Welcome to Stirling
Welcome to Stirling - The city rich in Scottish history
Stirling is Scotland’s newest city, only receiving city status in 2002 as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. It is also Scotland’s smallest city, with a population of approximately 45,000. Stirling was once the capital of Scotland in the 1300s, showing its rich history as an important base during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Famous battles were fought in Stirling and the close by Bannockburn to prevent an English invasion in Scotland. In 1297, the battle of Stirling Bridge took place, where an outnumbered Scots army defeated the English army for the first time since the Dark Ages. A few years later in 1314, another Scots win occurred at Bannockburn under the leadership of the famous King Robert Bruce – who anyone who has seen Braveheart should be aware of! It is possible to experience Stirling’s history by visiting Stirling Castle or a walk through The Old Town, which contains buildings dating back to the 1100s. Nowadays, Stirling is a modern city that mixes the new with the old. It is largely a student city with roughly 20% of the population being students from the University or local college, meaning pubs and clubs accommodate for student life and are very affordable. Stirling is the perfect size for a weekend break, there is more than enough things to do and see if you spend a few days there.
Information and Facts
Stirling is a student city and so has many options for restaurants, pubs and clubs to go to at night. If you are looking for a bite to eat, there are traditional pubs dotted all over Stirling. The Birds and the Bees and The Inn at Torbrex are cosy places to eat that offer ale from the local brewery. If you are looking to have a drink and a good time the city centre offers pubs with live music, such as Drouthy Neebors or The Kilted Kangaroo. Stirling also has two main nightclubs Dusk and Fubar which are open till later and hold regular theme nights.
The Thistles Shopping mall is in the heart of Stirling’s city centre and hosts all of the most popular high street shops such as Topshop and Debenhams. Also in the city centre is The Stirling Arcade, which is set up like a Victorian shopping mall and holds 25 bespoke retailers. The village Bridge of Allan is just a stones throw away from Stirling and it’s high street is full of independent shops and home-made arts and craft gifts. There is also a Farmer’s market which takes place every second Saturday of the month on Port Street in the city centre.
The most important landmark to see in Stirling is undoubtedly Stirling castle. It’s position high up on a volcanic rock – similar to Edinburgh castle – means it overlooks the whole of the city. The castle is rich in history as it dates back hundreds of years to the 11th century. Stirling castle has been besieged at least 16 times throughout its history and has hosted multiple baptisms and coronations for a number of Scottish Kings and Queens. Visitors can hear all about the castle’s history by taking a guided tour of the grounds which are available all year round. Additionally, another good landmark to visit when in Stirling is the Wallace Monument which was built in 1869 by the Victorians as a tribute to William Wallace. It is a 67 metre high stone tower that you can climb up and go into a series of rooms on the way up and learn more about the history of William Wallace through information notices.
Stirling’s climate is similar to the rest of central Scotland – cool and cloudy with occasional showers. Its positioning means the temperatures are fairly moderate throughout the year and Stirling sees more sun than the west side of Scotland. It is hottest in July and August when temperatures peak to 20°C (68°F) and coldest in February where temperatures drop to 7°C (45°F).
Stirling is easily accessible by train and has regular hourly services to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. The buses are very regular into the town centre, running every 10 minutes during the day time.