For over 150 years The National Wallace Monument has fascinated visitors with its exhibits that tell the story of national Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace. Inside the monument are a series of rooms that feature interactive displays about Wallace and his battles, while a café and gift shop can be found at the attraction’s entrance.
In addition to the museum, the monument is situated on a hill that provides visitors with stunning views of the Stirlingshire countryside from its uppermost viewing platform.
|Opening Hours:||January & February: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
March: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
April to June: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
July & August: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
September & October: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
November & December: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
|Admission Price:||Adult (Age 16+): £10.75
Child (Age 5 to 15): £6.75
Senior Citizen (Age 60+): £8.75
Family A (2 adults & 2 children): £28.25
Family B (1 adult & up to 3 children): £24.25
Family C (2 adults & 3 children): £35.00
|Parking:||Free car park on-site|
|Contact:||+44 (0)1786 472140|
|Facilities:||Gift shop, cafe, toilets, shuttle bus service|
The National Wallace Monument stands high on the shoulder of the Abbey Craig, a hilltop overlooking the surrounding Stirling countryside and the imposing Ochil Hills. Visible for miles in every direction, the monument has been enjoyed by visitors for over 150 years since the very first foundation stone was installed in 1861 by the Duke of Atholl.
As the centre of remembrance for William Wallace, the 13th-century Scottish knight who was instrumental in the Wars of Scottish Independence, the National Wallace Monument is frequently described as Scotland’s national landmark. It’s a stunning monument that’s much bigger than you might expect, and in my opinion, it’s a must-visit attraction if you have any interest in Scotland’s history.
As part of the 2019 150th anniversary, the monument was refurbished and the three exhibition galleries were completely revamped. Visitors can now enjoy a new animation about Wallace’s role in the Wars of Independence and a reconstruction of how Stirling would have looked at the time of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.
There are also new activities for children, including an interactive display of shield designs and a superhero quiz, all of which go towards making a visit to the National Wallace Monument a great family day out.
1: The monument allows visitors to delve into the rich history of Scotland, providing an immersive experience of the past. The monument houses artefacts like the Wallace Sword and exhibits that provide insights into Wallace’s life and leadership.
2: The National Wallace Monument is situated on the summit of Abbey Craig, a hilltop overlooking Stirling which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. After a challenging climb up the monument’s 246-step spiral staircase, visitors are rewarded with stunning vistas of the Ochil Hills, the Forth Valley, and Stirling Castle.
3: The monument features several exhibition rooms, each presenting different aspects of Wallace’s life and Scottish history. The Hall of Heroes houses busts of famous Scots including explorer David Livingstone and writer Sir Walter Scott, while the Royal Chamber offers interactive displays about Wallace’s trial and execution. These exhibitions make a visit to the monument both educational and entertaining.
1: The café is good but a bit pricey (like all tourist attractions I guess), but you can always save money by eating in Stirling instead. Driving from the Wallace Monument to Stirling Castle takes around 10 minutes.
2: Combine a visit to the monument with the Bannockburn Visitor Centre which is 5 miles away. Bannockburn Visitor Centre is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and you can get free admission with an NTS membership.
3: Doune Castle (the filming site of several TV series and Holywood blockbusters) is a 20-minute drive away and is also worth visiting.
The story of the monument begins with Wallace himself when he defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. At that time Scotland was oppressed by King Edward I of England, and as Wallace gained power in Scotland the invading King Edward ordered a force of heavy cavalry to subdue Wallace and his supporters.
The English horsemen were forced to ride two abreast as they crossed Stirling Bridge, and Wallace cunningly trapped them at the front and behind with his troops, causing the English to retreat while those trapped between the Scottish foot soldiers were cut down. Today, the area where this decisive battle happened is much quieter (thankfully) and is the perfect location to have a monument to Scotland’s most famous knight.
The city of Stirling lies just a short distance away and it’s possible to combine a visit to the Wallace Monument with the formidable Stirling Castle, both of which have enough activities to keep tourists entertained for most of the day.
Entrance to the Wallace Monument includes free re-entry for a full 12 months which means you get to go back and experience the ever-changing list of events that are held throughout the year.
On most days there are historical re-enactments of the conflicts between the English and the Scots, with actors walking around the grounds in full battle dress with swords in hand.
The National Wallace Monument itself comprises a winding staircase which leads up to three main rooms; the Hall of Arms, the Hall of Heroes and the Royal Chamber, with each room featuring a different theme. The Hall of Arms concentrates on the story of the Wars of Independence and has displays showcasing the ancient weapons and armour that were used in battle over 700 years ago.
The Hall of Heroes contains marble busts of famous Scots like Robert Burns and Robert the Bruce, while the Royal Chamber is full of informative displays about the monument. The last area you’ll see at the monument is The Crown which is a large viewing platform right at the top that has fantastic views across the Stirlingshire countryside.
At the end of your visit, you can pick up a memento in the shop on the bottom floor and then finish the day at the café at the site entrance which offers a selection of snacks and hot food and drinks.
Things to Do
Explore the Monument: The National Wallace Monument spans three floors of exhibits, each detailing a different aspect of William Wallace’s life and his impact on Scotland. The Hall of Arms, the Hall of Heroes, and the Royal Chamber each hold a wealth of information and artefacts that will transport you back to the 13th century.
Climb the Crown: Ascend the 246-step spiral staircase to the monument’s crown for a breathtaking view of the Stirling cityscape, the Ochil Hills, and the Forth Valley. This panoramic spectacle is a great location for photographers and is a must-see for any tourist.
Participate in Actor Performances: Engage with history in a lively and interactive way through actor performances. These actors, dressed in period costumes, bring the tale of William Wallace to life with captivating stories and performances.
Attend the Monument’s Events: The National Wallace Monument hosts several annual events, including the Wallace Wha Hae! festival. Immerse yourself in Scottish culture with traditional music, dance, and food, and watch medieval combat reenactments.
Visit the Gift Shop: The Monument’s gift shop is a treasure trove of unique souvenirs. From Wallace-inspired jewellery to traditional Scottish treats, you’ll find the perfect memento of your visit to this iconic Scottish landmark.
Things to Do Nearby
Stirling Castle. Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ. 10-minute drive.
One of the most significant historic buildings in Scotland. This 12th-century castle and Renaissance royal palace features a great hall, restored royal apartments, a regimental museum, a café, a gift shop and more.
Cambuskenneth Abbey. Ladysneuk Rd, Cambuskenneth, Stirling FK9 5NG. 5-minute drive.
Category A listed building built in the 1300s. It is 64 feet high and has an interesting collection of medieval artefacts inside, although visitors should note it is only open in summer.
Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum. 40 Albert Pl, Stirling FK8 2RQ. 8-minute drive.
A superb art gallery and museum in the centre of Stirling that aims to entertain and educate visitors with a collection of artworks and artefacts from Stirling and the surrounding area. There is a garden and a café on-site.
The King’s Knot. 8-minute drive.
A large green space below Stirling Castle that was once the recreation area for royalty. At one time formal gardens were laid in the park but now only the earthworks remain. The much larger King’s Park recreation area is located on the other side of Dumbarton Road.
Blair Drummond Safari Park. Blair Drummond, Stirling FK9 4UR. 14-minute drive.
One of the largest safari parks in Scotland. Blair Drummond is guaranteed to enthral visitors with its enclosures that are home to more than 350 exotic animals. There are play parks, a pet farm, a boat safari, a restaurant, and much more on the site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Wallace Monument in Stirling?
A number of sites were suggested, but the monument was eventually built in Stirling as it was near the site of Wallace’s greatest military success at Stirling Bridge.
What does the Wallace Monument represent?
The Wallace Monument is a national landmark dedicated to Scotland’s national hero, William Wallace (1270-1305).
What is inside the Wallace Monument?
The Wallace Monument is home to displays and exhibitions that depict the life of William Wallace and Scotland during the time he was alive.
There are artefacts including Wallace’s sword, an animated film, sculptures of famous Scots, and information displays about the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Is the Wallace Monument part of the National Trust for Scotland?
The Wallace Monument is not part of the National Trust for Scotland. The monument is managed by Stirling District Tourism which is an independent charitable company.