Half Day Walking Tour of Stirling

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On this walking tour of Stirling’s Old Town, see this beautiful city. Explore the nooks and crannies to discover the highlights and learn the pivotal role Stirling played in Scottish history.

Mars Wark, Stirling walking tour itinerary
Mars Wark, Stirling
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Tour Highlights

Route Map



Start your walking tour of Stirling in Broad Street. Use the route map to show the way.
Broad Street

Broad by medieval standards this street was once the heart of the Old Town where markets were held.

Norrie’s House

Dating from the 17th century, this Dutch inspired building first housed lawyer and Burgh Town Clerk.


The Tolbooth dates from 17th century. It was where the Burgh Council met, was where taxes were paid and was the court house. It recently re-opened in 2002 as Stirling’s venue for music & art.

Church of the Holy Rude

This 540 year old church was the setting for King James VI (and 1st of England’s) coronation. If you look on the outer stonework, you will see it is pockmarked with bullet holes. These were bullets fired by Government forces at Jacobite soliders camped there in 1745.

Fun Fact: this church is linked to Westminster Abbey in London, as it is the only other church that has held a coronation to still be a living church today.

Mar’s Wark

The wonderful renaissance façade is all that remains of the town house built (but never completed) for the Earl of Mar. Earl of Mar became Regent of Scotland and it is suspected he was poisoned in 1572.

Argyll’s Lodging

Initially built as a modest house for Sir William Alexander in 1632, the building was extended into the finest surviving Renaissance mansion in Scotland by the Earl of Argyll in 1674.

The Grammar School / The Portcullis Hotel

Dates back to 1788, this was originally a grammar school, and later a military store, before becoming the hotel it is today.

Stirling Castle

Once home to generations of Scottish monarchs including, Mary Queen of Scots, the Palace has been recently restored to its former glory to display the wealth and pageantry of the Stuart Monarchs.

Old Town Cemetery

Similar to the Necropolis in Glasgow, this cemetery was designed as a place for Victorians to walk through and be uplifted and educated in the Protestant faith.

Cowane’s Hospital

Bequeathed with money by Stirling merchant and MP John Cowane, the hospital was intended as an almshouse for members of the Merchant Guild.

Old Town Jail

Built about 150 years ago to replace the notorious Tollbooth Gaol it later became a military prison.

Youth Hostel

Constructed behind the façade of the former Ebenezer Erskine Church (1824 -26). This church came into being because of a religious dispute. This dispute eventually split the Presbyterian Church in Scotland in two.

Old High School / Highland Hotel

This hotel stands on land where a Grey Friars’ Monastery once stood. The current building dates back to the 1850s and has a copper domed observatory. The observatory was a gift from local MP, Campbell Bannerman, who went on to become Prime Minister. It is still in use.

Darnley Coffee House

This coffee house, or more correctly Erskine of Gogar’s house, dates to the late 16th or early 17th century, so it is unlikely Mary Queen of Scot’s second husband, Lord Darnley, stayed in the actual building as the tradition states. However, the cafe now boasts some rather tasty soup and sandwich lunches.

End of walking tour of Stirling

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