Stirling is an ancient county where you can explore a centuries-old castle, climb an ancient Victorian monument and retrace the footsteps of Scotland’s greatest heroes. Also known as Stirlingshire, this pocket of the United Kingdom is a stone’s throw from Edinburgh but feels worlds away from the capital. Venture out of the city to discover wild and rugged Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Things to do in Stirling
Perched atop an extinct volcano, Stirling is one of Scotland’s most enchanting cities. The Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets lined with stone townhouses. Many of the buildings have been reimagined as cosy cafes and gift shops selling tartan, tweed, bagpipes, fudge and other Scottish treats.
Mighty Stirling Castle towers over the Old Town and dates back to the 14th century. Tour the lavishly decorated Royal Palace, walk around the sunny courtyard and marvel at the enormous Great Kitchens used to prepare royal feasts. The Back Walk footpath wraps around the castle and treats you to spectacular views over the city and the surrounding countryside.
Pay your respects to Scotland’s national hero at the Wallace Monument. The Victorian monument is perched on a rocky crag and celebrates the legacy of Scottish knight, William Wallace. The views stretch all the way across the Forth Valley to Stirling Bridge, where Wallace defeated the English in 1297.
One of Scotland’s top family attractions, Blair Drummond Safari Park is home to lions, elephants, giraffes and other exotic animals. Time your visit with a keeper’s talk to find out more about the park’s residents.
Stirling is a launchpad for outdoor adventures in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. There are dozens of mountains to climb, as well as more than 20 shimmering lochs to discover. Hiking, cycling, camping, fishing and mountaineering are just some of the exhilarating activities on offer. Boat cruises are a relaxing way to enjoy Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine.
Getting around Stirling
Stirling is well-connected by road, rail and bus. Trains run between Stirling and Edinburgh in around one hour, while rental cars offer the freedom to explore the county at your own pace. Edinburgh Airport is a 30-minute drive away from the Stirling city centre.