Ultimate Guide to Visiting Stirling Castle With Kids

Visiting Stirling Castle


Stirling Castle doesn’t get as much attention as Edinburgh Castle, but after visiting both, I have to say that I really enjoyed my visit to Stirling Castle more. First off all, it is one of the largest castles in Scotland with a very colorful history, but without the touristy crowds of Edinburgh Castle. In fact, Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at Stirling Castle in 1542. It is also the site of the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace took back Stirling Castle from King Edward in a bloody battle. A year later King Edward gained control of the castle again, but it wasn’t long before he was pushed out by King Robert the Bruce (my ancestor) in 1299. There was no rest for Stirling Castle, the sieges continued from years to come.

Visiting Stirling Castle
Now, the only sieges are by tourist, eager to get their hands on some history. I am one of them! Stirling Castle did not disappoint! It was gorgeous, reasonable and easy to maneuver around with kids (and Papa).

Getting There:

It was an easy 30 minute train ride to Stirling from Glasgow Queen Station. You can read more about our railway journeys through Scotland, HERE. To make things even easier, buy your train tickets in advance. Get ticket here.

 Keep the Cost in Check:

Tickets are very reasonable. Thankfully, my kids were still under 5 at the time of the visit, so it was even cheaper. See? Traveling with small kids does have it’s benefits.

  • Adults (16-59) 14.50 GBP
  • Children (5-15) 8.70 GBP
  • Concession (60 & over): 11.60 GBP
  • Kids under 5 are FREE!

These tickets also gives you access to Argyll’s Lodging Tour, which is open from 1:00pm-4:00pm daily.

Explorer Pass is the way to go if you are planning on visiting more than one Scottish castle or historical property. Not only does The Explorer Pass reduce the ticket prices it also gives you access to various selections of the 78 Historic Scotland paid properties and their daytime events, depending on the pass you choose. The Explorer Pass also allows you to avoid the long queues into the castles. In addition, you will receive a souvenir passport to document all your adventures as well as 20% off audio guides at Edinburgh Castle. Get Your Pass!

Entertain Me:

Stirling Castle

When you first approach the castle you are immediately greeted with the amazing Robert the Bruce monument, standing nobly in front of the castle. Get a little closer and notice that the Robert the Bruce Monument is overlooking the William Wallace Monument and the site of the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge.

Visiting Stirling Castle

Robert the Bruce

Visiting Stirling Castle

Wallace Monument

Visiting Stirling Castle
Exploring the castle is breathtaking. The grounds are gorgeous! I could have stayed there all day.  Seeing Queen Mary of Scot’s childhood bedroom was a highlight. I imagined her playing as a little girl, not knowing what heaviness her future would hold. As a mother, it made me sad to think of such weight and danger on my children. I learned so much and gain so much respect for Queen Mary of Scot’s mother, Mary of Guise.

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Say Hi to Princess FireCracker

 

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Queen Mary of Scots' Nursery

Visiting Stirling Castle

Kid-Friendly!!!

At Stirling Castle there is a whole section devoted to kids with interactive activities for the kids to play and explore. Some castles can get boring for little kids, because they can’t appreciate the history and touring decorated room after room is…YAWN. But, at Stirling Castle kids are encouraged to learn about daily life at the castle through activities and games. My kids had a blast at Stirling Castle!

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Ghosts!! Most places in Scotland claim to be haunted, especially the castles. I don’t doubt it, but it is really something to see it yourself! Check out this photo I snapped at Stirling Castle. Do you see what I see???

Visiting Stirling Castle

Just steps from Stirling Castle, is the Church of Scotland, with an old cemetery to explore. If you have read my post HotMama Diaries: Scotland (HERE), you can read about how we lost Grams in the cemetery. Spooky.

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Next to the church is an old hospital, which is now a coffee shop and the old Bowling Green that my kids enjoyed playing on until it rained again.

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle
Argyll’s Lodging tour is included with your ticket to Stirling Castle. It was awesome! Castles can feel a little depressing after awhile, but Argyll’s Lodging was absolutely pleasant. I could totally see myself living here! Hello, Christmas Party!!!

Visiting Stirling Castle

Drop Your Bags:

Stirling Castle was only a 30 minute train for us in Glasgow, so it is not necessary to stay in Stirling to visit the Castle. However, if you do want to stay in Stirling, I recommend The Stirling Highland Hotel and The Portcullis. Both hotels are walking distance from the castle, which is really nice. Check rates and availability.

Visiting Stirling Castle
Get Your Grub On:

The town of Stirling is much smaller than that of Edinburgh, which I liked. It made it more manageable. Finding a restaurant was not difficult either. There were a few really nice places walking distance from the castle, but nothing beat the convenience of The Portcullis. Built in 1787, it was originally a school for boys and where King James VI was educated! It was the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a delicious and reasonable lunch after an exhilarating day of castle exploring.

Visiting Stirling Castle

Visiting Stirling Castle

Chug-A-Lug:

Uhm whisky and beer of course!!!

Visiting Stirling Castle
That’s A Wrap:

Stirling Castle was an amazing experience and one I’m glad I didn’t pass up on. Everyone is always raving about Edinburgh Castle, but I have to honestly say that we enjoyed Stirling Castle much more. It is reasonably priced, less crowded and easier to explore with kids. If you want an amazing castle experience I would go to Stirling Castle first! You won’t be disappointed!

Disclaimer: HotMamaTravel is a participant in affiliate advertising programs. By providing convenient links to my  affiliates, I earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own and I only link to companies that I trust. Thank you for supporting my site!

Have you ever been to Stirling Castle? What did you think?

Like it? Pin it!

4 Comments
  1. avatar image
    Ali May at January 13, 2017 Reply

    Wow! I’ve visited Stirling Castle in my mid-twenties when I lived in the UK. I don’t think I did the full interior tour, but I do recall walking around the grounds with those huge stone walls. Now that I’m a mum, I’m super impressed by the interactive kids activities that help little ones learn more about castle life throughout history. I will have to visit this with my family on our next UK trip (we were married at another Scottish castle not far from Glasgow, and we fly over from Australia every 5 years to revisit). Great post!

    1. avatar image
      Hot Mama at January 17, 2017 Reply

      What a great tradition for your family! Married in a Scottish castle sounds exciting! Yeah you’ll have to visit Stirling again with the kids.

  2. avatar image
    Kirsty at January 14, 2017 Reply

    I visited Stirling Castle many years ago so this brings back memories. Such great photos too! Looks like you guys had a fun day out.

    1. avatar image
      Hot Mama at January 17, 2017 Reply

      It was probably one of my favorite days of the trip. I just loved Stirling Castle.

Leave a Comment

Get Exclusive Content

Send us your email address and we’ll send you great content!