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Stirling Castle: Day Trips and Tours from Edinburgh

As one of the most famous attractions in Scotland, Stirling Castle receives thousands of visitors every year. The castle was once home to many of Scotland's heroes and royals, such as William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots.

Take in the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish Highlands and step into a completely different world with an unforgettable Stirling Castle day trip from Edinburgh.

You'll have more than enough time to roam the castle and explore its dungeons, kitchens and gardens while learning about the castle's fascinating history!

You will find below everything you need to know about Stirling Castle, one of the best destinations for day trips from Edinburgh.

How to get to Stirling Castle from Edinburgh?

Stirling Castle sits atop Castle Hill in Stirling and is roughly 50 kilometers northwest of Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh to Stirling Castle by train

The ScotRail train from Edinburgh to Stirling leaves almost every 30 minutes. You can buy a return ticket from Edinburgh Station to Stirling Station, and the train journey takes around 45 minutes.

From Stirling station, you can walk the short distance up the hill towards Stirling Castle, which should take 10 minutes, or you can hail a cab.

From Edinburgh to Stirling Castle by bus

Bus 909 leaves Edinburgh roughly every two hours and makes its way to Stirling. The bus journey takes around 1.5 hours. From the bus station in Stirling, you can make the 10-minute walk to Stirling Castle or hail a cab.

From Edinburgh to Stirling Castle by car

To visit Stirling Castle by car, drive in a northwest direction from Edinburgh via the M9. As you approach Stirling, turn right onto the A84, and you'll see signs directing you to Stirling Castle. The journey should take around 1 hour, and there is ample parking at Stirling Castle.

Guided tour from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle

Why not try a guided tour for a simple and convenient travel solution on a Stirling Castle day trip from Edinburgh? Guided tours from Edinburgh may include hotel pickup. Otherwise, they will start at a central meeting point like Edinburgh Bus Station.

In a private shuttle, you'll make your way from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle, enjoying live commentary and captivating scenery along the way.

How much does the entrance ticket to Stirling Castle cost?

Ticket prices for adults (16 - 64) are £16.50 when booked online and £18.00 at the gate.

Seniors (65+) pay a concession price of £13.00 online and £14.50 at the gate.

For children under 15, tickets cost £10.00 online and £11.00 at the gate. There are also various family ticket packages available.

When buying tickets, it is always cheaper to purchase online in advance instead of buying at the gate.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Stirling Castle from Edinburgh?

There are various day trips to Stirling Castle from Edinburgh, and many of these trips follow a similar itinerary.

Day trips from Edinburgh usually begin at a central meeting point, such as the bus station. You'll meet your guide and get onto a private coach, where you'll make your way along the M9 towards Stirling Castle. Your guide will provide live commentary along the way, and you'll get to learn more about the area.

Once you've arrived, your guide will give you a full tour of the castle, and you'll also get some time to explore and take photos.

You can take this opportunity to learn many fascinating facts about the castle's rich history, which dates back to the 12th century! Some tours will provide you with a meal and drinks.

Day tours from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle often include stop-offs at other locations, such as Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, The Kelpies, and Rosslyn Chapel. These extra destinations make your Stirling Castle day trip a truly unforgettable experience!

What kinds of tours are available to go to Stirling Castle?

Guided tours to Stirling Castle from Edinburgh

Guided tours are a fantastic way to experience Stirling Castle, as your knowledgeable guide can provide in-depth information on the castle's history. You'll make your way from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle in a comfortable coach with a small group of people. Once at the castle, you'll have more than enough time to explore the castle and grounds and take loads of stunning photographs!

Private tour to Stirling Castle from Edinburgh

A private tour lets you make the most of your visit. You and your group will be the only people on the tour, giving you more opportunities to ask your guide questions. Private tours to Stirling Castle can be tailored to fit your needs and include various other stop-offs in addition to visiting Stirling Castle.

Get picked up from your hotel by a local tour guide and enjoy a day exploring Stirling Castle and the surrounding area.

Day tour to Stirling Castle plus Loch Lomond and whisky distillery

When you choose a whisky, Stirling Castle, and Loch Lomond tour, you can expect to enjoy an action-packed day. In addition to visiting and exploring Stirling Castle, you'll also experience a whisky tour to a local distillery and the spectacular views of Loch Lomond.

Day tour to Stirling Castle plus Rosslyn Chapel

If you enjoy history, you will appreciate a Stirling Castle tour that stops at the famous Rosslyn Chapel. Learn about the history of Stirling Castle and Rosslyn Chapel, which share many interesting architectural and historical links. Rosslyn Chapel is an architecture enthusiast's dream!

Day tour to Stirling Castle plus The Kelpies

Many Stirling Castle day tours also stop at The Kelpies, which lie roughly halfway between Edinburgh and Stirling Castle. The Kelpies are impressive horse-like sculptures designed by Andy Scott. A Stirling Castle day tour that includes The Kelpies is worth choosing if you appreciate art. Take the opportunity to learn about this incredible art piece and the rich history of Stirling Castle.

How much does a tour to Stirling Castle from Edinburgh cost?

Stirling Castle guided tours cost between £45 and £95 per person.

Private group tours usually start from £500 and can cost up to £1000 or slightly more. These private tours accommodate small groups (usually up to 15 people).

Entry to the attractions is usually not included, and tour prices may increase if there are additional stop-offs and if meals and drinks are provided.

What will you see and do at Stirling Castle?

Stirling Castle provides a feast for the senses!

Your tour guide will show you around the awe-inspiring castle, ensuring you don't miss anything. Learn fascinating information on the castle's rich history and some of the famous figures raised within the castle walls.

There are many different exhibitions at Stirling Castle, including temporary exhibits that change from time to time. They display historically accurate scenes and often incorporate actors to play the role of famous figures and castle servants. These exhibitions help bring the castle to life and give you an idea of what living in Stirling Castle may have been like many centuries ago!

The stunning gardens are a popular part of a Stirling Castle day tour, as they are meticulously maintained and offer picturesque views of the area.

Most tours to Stirling Castle ensure enough time for you to explore on your own, relax, and take photos.

When is Stirling Castle open over the year?

Stirling Castle is open all year round. The only days the castle is closed to the public are Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25 and 26 Dec).

What are the opening times?

The Stirling Castle opening times are 9:30 AM to 6 PM from April to September. From October to March, the castle's opening times are 9:30 AM to 5 PM.

When is the best time to visit Stirling Castle?

If you want to avoid the crowds at Stirling Castle, then it is best to avoid the busy months of July and August. December and January are the quietest months of the year in terms of tourists.

The optimal time to visit Stirling Castle is probably in September or October, when the crowds have died down, but the weather is still relatively mild.

Are there any tours to Stirling Castle from other cities in Scotland?

Yes, there are Stirling Castle tours departing from other cities in Scotland:

Travel tips

  • Make sure to book your Stirling Castle day trip in advance as it is a popular destination, and tickets can sell out quickly.
  • Some day trips to Stirling Castle are unsuitable for young children, so check the tour description thoroughly before booking.
  • There are many fantastic photo opportunities at Stirling Castle, so bring your camera and ensure the batteries are charged!
  • Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that this area of Scotland can be cold and wet almost all year round.