Scotland offers many opportunities to visit historic sites as there are many castles, monuments and sites of interest to be seen. Some of those located in the central Scotland area are highlighted here for your information.
Historical Sites, Castles, and Monuments
1. Stirling Castle
One of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, Stirling Castle been named as one of the ‘Top 40 Amazing Experiences in Europe’ in an e-book published by Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel book publisher. The Castle’s long history is linked to great people from Scotland’s past including William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots.
The castle sits on top of Castle Hill and is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, providing a strong defensive position. Most of the main buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while some from the fourteenth century also remain. The castle is a very popular visitor attraction managed by Historic Scotland.
2. Doune Castle
A medieval castle near the village of Doune 8 miles north-west of Stirling. Recent research has shown that the castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence before being rebuilt in its present form in the late fourteenth century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, the son of King Robert II of Scotland.
The castle was planned as a courtyard with buildings on each side, although only the northern and north-western buildings were completed. These comprise a large tower house over the entrance, containing the rooms of the Lord and his family, and a seperate tower containing the kitchen and guest rooms. The two are linked by the great hall.
3. The Scottish Crannog Centre
Located on Loch Tay offers exhibitions, hands-on craft demonstrations and tours. The Crannog was an ancient dwelling – the first known examples dating to 2,500 years ago. This fantastic visitor attraction offers a look back in time, and is a great day out on the beautiful scenic Loch Tay. Open from April to October.
4. The National Wallace Monument
Located just outside Stirling and signposted from the City Centre. The galleries within the Monument, and the Crown at the top of the building, are accessed via a spiral staircase, with a total of 246 steps (alternative facilities are available for those unable to use the stairs). Visitors to the Monument will see The Hall of Arms, Hall of Heroes,the Royal Chamber and when you reach the Crown at the top will be greeted with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
5. The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and Museum of Scottish Railways
A ten mile scenic return train journey to Manuel along the Forth Estuary, though woodlands, past waterfalls and over the Avon Viaduct in addition to the museum which houses railway exhibits of locomotives, carriages, wagons and other rail artefacts.
More Historical Sights
The Battle of Bannockburn Centre is situated at one of the most important historic sites in Scotland. 700 years after the Battle a new visitor centre has recently opened which gives a great insight into the history of the event.
The visitor centre is located on Glasgow Roar, Whins of Milton, Stirling, FK7 0LJ
For more information call 0844 493 2139
Castle Campbell is a medieval castle situated above the town of Dollar, Clackmannanshire, in central Scotland. It was the seat of the earls and dukes of Argyll, chiefs of Clan Campbell and was visited by Mary Queen of Scots in the sixteenth century.
The tower house was built in the early fifteenth century and was known as Castle Glume. Part of the original castle was burned down in 1654 by the Scots in retaliation for Campbell’s support of Cromwell. Only part of the castle was restored and its use as a residence ended. In 1948 the castle was given to the Government and is now managed by Historic Scotland.
For more information on what to see, opening times and ticket prices call 01259 742 408
Drummond Castle built on a rocky outcrop by John, 1st Lord Drummond. The 2nd Earl, a Privy Councillor to James VI and Charles I, succeeded in 1612 and is credited with transforming both the gardens and the castle. The keep still stands but the rest of the castle was restored and largely remodelled by the 1st Earl of Ancaster in 1890.
Drummond Castle Gardens are open to the public from 1st May. Here you will enjoy one of the finest formal gardens in Europe. From the east gateway on the Crieff Muthill road, visitors drive up the long beech avenue to the car park and then walk to the outer castle court. On passing into the inner courtyard and attaining the top of the terracing the full extent and majesty of the garden is suddenly revealed. The dominant feature of the parterre design is a St Andrew’s Cross with the multiplex 17th century sundial at its centre.
For more information call 01764 681433
Hamilton Toy Museum is situated in Callander and has five rooms displaying a vast collection of toys dating between 1860 and 1980. The museum is open from 1st April until the end of October.
The rooms in the museum are dedicated to toys grouped into soldiers,science fiction, cars and trains, dolls and Edwardian nursery. You will find additional displays of toys on the stairs, landing and corridor.
For more information please call 01877 330 004
Inchmahome Priory Founded in the 13th Century, the remains of this medieval monastery sit on an island in the Lake of Menteith. Reaching the small island by boat, visitors can walk around the ruins. The isolated location, surrounded by the lake, offers a pleasant day out. Open April to October.