If you like Castles – there are so many in the area to visit. Of course Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle are essential. Our favourite of the two (and closest) is Stirling Castle.
Stirling Castle did an incredible restoration recently and have actors dressed as various characters from the castle’s past who are incredibly friendly and willing to answer questions. The gardens are gorgeous, the view and the walks up to the castle through the old city – also Argyll’s Lodging is included on the ticket and the Old Jail nearby is an additional attraction.
It’s not a castle but the Wallace Monument is the perfect afternoon out with a walk through the woods on the way up (with interpretive sculptures) and then a climb through history and various rooms with exhibitions, to the incredible view at the top.
For those looking for somewhere a bit more off the beaten track, Dollar Glen and its Castle Campbell is well worth the trip, we love to walk up through the glen and its woods to approach the castle via the steep climb, but you can also park up nearer the castle.
On the way to Dollar you will see signs to various towers along the ‘Tower Trail’ including at Alloa, Menstrie, Alva and Clackmanan Tower, these towers and castles defending the line of the Ochils. And there are also some great walks up into the Ochils from these villages – particularly starting at Alva and Tillicoultry.
A favourite place, once off the beaten track but now much more popular due to Outlander, is Blackness Castle. It sits in an incredible position out on a peninsular into the Forth with views of the Forth Bridges and fantastic birdwatching. It is one of the most atmospheric castles in Scotland with basalt bedrock and a wharf you can walk out onto. There is a lovely coastal walk along from the village and a pub/café with great atmosphere. Drop off at the Bo’ness and Kinneil railway, a steam heritage line with railway museum on the way back.
Doune Castle has been the site of pilgrimage for Monty Python fans for decades (and now Outlander fans) and is a great day out with walks along the river and lovely pubs and shops in the village. While in Doune you should visit the wonderful Argaty Red Kites where you can see a real spectacle of wildlife especially good in winter.