Are you looking for the best things to do in Stirling? Well! I can help you out by knowing some of the amazing things to do in Stirling. Before proceeding, let’s know first about this stunning city.
In the heart of the old town of Scotland, There is a vibrant city named Stirling which is located on the River Forth. You can also call it the “Gateway to the Highlands.” I wonder why it is one of the most underrated cities in Scotland?
Once you get into the city, you will come to know about the fascinating history of this magical city, Stirling. If you like to go back in time or to explore interesting facts about history, this is the perfect holiday destination.
How Can You Get to Stirling?
From Glasgow or Edinburgh, you will need to take a train which will take you 30 to 40 minutes to Central Scotland where the city of Stirling is located. So, it is OK not to have your car or on rental, you can just leave it at your home and be ready to explore this beautiful city.
The location of central Scotland is a perfect day trips destination and you can also have easy access to other places in Scotland in all directions within just a few hours by public transport. Of, course if you want to roam around Scotland’s other places, this is a great place to start with.
As there is a lot to discover, however, Scotland is known for the mesmerizing castles where you will get to know its rich history, architecture, culture, and traditions. So, let’s dig into it! If you are planning to head to Stirling, I can help you out by finding one of the best things to do in Stirling.
10 Best Things To Do In Stirling
1. The Church of the Holy Rude
The Church of the Holy Rude is located at the top of the old Stirling town, which is considered to be the best location because of being on the shoulder of the city’s highest hill.
The church has witnessed the history of over 900 years as it was established in 1129 by David 1st of Scotland although it was built in the 15th century. And the word “Holy Rude” is dedicated to the “Holy Cross”. And being sited nearby Stirling Castle, the place has its significant value in the history.
The place is known for the crowning place of James 4th and this is the highlight of the church’s history. This is called the second oldest building after the Stirling castle. This is one of the most valuable things to do in Sterling.
If you are in search of a unique and attractive place with lots of historic value and a peaceful environment, you must visit Stirling. Here you will find a beautiful church with stained glass windows and old stones. This is worth visiting as the stunning architecture is something that you can not miss.
If I compare all the things to do in Stirling, The church would take place as a most pleasant and peaceful experience.
2. Old Stirling Bridge
The current Old Stirling Bridge was founded around the 1400s or 1500s, which is a replacement for a succession of the wooden bridge. The most famous historic incident was stood around the 1290s when at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, Edward L’s army was defeated by Sir William Wallace and Sir Andrew Moray.
The bridge is also a witness in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 an unsuccessful attempt to take the castle. The castle is known for the name of the many kings and queens but William Wallace is better known for defeating English forces.
If you want to learn about medieval architecture and Scottish history, the Old Stirling Bridge is an interesting site to visit however, the bridge is believed to be slightly downstream. The bridge offers its tourists a different experience to explore certain amazing things.
It is good to go to the pedestrians and yes, the great views of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle are also offered by the bridge. The place is easily accessible and you will be impressed by the beautiful design that is why there is no surprise if the bridge is getting photographed many times.
3. Stirling Castle
One of the most popular and admirable things to do in Stirling is visiting Stirling castle. The Castle has its significance as it was the key of the Scotland Kingdom which dominates the huge volcanic rock at the meeting point of the Lowlands and Highlands above the River Forth.
Stirling Castle is one of the most visiting spots and becomes an all-time favorite the tourists. It is a must-see attraction also for international visitors.
If you take a look at the history of the castle, you will get to know that the place has an ancient origin, it was the main royal residence and a powerful place over the centuries. During the civil wars of independence, in the 50 years, it changed hands-on activities 8 times.
The Stirling authority used to come to enjoy the comfort of the palace more or less it was the center of the government. The Royal Palace project such as Chapel Royal, the Great Hall, and the Palace of James V took place here so it is said to be one of the most important spots of all time. The castle is also infamous for the incidents such as the killing of the Earl of Douglas by James II.
It is also known as the childhood home of British and Scottish history such as Mary Queen of Scotland and James I and VI. It became home to the Sutherland Highlanders, and also was an important military base. One of the most important things to do in Stirling is to know completely about these historic facts, which makes your visit worth it.
To know more about the detailed history of the castle, you can also venture into its rooms. The fascinating short movies are also available so that you can get to know about the various aspects, architecture, and the statues of the Castle.
4. Kings Park
Do you also want to roam around with your whole family and kids at an outdoor place of leisure? Here is the solution! As there are many interesting things to do in Stirling, Kings Park is a gorgeous green space for young kids and older kids as well. All you have to take is a short walk from the town center.
There is a little play area where the young kids can play and spend a great time. The other interesting things to entertain the older kids are the skate park and BMX bike path. There is something for everyone as the abundance of open spaces for a picnic or a stroll.
Here you can also do sports activities because of the availability of sports areas such as the tennis court. One of the interesting things to do in Stirling is, visit this park.
And some play areas are available for all ages. The fantastic outdoor area, walking trails, and cafes, are just some of the amenities which are perfect day trip material. The toilets are also there to make you more comfortable. Your whole family can have an amazing time here.
This is a beautiful backdrop of the Stirling Castle, you can also see Kings park as a romantic spot. The place is all in one pleasure spot to plan a great day trip there. As you come to visit Stirling, you can’t miss this amazing place there as you will find it one of the most entertaining places.
5. Cambuskenneth Abbey
Cambuskenneth Abbey is the place that should be added to your list of amazing things to do in Stirling because once you go there it will be one of those unforgettable moments that you don’t want to forget. The aim of founding the Abbey was to serve Stirling castle King David I in 1140.
The place is a fascinating historic site that is free to roam. The time is supposed to be from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. So you must be mindful of the timing of the place. There is a magnificent 13th-century Belltower which is a great example of the rich architecture of the 1200s.
You can also explore the church and monastery ruins which were the burial place of James III. There is also a Victorian tomb that was created in the honor of King James III and his wife Queen Margaret.
The Belltower is one of the unique places in Scotland and you can feel free to visit this amazing corner of the Abbey. There are the signs of the ruins of the old Abbey. Only the doorway of the old Abbey church is a surviving part of the place. This small cemetery is quite fascinating to visit and very peaceful to spend one of your best times.
6. The Old Town Jail
In the royal burgh of Scotland, you will get to learn about the sinister history of punishment and crime on this trip. This is one of those things to do in Stirling that you can’t ignore as it will get you back in time. The place was touted as the “worst jail” in Britain, now this brutal facility is known as a museum.
You will get to see the performance tours where you can meet jail-keepers and famous criminals that will be so exciting for the whole family.
The interactive performances that take place here are so lively and spooky. So, you must make sure that children above 5 years should go here, to them it would be easy not to be scared easily. Yeah, this is true! Although there is also a hint of comedy to ease the little one because the actors are well-trained and well-acquainted with the situation.
There is a perfect and fabulous blend of terror and fascination because the performance is so lively. The fantastic view awaits you if you can reach on top of the observation tower If you can control yourself long enough.
7. The National Wallace Monument
The National Wallace Monument is one of the most visited Stirling attractions. If you want to add amazing things to do in Stirling to your bucket list you can do it without any doubt. You can also say this is one of the striking places in Stirling.
This is a grand stone tower that can overlook the city. The Wallace Monument is a kind of another treasure of the town after Stirling castle. For most people, visiting Stirling means visiting the Wallace monument and the Stirling Castle.
This historic landmark stands on top of the hilltop which commemorates William Wallace. The historic incidents about the Wallace monument are interesting where he led a battle and defeated the English. If this is not enough reason for you to have a visit there, the views from the top can take your breath away.
There are other ways such as exhibits or wooden sculpture walk where you can learn about this historic and famous place. They also have free activity book on hand to make them learn more about it.
If you can climb 246 steps for experiencing the breathtaking view, your effort will be worth it. This is a wonderful spot to spend some quality time.
8. Blair Drummond Safari Park
Are you also waiting for adventurous things to do in Stirling? And how about if it would be with our whole family? Sounds good! Yeah! this is true. Your search will end if you visit this wonderful safari park at Stirling in Scotland.
You can plan a whole day trip with the amazing company of the exotic and rare animals which are the main attraction of the place.
The place came into being in the year 1970 and becomes an endless delight for the kids and all ever since. This is a spectacular visitor’s attraction. The place is home to more than 300 exotic and rare animals many of which walk freely there.
Through the animal reserve, you can drive by your car and do yourself close to camels, zebras, rhinos, lions, tigers, deer, and antelopes. In the famous Macaque Drive-thru of the safari park, you can keep an eye for the troops of monkeys, and don’t forget to close the windows of your car. You can have there an incredible family day out.
There is no wonder it is called the top tourist attraction in Scotland. In lemur land, you can see free-roaming lemur and the sea-lions. you can also catch the bird of prey show which is also popular and the interesting thing is that you can have all this at your entry ticket price!
9. Where to Eat?
In the history of Scotland, it would not be wrong to say that Stirling has been an important part of some of the most dramatic episodes of it. People are getting attracted towards this amazing city and so the food and drinks of it. Where you can have delicious food with the mixture of the culture of this vibrant city.
However, there is no restaurant in which you can say that there is 100% vegan food to have but some entries are there for vegetarian or vegan options. Most of the restaurants and cafes are open for lunch or early dinner. Many restaurants become closed early. If you are looking for a late-night dinner or food you can head to a pub.
For vegan options, you can head to Cafe Aina which is an adorable restaurant and cafe in Stirling. there are a lot of options available for vegan food where half of the menu would be according to your choice. you can also have the experience of having your favorite dishes in the vegan version in this restaurant.
The full vegan breakfast such as omelet, and breakfast roll is also there for the lovers of this kind of food. If you go at lunchtime, you will find tons of delightful food like burgers, sandwiches, souvlaki, and cake. Yes, even the cake is also available in the vegan category.
10. How About Experiencing Stirling Nightlife?
With the mind-blowing historical monuments, castles, and sites, You already must have known about the city of Stirling a lot. Along with it, you can also experience the vibrant nightlife where you can have a great time with the historic pub, trendy bars, and late-night clubs.
Let’s discuss this in detail to provide a useful guide. This could be one of the most exciting things to do in Stirling.
Every trendy bar in Stirling has its specialty if you are fond of whiskey, you can head to Curly Coo Bar which is located at Princely street. For cocktails, you can go to Meraki. And don’t forget to end your night with chocolate fondue.
And if we talk about the Nicky Tames, located on Baker Street. It is one of the oldest bars and has one of the best collections of drinks that can reach your demands of making your night more special and enjoyable.
And the amazing thing about the place is that the food is out of the world. The plenty of live entertainment is something that makes this place more interesting to visit.
On No.2 baker street you will find a large Victorian-era pub and bar which is known for its impressive drink range.
Pubs and Clubs
One of the oldest pubs in Stirling is Portcullies Pub which was built in 1789. The pub is popular among visitors because of the impressive collection of single malt whiskies. The Settle Inn and the City Walls are other attractions of the town for the lovers of the drinks.
If we talk about clubs, Dusk is the largest nightclub in Stirling which is also pocket friendly. Fubar is another club that is stylish but slightly smaller. All you have to take is just a 5-minute walk from the City Centre Hotel.
So, this is your guide to help you out choosing your favorite places to go. Although there are many more things to do in Stirling. There is a lot to explore in Scotland too, you also can have a great time there.
These are some of the main highlights that make this Stirling city lively. These are some reasons why you should visit Stirling at least once in your life.