Stirling Castle dominates the skyline for miles and miles around, you will truly see it long before you get there. Which is why it was such a keystone in the ever-changing politics, governance and royalty of Scotland.

Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary Queen of Scots in 1542, and others were born or died there.

The castle is a shining example of Renaissance architecture, having borrowed designs from all over Europe. Now somewhat weathered, you can only but imagine just how majestic and fairytale-like this castle must have been in its day. Especially following the outlandish, colourful and awe-inspiring renovations by the Stewart kings James IV, James V and James VI.

Visitors can look out from its frightfully high walls onto the battlefields below where great medieval armies clashed to decide the fate of nations.

There have been at least eight sieges at Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle for his cause.

Take a birds-eye tour of this magnificent castle:

More great information about this amazing jewel of Scotland's history is available at the official caste webiste:

Cover photo by Shilmar