Scotland's heroes itinerary

Looking up at a statue of Robert the Bruce on the castle esplanade with the National Wallace Monument behind, Stirling
Robert the Bruce ››

Experience the story of Robert the Bruce by visiting buildings, fields and caves which played an important role in his life.

Looking up to Edinburgh Castle at the top of Arthur's Seat
History ››

Uncover Scotland’s literary greats, trace back your family history and marvel at some truly breathtaking castles and monuments.

A replica of the Declaration of Arbroath on display in Arbroath Abbey
Declaration of Arbroath  ››

Learn about the origins of the Declaration of Arbroath which signified the beginning of Scottish independence.

The statue of Adam Smith on Edinburgh's Royal Mile.
Famous Scots ››

Discover famous scots and how they made a significant contribution to their genre.

Follow this itinerary and delve into the turbulent history of Scotland. Visit battlegrounds, monuments and castles and discover the fascinating story of clan disputes, Roman invasions and the Wars of Independence. Learn about the Scottish heroes who led the battles, inspired a nation and even sacrificed their lives for their country.

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  • The ruins of Arbroath Abbey
    Arbroath Abbey
  • Robert the Bruce statue at The Battle of Bannockburn Centre
    Robert the Bruce statue at The Battle of Bannockburn Centre
  • A view from within the walls of Stirling Castle, palace of Mary Queen of Scots, Stirling
    Stirling Castle

Begin your journey on the A1 and travel to Dunbar. Although the castle here is no more than a ruin by the harbour, it once controlled routes to the south and was one of the mightiest fortresses to ever be built on the British Isles. It was at Dunbar Castle that John Balliol, King of Scotland was defeated in 1296 which was followed by the Scottish rebellions led by Sir William Wallace in 1297.

Continue along the Edinburgh City Bypass until you reach Roslin, a site both important in Scottish history and renowned worldwide. In the First War of Independence in 1303, the Scots, led by Wallace, defeated a superior English force in Roslin Glen. Take a walk to Wallace’s Cave, where the Scottish legend is said to have sought refuge before his battle with the English.

Roslin is also home to the famous Rosslyn Chapel, which features in Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code and is a setting in the blockbuster film adaption. Return to the city bypass, taking the Forth Bridge for Fife.
 

Begin your tour through the stunning scenery of Fife by taking the A921 coastal road. Look for the monument to King Alexander III at Kinghorn who fell to his death in 1286, when his horse stumbled on the cliffs above Pettycur beach. King Alexander’s death ignited a period of turmoil in Scotland, culminating in the Wars of Independence.

Continue along the spectacular coastal roads of Fife and take the Tay Bridge via Dundee and follow the coastal road for Arbroath. This town and particularly Arbroath Abbey played an essential part in Scottish history, as the place where the Declaration of Arbroath was signed. This letter to the Pope was signed by all the churchmen and nobility of Scotland, asking him to accept Scottish independence.

If time permits, continue to Aberdeen, where a magnificent statue of Sir William Wallace stands in Union Terrace. Spend the evening exploring the cosmopolitan city of Aberdeen with a range of restaurants, bars and hotels to choose from.

Delve even deeper into the history of Scotland as you leave Aberdeen and head north west on the A96 beyond Inverurie. Follow signs for Archaeolink Prehistory Park, where you can discover the ancient history behind Scotland and the Battle of Mons Graupius, where it is believed in AD 83, the invading Romans fought a battle with the local Scottish tribes.

Continue to head west on the B9002 and then head south for Kildrummy Castle, one of the most extensive 13th century castles to survive in Scotland. The castle underwent siege numerous times in its history and was stormed at least twice by King Edward of England when his forces occupied Scotland. Continue south to reach Royal Deeside, taking the A93 over Glenshee for Perth and then the A9 for Stirling where you can relax for the evening.

The historic town of Stirling, with its strategic location in the centre of Scotland, is closely associated with the Wars of Independence. Take a walk over the Stirling Old Bridge and relive Sir William Wallace's famous victory in 1297. The full story is told at the National Wallace Monument which offers panoramic views over Stirling and the surrounding countryside. On the outskirts of Stirling in the town of Bannockburn, visit the Battle of Bannockburn Centre and discover the dramatic tale of another fascinating Scottish victory.

Spend the afternoon exploring the spectacular Stirling Castle, the favoured seat of the Stewart dynasty. Several Scottish kings and queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary Queen of Scots in 1542. There have been at least eight sieges of 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.

Continue south through Glasgow on the M8 and pay a visit to Robroyston, where Sir William Wallace was betrayed in 1305 and sent as a prisoner to England. At the site of his capture stands a monument to his fight for freedom. Wallace's Well is situated nearby; where it is thought that Wallace took his last drink of water as a free man.

Take the A73 to Lanark, the small town in the Clyde Valley where Sir William Wallace lived. He was married at St Kentigern's Church to Marion Braidfute. Visit the memorial stone which stands at the site of Wallace's house and see the beautiful landscapes which inspired Wallace to begin his fight for independence.