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Stirling Castle

Stirling [3] is one of Scotland's most historic cities and the county town of Stirlingshire. In 2002, Stirling became Scotland's sixth city.


Overview of Stirling

Also known as "The Gateway To The Highlands", Stirling used to be the only connection to the Highlands and has therefore a significant position in history. Major battles for Scottish independence took place in and around Stirling. Stirling Castle is one of the great royal residences of Scottish history.

Get in

  • The nearest major airport to Stirling is at Edinburgh, [4], - 29 miles/47km.
  • From Edinburgh you can get to Stirling either by bus, which runs every hour or by train. The Citylink bus costs £4 and takes about an hour, departing from the bus station at St Andrew Square.
  • From Glasgow buses also run hourly and take about 45 minutes. Trains depart more often, with a slight gain in travel time over the bus.
  • Easily reachable by car from both Glasgow and Edinburgh (using the M9).

Get around

There are several buses leaving to towns close by. In summer there is a sightseeing bus which is a cheap way to get to the sights, as you can "hop on and off" at any time.


Wallace Monument
  • Stirling Castle [5], at the head of Stirling's Old Town, open daily (closed Christmas and Boxing Days), 25 March-30 September 9.30am-6pm, 1 October - 31 March 9.30am-5pm, last admission 45 mins before closing, admission adults £8, child £3, concession £6, entrance and parking free for Friends of Historic Scotland - one of the best preserved castles in Scotland, it features the Great Hall, the Palace and the Royal Chapel. In summertime, the castle is crowded with tourists and therefore lacks the medieval flair. Parking is available in front of the castle.
  • Wallace Monument, Abbey Craig (1 mile North East of Stirling in Bridge of Allan), tel 01786 472140 - rising on a hill above Stirling, this monument honors William Wallace who led the Scottish to victory over the English. Inside you can find various displays about the Battle of Stirling Bridge and about important Scottish persons. You have a great view over Stirling and its surroundings from the top. Opened all year until at least 4pm. £6.00/2.75/3.00 (Adult/Child, Senior/Student), Friends of Historic Scotland qualify for a 10% discount.
  • Cambuskenneth Abbey [6] - ruin of an abbey with only the bell tower remaining. You can see the grave of Margaret of Denmark and James III on this site. The site can be entered at all times.
  • Stirling Old Bridge [7] - the site of one of the major battles where Scotland (under the lead of William Wallace) defeated the English in the struggle for Scottish independence. Although this is not the original bridge, which was made of wood, it gives a good impression of where the battle may have been.
  • Church of the Holy Rude, at the head of St John Street. Beautiful church with impressive stained glass. No admission fee, but donations welcome.
  • Bannockburn [8], Glasgow Road, Stirling, 01786 812664 - the battlefield is the site of another major victory for the Scots over the English in 1314. The Bannockburn Heritage Centre gives you detailed information about the battle on well designed displays. A path leads to a statue of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, who led the Scottish forces. From the statue you have a great overview of the landscape
  • Argyll's Lodging [9], Castle Wynd (on the right as you approach the castle) - the well preserved 17th century town house, erected by the 1st Earl of Stirling, is a fine example of renaissance architecture. Admission fee included in the Stirling Castle ticket.
  • Stirling Old Town Jail [10], St John Street (next to Stirling Youth Hostel and opposite of the Tolbooth). Open all year, Apr-Sep 9.30am - 6pm, Oct & Mar 9.30am - 5pm, Nov - Feb 10.30am - 4.30pm. £5.95/3.80/4.50 (Adult/ Child/Student) - This building used to be the jail during Victorian times. A guide will show you through the building taking on different roles.
  • Smith Art Gallery and Museum [11] Dumbarton Road, Stirling, FK8 2RQ Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am - 5pm, Sunday 2 - 5pm Admission Free. Small art gallery, local museum and popular cafe - Stirling Store Exhibition gives a good intro to the history of the area and local industry, would fill a couple of hours on a wet day.


  • Hillwalking -- behind the university (near Bridge of Allan) is a path up to a hill with a summit cross.
  • Maize Maze Scotland's finest maize maze is at Briarlands Farm, on the A84 4 miles west of Stirling, right next to the Safari Park.
  • Dance School Monument Dance is Stirling's premier dance school where everything from classical ballet (for both boys and girls), to disco, tap, modern, jazz and even drama is taught to the highest standards. Bring your child along for a taster. Classes start for the pre primaries from age 21/2. Contact the school at Monument Dance Centre, Easter Cornton Grange, Easter Cornton Road, Causewayhead, Stirling, FK9 5PB. Also by phone on 01786 451244, and by email on click here.
  • Safari Park Scotland's only genuine African Safari Park can be found just a couple of miles to the west of Stirling on the A84 at BlairdrummondBlair Drummond, FK9 4UR (Tel: 01786 841 456) next to the Maize Maze. You are able to go on safari through the game reserve, on the boat to chimp island, and stop off at the sea lion show or even have a free bar-b-que (you supply the food) next to the enormous children's play area. The park is open daily 10:00 am - 5:30 pm. Last admission 4:30. The park is closed in winter, reopening in March.
Siberian Tiger at Blair Drummond Safari Park



  • Jimmy Chung's Menu and prices, 14 Friars Street, tel 01786 469911, mailto:[email protected] - a Chinese restaurant which offers buffets at fixed prices (e.g. all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet) 7 days a week.
  • Hot & Spicy, Baker Street - tasty food to go.
  • Willawan, Baker Street - a new Thai restaurant.
  • Lee's, Bridge of Allan - an inexpensive Chinese takeaway, but surprisingly good.
  • Port Street Grocer's, Port Street - superb gourmet sandwich lunch menu and amazing cakes.
  • Greggs, opposite of Post Office and one if you follow the pedestrian area to the west. They sell great valued sandwiches and bakery.
  • The Barnton Bar & Bistro - don't let the "local-pub" look put you off. This place has great food. Try the sweet-potato soup and the cheese plate.
  • Mary's Kitchen Fresh Strawberry Tarts at Briarlands Farm Also home made cakes, soups and wonderful sandwiches. 4 miles out of town in Blairdrummond.



Stirling has three night-clubs - two in the city center and one out near Bridge of Allan - all of which require you to be at least 18 and to have proper ID with you. Usually, the bouncers won't let you in with sneakers, but you can try.

  • The Yard. A club containing one big room with dancing-poles, pool-tables and DJ. Pop and mainstream music; no entrance fee, but rather expensive.
  • Enigma Night Club, Baker Street, tel 01786 464904 - New card system in place for fridays and saturdays, allow free entry before 12 and cheaper drinks. Mondays and Thursdays entry from £3 with drinks from £1.
  • The Meadowpark and The Beat. The Beat is the club near Bridge of Allan, it's near the main entry for the University, and tends to be popular on Tuesday and Wednesday when the town centre clubs are closed.


  • Nicky-Tams, 29 Bakers Street - a bar with a friendly atmosphere, mostly visited by students of the university. Wednesdays 9pm is jam night, Saturday 5pm local musicians are featured. Beer ~ £2.30.
  • Pivo, Corn Exchange Road - a Czech bar with bouncer, so be dressed properly. Rather a "cool & trendy" place with a good selection of Czech and international beers.



  • Stirling Youth Hostel, St John Street (''turn 2nd left after Highland Hotel''), (), [1]. Built behind the façade of an old church, it offers 2 to 6-bedded rooms, good self-catering kitchen, internet, friendly staff and TV-room. Book ahead during summer. £11.50-13.50/5.00-11.50 (Adult/Child). Open all year.
  • Willy Wallace Backpackers Hostel, 77 Murray Place, (), [2]. Located in the centre of the old town, mixed dorms, lounge. £12.00-15.00.


  • <sleep name="Hillview Cottage B&B" url="" email="[email protected]" telephone="01786 841679"> Interesting slightly eccentric Stirling Guest House with great woodland and hill views. This is a large comfortable Scottish B&B with en suite bedrooms and a wireless network. Rooms start at £22.00 per person per night and include a full cooked breakfast. Open all year, with Christmas and New Year specials. .
  • Golden Lion Hotel [12] Luxurious 3-star hotel located in the town centre. Around £70 per night.


  • Stirling Central Library, Corn Exchange Road - several computer with free internet access available, though you may need to join a queue. Open Mo-Sa until at least 5pm.


Get out

  • Bridge of Allan. A town north-west of Stirling which is nice to walk around.
  • Dollar (10 miles east of Stirling on the A91) to visit Castle Campbell and walk through Dollar Glen.
  • Doune Castle, Doune (10 miles northwest of Stirling off the A84), 01786 841742. 14th century castle with a great view over the landscape. Take a walk along a river right behind the castle.
  • Dunblane Cathedral, Dunblane. An impressive cathedral with an early Pictish stone found on the site.

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