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Exploring the national Wallace monument

Updated: May 22

The National Wallace Monument towers high on top of Abbey Craig hill overlooking Stirling and the Forth Valley, only 35 minutes drive from Appletree Cottage and is well worth a visit.

Photo of the National Wallace Monument from the base
National Wallace Monument

Built in the 1860s to commemorate the famous Scottish warrior William Wallace (as in the 1995 Braveheart film) the tower rises to 220 ft. Scottish Architect John Thomas Rochead won the competition to design over 105 other entries.

The tower was opened on 11th September 1869, 572 years after Wallace's victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

Photo of entrance to Wallace Monument
Courtesy bus at the entrance

A courtesy bus runs most days from the ticket office up to the monument saving visitors a steep climb. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy tickets online at

Once at the tower, there are only 246 steps to go, up the winding stone staircase to the top.

The walls at the top of the structure are 1.5 meters thick whilst the walls at the bottom are 15 meters thick!

As the stairway rises it first passes the Hall of Arms, with its displays of armour and weapons.

Further up is the Hall of Heroes with stained glass windows and busts of notable Scottish heroes and heroines.

The best bit however is at the summit.

Photo of top floor of Wallace Monument
Top floor Wallace Monument

It is worth visiting in clear weather as the views from the top of the monument are superb. To the west the range of Campsie Hills with the distinctive mountain of Ben Lomond in the distance. To the east are the Forth Bridges, Grangemouth and the Forth Valley and to the south lies the city of Stirling, far below with Stirling Castle (see previous blog) sitting atop the extinct volcanic plug in its commanding position over the town.

View of Stirling Castle and Stirling from Wallace Monument
View of Stirling and Stirling Castle

The structure of the tower at this point is notable as a series of flying buttresses leap from the outer walls to converge in the centre point forming a crown-like effect. All well worth the climb up the stairs!

Photo of Gift Shop Wallace Monument
Souvenir and Gift Shop Wallace Monument

On the way out you might want to visit the shop on the ground floor which sells a vast array of gifts and souvenirs of Wallace Monument, Stirling and indeed Scotland.

photo of Wallace Monument on Abbey Craig
Wallace Monument on Abbey Craig


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