Perched high on a crag above the floodplain of the River Forth, this Victorian monument is so Gothic it deserves circling bats and croaking ravens. In the shape of a medieval tower, it commemorates William Wallace, the hero of the bid for Scottish independence depicted in the film Braveheart. The view from the top over the flat, green gorgeousness of the Forth Valley, including the site of Wallace’s 1297 victory over the English at Stirling Bridge, almost justifies the steep entry fee.
The climb up the narrow staircase inside leads through a series of galleries including the Hall of Heroes, a marble pantheon of lugubrious Scottish luminaries. Admire Wallace’s 66 inches of broadsword and see the man himself re-created in a 3D audiovisual display.
Buses 62 and 63 run from Murray Pl in Stirling to the visitor centre (£2.30, 10 minutes, every 30 minutes). From the visitor centre, walk or shuttle-bus up the hill to the monument itself.