The Top 4 Castles in Stirlingshire



Sitting in the centre of Scotland roughly halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirlingshire is full of spectacular castles and fascinating forts, making it one of the most historically rich parts of the country. There are plenty of reasons to visit the County of Stirling, from visiting Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to exploring the Bannockburn battlefield. Today, though, we're focusing on the top 4 castles in Stirlingshire that you won't want to miss during your holiday.   

Looking for a bit more background before you get started? Check out our Ultimate Scottish Camping Guide for helpful hints, tips and context.

Stunning views from Stirling Castle (Shelley Murray on Pixabay)

Stirling Castle

Towering above the city of Stirling on a craggy outcrop, Stirling Castle is one of the largest fortifications in all of Scotland. Most of the buildings that make up the city of Stirling’s only castle date back to the 15th and 16th centuries – tumultuous times, when Mary Queen of Scots was overthrown and the fortress had an important role in guarding the river Forth. 

Stirling Castle has been besieged at least eight times, but the complex is still impressively intact. In addition to the fortifications and the royal quarters, the site is home to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders' regimental museum, a tapestry studio, a gift shop and a café. 

Find top places to eat around Stirling Castle and elsewhere in the area with our list of the best restaurants in Stirlingshire.

Doune Castle

This 14th-century castle is located in Doune, a small historic village on the river Teith. Here, visitors can snap pictures of a 100-foot gatehouse and explore one of Scotland's best-preserved great halls.

There is a fee to enter the castle, but there's a lot to see here once inside: the spectacular Lord's Hall with its carved wooden screen, the courtyard, Doune Castle's cellar and the kitchen tower are all popular highlights. Want to discover every nook and cranny? Your ticket includes an audio guide that can be downloaded straight onto your mobile phone. 

Find more places to visit in Stirlingshire, or click here to browse Stirlingshire’s best campsites.

Castle Campbell, Clackmannanshire (Scozzy on Pixabay)

Castle Campbell

This top-rated castle is actually in the neighbouring county of Clackmannanshire, but as it's just half an hour's drive from Stirling we thought we'd throw it into the mix for good measure. 

Located in Dollar, this impressive stone fortress dates back to the early 1400s and was owned for hundreds of years by the Earls of Argyll. The castle became the Lowland home of these mighty Highland chiefs, where they could spend time in fine surroundings and easily reach the royal court in Edinburgh to attend to affairs of state. 

Explore these campsites near Castle Campbell.

Buchanan Castle

Buchanan Castle is an abandoned 19th-century country house in the south of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Built as the grand home of the Montrose family, the roof was removed by the landowners in 1954 to avoid paying taxes.

Buchanan Castle is now a ruin, and although it's always fairly risky to enter an abandoned building, there are several gaps in the fence where you can see this creepy castle from a safe distance. You'll also get a good view of its crumbling walls if you stop for a round of golf at Buchanan Castle Golf Club just next door. 

Find places to stay in southern Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, or explore the best places to walk in the County of Stirling here.