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Things to do in Stirling

Blair Castle, a white castle with turrets seen against a blue sky with a Saltire flag flying
Blair Castle

The council area of Stirling includes much of the former county of Stirlingshire and the south west of the former county of Perthshire. Stirling is situated in the central midlands of Scotland, an area that has witnessed much of Scotland's history. The many attractions open to the public today make this an essential area of Britain to explore, discover and enjoy.

A stream flows between green hills in Alva Glen
Alva Glen

The village of Drymen can be found at the south east corner of Loch Lomond. The busy village has good facilities for visitors. Drymen is the starting point of the 79mile Rob Roy Way, which ends at Pitlochry. The village lies a short distance from the route of the West Highland Way.

North east at Aberfoyle, you'll find the Trossachs Discovery Centre. Aberfoyle is situated at the south western gateway to the Highlands. Tourism to the area increased after the publication of Sir Walter Scott's novel "The Lady of the Lake" in 1810. Aberfoyle was once the third largest slate mining community in Scotland. In the 1930s it produced the slate used for the billiard tables on the liner Queen Mary.

Union flag flies against a blue sky over the main entrance and guard towers to Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle

Tourism in the region usually begins in the historic city of Stirling. The wealth of fine architecture, cobbled streets and narrow wynds delight its visitors, who also enjoy the more modern amenities of today's Stirling. Perched high on an extinct volcano is Stirling Castle, overlooking the battlefields where Scottish armies fought for supremacy over the English.

Statue of King Robert The Bruce statue against a blue sky and view to distant hills, in Stirling Castle
King Robert the Bruce, Stirling Castle

Attractions in and around Stirling include Argyll's Lodging, the finest surviving example in Scotland of a 17th century town house. In the King's Park, once the hunting grounds of the Stuart monarchs, is the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, where you can see a fine collection of Scottish painting.

William Wallace Monument surrounded by trees
William Wallace Monument, Stirling

"The Stirling Story" is a permanent exhibition telling the story of Stirling over the past millennium.

Nearby on Abbey Craig is the National Wallace Monument, a landmark for miles around. Should you make the serious climb to the top you'll be rewarded by stunning views.

Two miles south of Stirling is Bannockburn. The battlefield was the site of Robert Bruce's victory over Edward II's army in 1314.

South of Stirling is Bridge of Allan, set on the Allan Water. The town developed into a spa town when mineral springs were found in 1813. Huge numbers of visitors came to 'take the waters'. Among them were Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens.

The town expanded with the arrival of the railway and the many fine buildings in the town reflect the prosperity of this time. Bridge of Allan is home to the University of Stirling. A riverside walk - the 'Darn Walk' - links Bridge of Allan with Dunblane.

You'll find Blair Drummond Safari Park to the west, between Bridge of Allan and Dunblane. It's a very popular place to take your family, with hundreds of animals, and exciting play areas.

Scots Baronial mansion Blair Drummond House seen from across the lake
Blair Drummond House

There is a Tourist Information Centre in Dunblane, a town set in lovely surrounding countryside and within easy reach of the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The name is thought to derive from the Celtic missionary St. Blane, who built a monastery on the hill-fort or 'dun' on the high ground above the town.

Dunblane was a busy textile town with a woollen mill and silk dying mill during the 1800s. With the arrival of the railways Dunblane became a popular resort for holidaymakers, as it still is today with many modern facilities.

View over Loch Lomond at Inveruglas on a sunny day
Inveruglas, Loch Lomond

On 13th March 1996 Dunblane was the scene of a horrific tragedy which shocked the Nation, when a gunman entered a primary school in the town, shooting sixteen children and their teacher. A memorial stone has been erected in Dunblane Cathedral to commemorate those who lost their lives in this atrocity.

Rooftop view of Stirling, with the Wallace Monument in the distance

Dunblane Cathedral dates mainly from the 13th century and is one of the few surviving medieval churches in Scotland. It was restored to its Gothic splendour in the late 19th century. Nearby, in the Dean's House is a museum of local history.

The Leighton Library founded by Robert Leighton, Bishop of Dunblane in the 17th century is the oldest private library in Scotland. Visitors have the opportunity to view some of Scotland's rarest books here.

Mountains on a winters dawn in the north of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National park
Chabhair, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Callander, is known as the gateway to the highlands. This attractive town is a popular centre at the eastern gateway to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre features displays relating to Rob Roy MacGregor.

There are pleasant riverside walks along the River Teith, while more strenuous walks can be enjoyed to Bracklinn Falls and Callander Crags.

In the north of the region, Killin has a tourist information centre housed in the Breadalbane Folklore Centre, within the disused St. Fillans water mill. Killin's main attraction is the spectacular Falls of Dochart, which cascade over the rocks and around the island of Inchbuie - the traditional burial place of the MacNab clan.

Crathes castle in Scotland in bright summer day
Crathes Castle

North west of Killin is Moirlanich Longhouse. This cruck frame cottage and byre date from the mid 19th century and retains many original features. There is an exhibition interpreting the restoration of the Longhouse, which is in the care of the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

Days out in Stirling

  • Argyll's Lodging
    Please note access is by pre-booked guided tour only through arrangement with Stirling Castle.
    Argyll's Lodging
  • Bannockburn
    From this battlefield the Scots 'sent them homeward to think again', when Edward II's English army was soundly defeated by King Robert the Bruce.
  • Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve
    Perthshire's highest mountain (3,984ft) with views from the Atlantic to the North Sea.
    Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve
  • Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park
    A visit to the park combines a mixture of driving through animal reserves then parking and walking through pets farm, playing in one of the many adventure areas, taking in the sea lion and falconry displays and visiting chimp island.
    Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park
  • Callendar House
    Have a grand day out at Callendar House in Falkirk. Situated amidst magnificent park and woodland, Callendar House tells stories spanning almost 2000 years
    Callendar House
  • Moirlanich Longhouse
    An outstanding example of a traditional cruck frame cottage and byre, dating from the mid 19th century.
    Moirlanich Longhouse
  • National Wallace Monument
    Renew your acquaintance with Scotland's national hero and Hollywood legend, Sir William Wallace at the spectacular 220 foot high National Wallace Monument, completed in 1869.
    National Wallace Monument
  • Smith Art Gallery & Museum
    Nestling beneath Stirling Castle, in the King's Park, the ancient hunting grounds of the Stuart monarchs, and now a suburb of opulent Victorian mansions, is the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.
    Smith Art Gallery & Museum
  • Stirling Castle
    Towering over the city, Stirling Castle is amongst Scotland's most celebrated visitor attractions.
    Stirling Castle

Places to Visit in Stirling

  • Balfron
    Balfron is a village in SW Stirling Council Area, situated on the A875 road, 18 miles (29 km) west of Stirling and 16 miles (26 km) north of Glasgow. A key rural settlement in a dormitory area, it has shops, a health centre and a secondary
  • Bridge of Allan
    Bridge of Allan is a lovely little place. The main street includes a few gift shops; collections, cards and gifts, a florist, the village glass shop and a mini art gallery.
    Bridge of Allan

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