Stirling Castle Tickets

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Opening hours

Stirling Castle opens each day at 9.30am. From the 1st of April until the 30th of September it closes at 6pm with the last entry at 5.15pm.  From the 1st of October until the 31st of March it closes at 5pm with the last entry at 4.15pm. Individual museums inside the castle close at varying times.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum is currently closed until the spring of 2020.

The castle is closed on the 25th and 26th of December. On the 1st of January it opens from 11am until 5pm.

How to get there

Train- Stirling Railway Station is close to the city centre, from there it is about a 20 minute walk or a few minutes in a taxi.

Bus- the city bus station is located just a few minute’s walk from the castle. From July until mid September the hop-on hop-off bus operates to the castle.

Land Train- this service operates regularly from the centre of Stirling to the castle esplanade.

Car- there is limited parking available outside the castle entrance and this often reaches capacity.

Bicycle- there are cycle racks available, however the castle is located at the top of a steep hill.


How long does a tour of the castle take?
On the website they say you should allow at least 2 hours. The time taken to tour the castle depends on your level of interest. Some of the exhibits you have to queue and on the busiest days you might be waiting for 30 minutes or more. There are free guided tours, these take about an hour and only briefly stop at each point of interest. The guides are very knowledgeable and after completing a guided tour you might want to visit each of the attractions inside the castle in a little more detail. You could easily spend half a day there discovering the interesting history.
How can I get to the castle from the railway station?
As you are leaving the railway station you will find the walking route is clearly marked, just follow the signs. It takes about 20 minutes allowing for the steep hill up to the castle. Another quicker alternative is to jump in a taxi at the railway station.
Can you use historic Scotland passes to enter the castle?
Yes, absolutely. Go straight to the main gate where your card will be scanned.
Is there a shuttle bus from the city centre to the castle?
There is not a shuttle bus service although there is a regular bus service that operates from the city centre up to the castle. It runs about every 15 minutes. Other alternatives are a taxi or walking, the castle is not far, just a long climb.
Are the castle and its grounds wheelchair friendly?
There are lots of cobbled sections and some steep inclines but most of the attraction is accessible by a wheelchair. The areas not suitable for wheelchair access include the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum, the Great Kitchens and the Elphinstone Tower.
Is it worth touring with a guide or should I just walk around and discover things for myself?
The tour guides are knowledgeable but it is only a brief stop at each location as they have a lot of information to reveal in a one hour tour. If you want a more detailed tour pay £3 for an audio guide and learn as you go. There are detailed information boards at numerous locations throughout the castle.

Must Know

About Stirling Castle
Within sight of the castle walls two famous battles took place between the Scots and English, the battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. During more peaceful times Scottish royalty made their home here and made use of the hunting on offer in addition to holding court. The castle was for many years at the centre of Scotland’s government.
The Great Hall
The magnificent banqueting hall is the largest ever built in Scotland. It was used for feasts, dances and pageants. The Great Hall was built for James IV, completed in 1503 it has four pairs of tall windows located at the dais end where the king and queen would sit. The building was heated by five enormous fireplaces.
The Royal Palace
A journey into the Royal Palace is like being transported into the world of Scottish aristocrats and royalty of the 1500s. The palace is exquisitely decorated throughout and furnished as it was when it was the childhood home of Mary, Queen of Scots. Costumed performers give details about life in the palace and the stories that happened within the palace walls. The palace is one of the UKs best preserved Renaissance buildings and is set up as it would have been during the 1540s.
The Chapel Royal
The Chapel Royal is an elegant building and was completed in just seven months when James VI wanted somewhere suitable for his son and heir Prince Henry to be baptized. Built between 1593/4, it was one of Scotland’s first protestant kirks and the last royal building in the castle. In 1603, with the Union of the Crowns, James headed to London to rule. In 1625 he was succeeded by his younger surviving son Charles I.
The Great Kitchens
In the Great Kitchens you can see what life was like for the men, women and children that prepared the feasts fit for a king. The meals included pies, puddings, venison, salmon and prime beef for royalty while servants lived off of scraps and bread.
The Queen Anne Gardens
This peaceful garden on the south side of the castle is overlooked by the Queen’s Lodgings and the Prince’s Tower. The garden is believed to have existed here since the 1400s and the flat lawn became a bowling green during the 1620s. The beech tree in the garden is more than 200 years old.

Places Nearby

National Wallace Monument
This is a national monument fit for a national hero. Just outside Stirling on Abbey Craig you will find theNational Wallace Monument where you can discover the story of Sir William Wallace, the Guardian of Scotland, a patriot and martyr. It is a beautiful tribute to William Wallace. From the car park you can take the free shuttle bus up the steep hill to the monument itself. When you get to the monument you have 265 steps to negotiate up a winding staircase with displays on each floor where you can rest before continuing to climb. At the top on a clear day you can see for miles across the surrounding countryside before walking all the way back down.
Battle of Bannockburn Experience
This is a new state of the art 3D battle simulation experience that together with a guide transforms the way we can learn about the Battle of Bannockburn and this important piece of Scottish military history. It is located on Glasgow Road, Whins of Milton, near Stirling and should appeal to those interested in history and anyone that likes playing war games on their computer.
Stirling Bridge
Not the bridge standing at the time of the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge but this old bridge helps to show the significance of the bridges importance and why William Wallace and Andrew, the Earl of Moray won this decisive battle using clever tactics to outmaneuver a larger and better equipped English army led by John de Warenne, the 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham in September 1297. It is the most historic crossing point in Scotland.