Visit the historic city of Stirling in Scotland - heart of Scottish history and heritage.
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Created a Royal Burgh in 1124, Stirling offers a fascinating journey back in time for anyone with even a passing interest in Scottish history and heritage. Visit Stirling and discover a unique tapestry of original, historic attractions that tell the story of the Scottish nation at first hand.
Dominating the narrow waist of Scotland from its rocky, cliff-top setting, Stirling Castle is both the most spectacular and most historic of Scottish castles.
Never taken by force, the earliest, wooden castle on the site dates back over a thousand years. Stirling Castle was the prize fought over at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and was bombarded by Bonnie Prince Charlie, with his Jacobite army, in 1745.
Stirling Castle is much more than a fortress. Within the castle the Great Hall was the original home of the Scottish Parliament. The Chapel Royal was built for the baptism of King James the VI. And the renaissance Royal Palace at Stirling Castle was the favourite home and refuge of Scotland’s Stewart Kings and Queens, including the troubled life of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The National Wallace Monument
Dominating the Stirling skyline from another dramatic rocky outcrop, the National Wallace Monument overlooks the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Here, in 1297, William Wallace – Braveheart – outwitted a much larger English army, splitting their forces either side of the narrow bridge and claiming his place in history as Scotland’s National Hero. Climb the 247 steps to the top for magnificent views across Stirling to the Ochil Hills, Highland Line and beyond.
The Battle of Bannockburn
Scotland owes its status as a proud nation to the King Robert the Bruce’s great victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, beside Stirling, on 23rd and 24th June, 1314. The Scottish king’s triumph over the vastly superior army of Kind Edward II of England secured Scotland’s independence for the next 400 years. Visit the National Trust for Scotland’s Bannockburn Heritage Centre and re-live the dramatic story of the battle.
Stirling Old Town
Wandering around the atmospheric Old Town of Stirling, you can’t help but feel close to Scotland’s turbulent and colourful history and heritage. Winding down the castle rock, leading from the modern day town centre to the Castle Esplanade, the Old Town holds the finest collection of historic buildings in Scotland.
As the heart of the Old Town of Stirling is Broad Street, the old market place of mediaeval Stirling. Overlooking Broad Street is the The Tolbooth, the original administrative centre of Stirling, which also witnessed public executions until 1843. At the top of the street are the ruins of Mar’s Wark, the imposing home of the Regent of Scotland.
Nearby are the beautifully restored nobleman’s town house of Argyll’s Ludging and the Stirling Guildhall, built between 1637 and 1648 to help Stirling tradesmen who fell on hard times. The Church of the Holy Rude, dating from 1456, hosted the coronation of King James VI, in 1567, under the watchful eye of Scottish Reformation leader John Knox. The neighbouring Old Town Grave Yard rewards explorers with magnificent views as well as some of the oldest headstones in Britain.
Stirling Old Bridge
Dating to 1500, Stirling Old Bridge crosses the River Forth in the heart of Stirling, close to the submerged peers of an earlier wooden bridge that became the central feature of William Wallace’s cunning victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, in 1297.
Set amid the slowly winding curves of the River Forth, Cambuskenneth Abbey was the setting chosen by King Robert the Bruce for a historic parliament meeting in 1326. It is also the last resting place of King James III and his Queen, Margaret of Denmark.
Stirling Town Wall
Stirling boasts the finest surviving town wall in Scotland. You can follow the route of the wall from the centre of the modern day city centre to the heart of Stirling Old Town. Much of this historic wall dates to 1547, when it was strengthened to defend the people Stirling against King Henry VIII of England.
The Back Walk
The historic Back Walk is circumnavigates Stirling Old Town and Stirling Castle. As it rises around the castle rock it affords breathtaking views to the peaks of the Highlands. En route you will pass the Gowan Hill, where the Stirling Beheading Stone reminds of high profile executions including that of Murdoch, Duke of Albany and one-time regent of Scotland, in 1425.
The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum
Superb museum offering a wide range of artistic and historical exhibits and a fascinating illustration of the Stirling Story over the past 1,000 years.
The National Wallace Monument
Bannockburn Heritage Centre