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“Biggest regret of our holiday...”
Review of Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle
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US$19.40*
and up
Stirling Castle Entrance Ticket
Ranked #1 of 63 things to do in Stirling
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dominating the skyline for miles around, Stirling Castle is a shining example of Renaissance architecture. Visitors can look out from its high stone walls to the battlefields of Stirling Bridge where great medieval armies clashed to decide the fate of nations. Home to generations of Scottish monarchs including, Mary Queen of Scots, the Castle is an enduring and powerful reminder of our fascinating history.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
sydney
Level Contributor
343 reviews
268 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Biggest regret of our holiday...”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Sadly, we all agreed that Stirling Castle was the most disappointing place we visited in over four weeks of holidaying. I had been really looking forward to this visit, having read great things on TripAdvisor, but found the reality to be very different. We got there just after opening, so were able to park without issues, though parking was 4 pound. Entry was then 14 pound, and we turned down the option to have an audio guide for another 3 pound. It was all just getting too expensive. From the outside, the castle looks great, but inside, it is a case of find something original! It seems that every room has been re-decorated in the style of the period it was made. I can appreciate what they were trying to achieve, but it didn't feel like a historical castle, and rather like a "fake" castle instead.
We wanted to learn more about the history of the castle, but the signs weren't all that informative. Maybe it is better with the audio guides. The staff were friendly and informative when we asked a question. We usually spend hours looking through castles, but sped through this so quickly, as there was nothing to grab our interest. There was very little historical material on display at all. The kitchens were particularly bad. The video on display talking about the kitchens looked like it was made decades ago, it was so dated.
We drove a fair distance out of our way to visit the castle, which was our biggest regret of the holiday, as it took time away from other wonderful places we could have visited. This castle is nothing compared to Edinburgh castle.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ladybugsSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Heathfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
214 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Lovely castle”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

We visited Stirling castle on our way from the Scottish Highlands to Edinburgh. It was a great stop-off point and we are so glad that we visited Stirling rather than Edinburgh castle. Edinburgh castle was manic and over-run with coach parties at 10.30 on a Monday.
The position of the castle is spectacular, perched on top of the hill. We joined a tour and it is really worthwhile and so interesting. It is a lovely castle with so much history, great views and interesting exhibits. If you have an English Heritage card, you can use it for half-price in the 1st year or free for 2nd year and onwards. It is so easy to forget to use these cards and with an admission price of £14 it does make a difference.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank denise l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
eschentzwiller
Level Contributor
141 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“city of Stirling is very nice, from another age”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

it was too late to get possibility to visit the castel , but the view on top of the hill is really great
(be aware that most of castles etc are closed at 5pm ...) the city is medieval, old buildings in very good state ...

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank fabetlucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yorkshire
Level Contributor
46 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

A rich journey through Scotland's, Stirling's and Britain's history. Favourites - the views from the walls and the chapel.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank jayceeYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ceres
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Needs some rethinking”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

First impressions are not good. We visited midweek in late June, and were on a tight schedule. We got there around 10.45am after seeing from their website that tours of the castle started on the hour. We joined a short queue of cars but were kept waiting several minutes for a parking space although there appeared to be plenty of spaces. It was explained that this was for safety reasons as a bus was manoeuvring in the car park. When we eventually arrived at the castle entrance we found only one ticket booth open and a long queue waiting. We could overhear the conversations the young man serving was having with customers. He asked everyone where they were from and made some lighthearted comments on their origins, on Scottish weather, what other places they'd visited. etc.. (This kind of banter is fine on occasions, but not when you're faced with a queue of people.) Then he tried to persuade them to take out membership of Historic Scotland, then gave them information about the audio guides, the tours, maps and guidebooks and just about every option possible. Just as we reached the head of the queue someone came out from the gift shop to point out the existence of an alternative ticket booth off to the side which no-one in the queue had noticed. We were tearing our hair out by this stage, and had to ask rather abruptly for "just tickets and nothing else". We had by now missed the start of the 11am tour but just managed to run and catch up with the group.

The young tour guide was excellent - informative and entertaining with a good strong voice - the best part of our visit. We enjoyed seeing the castle interiors and, unlike some reviewers here, thought the renovations were splendid. They're not garish, but reproduce the level of decoration and colour that would have been there originally. The tapestries, in particular, are magnificent.

We ate lunch in the cafe where, again, long queues were forming. Food was OK.

As we left at around 1.30pm we noticed a long queue of cars were waiting for spaces to become available in the car park, so maybe it's best to park elsewhere unless you arrive early morning.

At £14 per adult (we paid the £11 concessionary rate) and £4 for parking this is not a cheap place to visit. If castle interiors are not your thing, you might be well advised to walk up from the town and just admire the lovely views over Stirlingshire from the terraces.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank JD3251
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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