The beauty of Stirling Castle

Stirling castle dates back to at least the 12th century and is said to be one of the biggest and most important castles in Scotland with a few notable kings and queens (including Mary Queen of Scots) residing there over the years. It was high on our list to visit and I’m not sure we realised just how interesting it would all be. Stirling itself is so beautiful. If you love the old town in Edinburgh, then you’ll love Stirling. It feels like a huge extension of it and you could wander the streets and admire the views for a long time. We found that we got the very best of it when we climbed to the top of the Wallace monument but Stirling castle does give its own views.

During our trip to Bonnie Scotland I’ve found that Scotland has over two thousand castles, some located within very close proximity to each other. The basic explanation for this is that there were a heck of a lot of bloody wars, dating back centuries and a heck of a lot of fighting over power and land from the English, each other, and other powers like the Vikings. The end result is the beautiful ruins and castles that you see today. I wonder if there’s some kind of huge castle road trip tour you can do. I’m guessing you would need a good year or so to get round them all, as well as a massive passion for all things castles, royal families and bloody battles through the centuries.

Back to Stirling castle, I think it’s now my second favourite castle behind Windsor. Having dragged the boys about to a few different places by this point, they were starting to get a bit weary of old buildings but, as luck would have it, Stirling castle has a lot of spacious grounds to run about in and has lots of informative and entertaining little spots to keep even little minds occupied. The vaults in the dungeons have been turned into little play areas with different activities in each one. It gets a bit busy as some of the rooms aren’t that big but it’s a bearable kind of busy and fun for even big kids. We spent a fair bit of time down in the basements learning about how they all used to live back then. James V did a substantial amount of work to the castle and you’ll find a lot of statuettes and murials around the grounds are heavily influenced by the Renaissance period. Some are a bit risqué but shows how bold a design it was at the time. One of the videos mentioned how there would have been a lot of colour on the statues so you need to spend a bit of time visualising it all. If you like history then you’ll love the little break out areas with the videos explaining the journey of some of the artwork. It’s a good place to sit and rest your feet (and maybe even make the kids sit for 30 seconds or more!). This is another place where we were going to spend “just an hour or so” and ended up staying the whole afternoon. It’s really worth it for the huge history lesson and to learn just how significant a part the castle played in Scottish history. If you do plan to go then here are my “things you should know”:

1) You get a discount if you book tours Edinburgh and Stirling castle. It’s worth doing if you haven’t seen them. Always keep your receipt as you can still take advantage of the offer if you forget to book a multiple entry pass.

2) Do the Wallace monument and Stirling castle on the same day. There are literally a few miles from each other. Don’t do what we did and do them on two separate days, not realising! Then eventually look a bit open mouthed as you pass the other one by.

3) Stirling castle is very buggy friendly. There are ramps and lifts everywhere bar a couple of places where it would have been physically impossible to install them. There are cobbled floors everywhere too and your baby will love it (or at least, mine did!).

Oh, and here are some of our photos from our time there.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle


Stirling Castle 2

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle 7

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

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Wander Mum


  1. Hayley @hayleyfromhome September 3, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    It sounds great! I love how so many places like this have areas for kids now, it makes it so much easier for interested parents to spend more time in them 😉 I’m loving reading about your Scottish Roadtrip! xx
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome recently posted…My Summer Reading UpdateMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff September 8, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Thanks Hayley, I think I have two more posts to go then I might be done. I could write about my fantasy road trip forever 🙂
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…The beauty of Stirling CastleMy Profile

  2. Coombemill September 4, 2016 / 12:10 am

    This is the city my Dad was born in, I had no idea there was such an impressive castle there, a perfect place for a day out to inspire young boys.
    Coombemill recently posted…The Cornish Coast Path in SeptemberMy Profile

  3. Mary Mayfield September 4, 2016 / 12:47 am

    A fascinating looking castle, and some great pics. I really like the interior shot – the decorating scheme seems quite modern (except for the huge coat of arms!)
    Mary Mayfield recently posted…Blackberry TimeMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff September 8, 2016 / 3:23 pm

      It really is, a lot was influenced by the Renaissance period (I think!) so might have even bit slightly controversial at the time with the more risqué murials.
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…The beauty of Stirling CastleMy Profile

  4. John Adams September 4, 2016 / 6:08 am

    Guess where I was just the other week? Yes, Stirling Castle (although I believe you watched the video, yes?). Some of the views from up there are stunning aren’t they? You got some great pictures there.
    John Adams recently posted…Ain’t no tree big enoughMy Profile

  5. Photalife September 4, 2016 / 7:58 am

    What a grand looking Castle. I have never visited Scotland and really need to change that next year.

    Thank you for linking up
    Photalife recently posted…#MySundayPhoto – HarbourMy Profile

  6. karen reekie September 4, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    Ah, one of my favorite places. I grew up in Scotland, went to school there, family in that area. It is a truly beautiful place.

  7. Martyn September 4, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    Wow it sounds fantastic! I love going to castles probably more than the boys do! Never been to Stirling though! #MySundayPhoto
    Martyn recently posted…My Sunday Photo 04/09/16My Profile

  8. clairejustine September 4, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    We love to visit Castles. Not been to this one before. Looks lovely 🙂

  9. Sarah Christie September 4, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Tas I have loved following your Scottish adventure, we are going to Loch Lomand in October and this has made me so excited x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…Downtown Dubai At DuskMy Profile

  10. Roots and Wings Parenting September 6, 2016 / 7:07 am

    Looks amazing! Reading this makes me want to go to Scotland and Stirling Castle. It’s great that its buggy friendly too.

  11. Lolo September 6, 2016 / 11:26 am

    I visited Sterling Castle when I was probably about 15/16 so I hardly remember it. I would love to go back now that I’m a big history buff who loves British/Scottish history. I find Mary, Queen of Scots very interesting, along with Elizabeth I so I enjoyed the bit of history you included! I actually didn’t realize Mary stayed at Sterling Castle. #CityTripping

  12. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) September 6, 2016 / 1:26 pm

    That’s a lot of castles in Scotland! I have only done Edinburgh so I have some catching up to do! I love all the history surrounding them – I think it really helps to give perspective and visualise life back then. Stirling castle looks like a great day out and lots to do for the little ones too! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  13. Elizabeth Newcamp September 6, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Castles are some of our kids favorite and this one looks to have lots of great kids activities. How fun! @CityTripping

  14. Mary September 7, 2016 / 3:27 am

    We don’t have any castles in the States, at least none that I know of. I’m excited and a little surprised to learn that Scotland has over two thousand castles, I would love to explore and learn about some of those bloody battles.

  15. Natalie September 8, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    I’m really enjoying your holiday posts. Scotland is just stunning. It’s my husbands favourite place. X
    Natalie recently posted…A big girl bikeMy Profile

  16. Ting at My Travel Monkey September 13, 2016 / 9:24 am

    I have a thing for castles at the moment! Stirling looks brilliant – next time we’re up in Bonnie Scotland… #citytrippinh

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