding tours and explore the mansion. You can easily spend an hour or so enjoying the place.

14. Blair Drummond Safari Park

This park gives you the experience of an African wildlife safari in Scotland. You will get in a vehicle to see a variety of animals including lions, giraffes, monkeys, rhinos, tigers, penguins, and more.

You can also explore parts of the park on foot and see the animals up close. This is among the top things to do near Stirling for families. You need about 2 hours to experience this park.

15. Dunblane Cathedral

This 12th-century cathedral is greatly admired for its architecture as well as its rich historical significance. The medieval structure features a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. You need 20 to 30 minutes from Stirling travel to explore this cathedral.

16. Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

The Trossachs National Park is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. You can explore forests, mountains, hills, grasslands, valleys, islands, and more.

In the national park lies the vast Loch Lomond. This expansive lake is surrounded by lush landscapes. It also has facilities for a lot of fun activities to do near ​​Stirling such as boating, picnics, hiking, camping, rowing, sailing, and more. You will need at least 2 to 3 hours to plan a trip to this park.

17. Buchanan Castle

You will come across this castle on the way to Loch Lomond. It lies at the end of a nice trail as a hidden treasure for explorers to discover. This castle too has been taken over by vegetation and has been standing derelict since WWII.

Despite its condition, it holds significance among Stirling tourist attractions for architecture. It is a fine example of the Scottish Baronial Style.

This style was pioneered by William Burn, who was the architect of this castle. You will need about 30 to 45 minutes to explore this castle.

18. Doune Castle

This 14th-century castle has gained significant fame owing to appearances in popular films and TV shows like Ivanhoe, The Game of Thrones, Outlander, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and more.

It is one of the most popular places to go in Stirling for its history, exhibits, interior, and architecture as well. You will need about an hour to tour this castle.

19. Dumyat Hill

Although shorter than other Ochil Hills, Dumyat is more popular for its scenic trails as well as the view from the top. It is among the best outdoor things to do near Stirling in Scotland.

You will also see two monuments when you complete the trail alongside an expansive landscape view. It takes at least 3 to 4 hours to explore this trail.

20. Gillies Hill

This Hill is one of the most significant places near Stirling. The camp of Robert the Bruce descended into the Battle of Bannockburn. The Hill is named after the warriors of the battle. While there are not many historical sites on the Hill, it is still a beautiful place to explore when you visit Stirling.

21. Carron Glen Wildlife Reserve

This beautiful wildlife reserve has lush forests, streams, gorges, and waterfalls. It is one of the top things to do near Stirling for hiking and nature exploration. You can easily spend an hour or so exploring this place.

22. Cambus Pools Nature Reserve

This wetland is part of the Inner Fort Estuary and has several small and large lakes. These are the best places to visit near Stirling for bird-watching and wildlife spotting. The reserve also has a few historical sites that now lie in ruins. You can spend a couple of hours exploring the various trails in this reserve.

23. Devil’s Pulpit

The red sandstone of this rock formation makes the water of the gorge appear red. This creates a unique mystical site, hence the name. Lying deep in the forest, this gorge is one of the beautiful things to see in Stirling and so is the trail leading up to it. The trail is also great for nature photography. You need at least an hour for this trial.

24. Ben Gunn’s Cave

This small dark cave sits in the middle of the Jungle and gained fame owing to the novel “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is one of the most fun things to do in Stirling for fans of the literary work. You will need an hour to visit this cave and explore the trail that also includes ancient Roman ruins.

25. Leighton Library

This is the oldest library still in use in the country. The building dates back to the 17th century. The original building was built over the remains of a church. The library is known for its collection of manuscripts from the 16th to 19th centuries. It is one of the top Stirling attractions for bibliophiles. You need 30 to 45 minutes to explore this library.

26. Deanston Distillery

While you are exploring all the places to see in Stirling, you can take some time to taste locally-produced whiskey. This distillery is known for its single malts and you can tour the entire process.

It is one of the best things to do in Stirling, Scotland if enjoy a good scotch. You can try out different varieties during the tour. It would take you about an hour or so.

27. Dunmore House

This is another one of the abandoned mansions that have been taken over by wilderness. This particular mansion is famous for being featured in the series Outlander.

Despite its condition, it is a fascinating place to go in Stirling to see how the Earl of Dunmore used to live. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore the ruined mansion.

28. Gartmorn Dam Country Park

This is the oldest reservoir in Scotland and one of the most beautiful places for birdwatching near Stirling. You can explore the hiking trail around the reservoir to spot a variety of birds. You will need an hour at least to explore this park.

29. Dollar Glen

This is yet another beautiful forest that you can explore for outdoor activities in Stirling. The forest has hiking trails and boardwalk trails through a lush green forest. You will also come across streams, waterfalls, and historical ruins while exploring the forest. It takes at least an hour to explore this trail.

I suggest you should book a Guided Tour of Dollar Glen Canyon in advance.

30. Castle Campbell

This partly ruined castle sits in the Dollar Glen and is a wonderful sight to behold. Despite being left behind by civilization, it still stands strong and majestic. You can explore various parts of the castle and enjoy views of the wilderness around. It is among the most fun things to do in Stirling, Scotland. People can easily spend a few minutes exploring this historical structure.

If you are looking for more to explore during ​​Stirling sightseeing, check out the sections below. We have created a complete list of attractions and activities you can enjoy in and around the city.

Things to do in Stirling, Scotland

Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Stirling, Scotland

  1. Stirling Castle
  2. The National Wallace Monument
  3. The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
  4. Stirling Old Town Jail
  5. The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum
  6. Holy Rude Church
  7. Cambuskenneth Abbey
  8. Doune Castle
  9. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum
  10. Mar’s Wak
  11. The Star Pyramid
  12. Argyll’s Lodging
  13. The Royal Palace
  14. Chapel Royal
  15. Airthrey Castle
  16. Dunblane Cathedral
  17. Polmaise Castle
  18. Bannockburn House
  19. Alloa Tower
  20. Menstrie Castle
  21. Dunmore Pineapple
  22. Torwood Castle
  23. Dunblane Museum Trust
  24. Leighton Library
  25. St. Mungo’s Parish Church
  26. Tullibody Heritage Centre
  27. Sauchie Tower

Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Stirling, Scotland

  1. Falls of Falloch
  2. Mote Hill
  3. Airthrey Loch
  4. Darn Walk
  5. Alva Glen
  6. Plean’s Country Park
  7. Dumyat Hill
  8. Cambus Pools Nature Reserve
  9. River Forth
  10. Torwood Blue Pool
  11. Menstrie Glen
  12. Black Devon Wetlands
  13. Wellsfield Trout Fishery
  14. Myreton Hill
  15. Fintry Hills
  16. Downie’s Loop
  17. Allan Water
  18. Alloa Inch Island

Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Stirling, Scotland

  1. King’s Park
  2. Macrobert Arts Centre
  3. Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park
  4. The King’s Knot
  5. Kidz Town Amusement Park
  6. Causewayhead Park
  7. The Engine Shed
  8. Briarlands Farm
  9. Queen Anne’s Garden
  10. Laighhills Public Park
  11. Carron Glen Wildlife Reserve
  12. Dunmore Park
  13. Herbertshire Castle Park

Shopping in Stirling, Scotland

  1. The Thistles Shopping Centre
  2. The Stirling Arcade
  3. Burghmuir Retail Park
  4. High Street
  5. Dobbies Garden Centre

Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Stirling, Scotland

  1. Hiking
  2. Swimming
  3. Boating
  4. Mountain Climbing

Sightseeing in Stirling, Scotland

  1. Stirling Old Bridge
  2. Robert the Bruce Statue
  3. Old Town Cemetery
  4. Beheading Stone
  5. Abbey Craig Hill Monument
  6. Rob Roy McGregor Statue
  7. Forthside Footbridge
  8. Gillies Hill
  9. David Stirling Memorial
  10. Paterson Memorial Clock
  11. Dunblane War Memorial
  12. Elphinstone Tower

Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Stirling, Scotland

  1. Allanwater Brewhouse
  2. Darnley Coffee House
  3. Brea
  4. The Portcullis
  5. Green Gates
  6. Monterey Jack
  7. River House
  8. Toast
  9. The Birds & Bees
  10. Hermanns
  11. Mamma Mia
  12. Spice Garden
  13. Mediterranea
  14. Cafe Aina
  15. Nooch Bar
  16. BrewDog

Where to Stay in Stirling?

Here we have listed Top Rated Hotels in Stirling. You can check below listed hotels for your perfect stay in Stirling.

  1. Holiday Inn Express Stirling, an IHG Hotel
  2. Stirling Highland Hotel
  3. Castlecroft Bed And Breakfast
  4. Travelodge Stirling City Centre
  5. Premier Inn Stirling City Centre hotel
  6. Premier Inn Stirling South (M9, J9) hotel
  7. Lion & Unicorn Country House Hotel
  8. King Robert Hotel
  9. Lost Guest House Stirling
  10. Hotel Colessio

Custom Tours Package in Stirling

How to Reach Stirling, Scotland?

By Air

The closest airport to visit Stirling is Glasgow Airport. It is about an hour away from the city by road. You can get direct flights to this airport from many cities in Europe, Asia, and Iceland. Once you get to Glasgow, you can take a train or bus for Stirling travel. You can also take a rental car or hire an intercity cab.

By Road

It is quite easy to reach Stirling by train. The city is connected to several cities in the UK through the rail network. This includes Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Newcastle, Carlisle, Aberdeen, and many more.
You can also get buses to easily get to Stirling from several towns and cities in Scotland. If you want to reach Stirling by car, you should head for routes A91, A811, M9, or M80.

By Water

There are no direct water routes to visit Stirling.

Image Reference
  • The National Wallace Monument – BusterBrownBB / Wikimedia Commons
  • Cambuskenneth Abbey – Karen Bryan / Flickr
  • Stirling Castle – Uglix / Flickr
  • Mar’s Wark – Charles / Flickr
  • Church of the Holy Rude – Tony Fernandez / Flickr
  • The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum – Otter / Wikimedia Commons
  • The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre – Shadowgate / Flickr
  • Old Town Jail – BertieB / Wikimedia Commons
  • Alva Glen – John Knight / Flickr
  • Old Stirling Bridge – Sophia Hilmar / PixaBay
  • Beheading Stone – Euan Nelson /
  • Star Pyramid – Aaron Bradley / Flickr
  • Plean Country Park – Kevin Rae /
  • Blair Drummond Safari Park – Sahaib3005 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Dunblane Cathedral – David / Flickr
  • Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park – Wolfgang Claussen / PixaBay
  • Buchanan Castle – Ann Walsh / Flickr
  • Doune Castle – Bob Travis / Flickr
  • Dumyat Hill – ronnie leask /
  • Gillies Hill – Tom Parnell / Flickr
  • Carron Glen Wildlife Reserve – John Ferguson /
  • Cambus Pools Nature Reserve – Doug Lee /
  • Devil’s Pulpit – john mcsporran / PxHere
  • Ben Gunn’s Cave –
  • Leighton Library – LMRodger / Wikimedia Commons
  • Deanston Distillery – Jaimie Wilson / Flickr
  • Dunmore House – Jaimie Wilson / Flickr
  • Gartmorn Dam Country Park – John Knight / Flickr
  • Dollar Glen – Tom Parnell / Flickr
  • Castle Campbell – Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia Commons

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30 Popular Tourist Attractions to See and Things to Do in Stirling, Scotland


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