With its dramatic perch atop Abbey Craig hill, the distinctive 67-meter-tall Gothic tower of the National Wallace Monument casts a striking silhouette, looming on the horizon just north of Stirling. Built in honor of Scottish hero Sir William Wallace, the fearless freedom fighter who led Scotland to victory during the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, the grand monument is a worthy tribute and is now one of Scotland’s most visited monuments.
Designed by architect J. T. Rochead, the monument took eight years to build and was finally inaugurated in 1869. Today, more than 100,000 annual visitors climb the 246 steps to the top of the tower, from where the views span Stirling Castle, Stirling town and the surrounding countryside. Following the spiral stairwell, visitors pass through three floors of exhibitions – the Hall of Arms, focusing on the Battle of Stirling Bridge; the Hall of Heroes, where Wallace’s legendary battle sword takes center stage; and the Royal Chamber, which tells the history of the monument itself. There’s also a gift shop and café housed in the ground floor Keeper’s Lodge.
The National Wallace Monument is located at the top of Abbey Craig hill, around 4km north of Stirling, and is open daily from 10am to 5pm (summer) and 10:30am to 4pm (winter). Admission is £9.50 for adults and £5.90 for children.