Stirling & Forth Valley
Stirling & Forth Valley is where the lowlands meet the highlands. Some of the largest towns in the area are Stirling, Callender, Falkirk, Stenhousemuir, Alloa & Bannockburn.
Where to Stay
Visit our Accommodation guides including our guide on Stirling Hotels for the best places to stay.
Places to eat out
From bar meals at the Portcullis to Hermann’s. Or for a local cafe try the Bannockburn Coffee house.
The Cross Keys – a traditional Scottish pub in Kippen, serving classic pub food made with local ingredients.
The Allanwater Cafe and Bistro – a popular cafe and bistro in Bridge of Allan, serving homemade Scottish cuisine.
The Birds and the Bees – a family-friendly restaurant in Causewayhead, serving Scottish cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients.
The Lake of Menteith Hotel – a restaurant with stunning views over the Lake of Menteith, serving Scottish cuisine with a modern twist.
The Woodhouse – a restaurant and bar in Kilsyth, serving Scottish cuisine and a range of cocktails and drinks.
The River House – a seafood restaurant in Stirling, serving fresh seafood and locally-sourced Scottish cuisine.
The Tea Room at Lornshill – a charming tea room in Alloa, serving traditional Scottish afternoon tea and homemade cakes.
The Bouverie – a popular restaurant and bar in Falkirk, serving Scottish cuisine and a range of drinks.
The Inn at Kippen – a traditional Scottish inn in Kippen, serving classic Scottish cuisine and a range of drinks.
The Inn at Torbrex – a welcoming pub in Stirling, serving classic pub food and a range of drinks.
Where are the best places to Shop
The Thistle centre in Stirling offers indoor shopping mall. The town high street is also adjacent with additional shops. This is located at the foot of the hill below Stirling Castle.
Events in Stirling
Stirling Highland Games: One of the most popular events in the city, held annually in August, featuring traditional Scottish Highland games, music, and dance.
Stirling Castle Events: Throughout the year, Stirling Castle hosts a variety of events such as concerts, reenactments, and historical talks.
Bloody Scotland: A crime writing festival held annually in September that attracts both national and international authors to Stirling for readings, book signings, and other events.
Stirling Winter Festival: Held annually in November and December, the festival includes a range of activities such as an ice rink, Christmas markets, and a light display in the city center.
Callander Jazz and Blues Festival: A three-day event held annually in October featuring live jazz and blues music performances in various venues around the town of Callander, just a short drive from Stirling.Bridge of Allan Highland Games: Held annually in August, this event features traditional Scottish Highland games and includes a variety of family-friendly activities.
Stirling Whisky Festival: An annual event in May that brings together whisky lovers from all over Scotland and beyond to sample some of the best whiskies in the country.
Doune the Rabbit Hole: A music and arts festival held annually in July at the Cardross Estate near Stirling, featuring a mix of local and international acts, workshops, and other family-friendly activities.
Scottish Game Fair: A three-day event held annually in July at Scone Palace, just outside of Perth (which is about a 45-minute drive from Stirling), featuring a range of country sports, activities, and attractions.
Bridge of Allan Highland Games: Held annually in August, this event features traditional Scottish Highland games and includes a variety of family-friendly activities.
Forth Valley Art Beat: An annual art trail in June that takes visitors on a tour of studios, galleries, and exhibitions throughout the Forth Valley area, including Stirling.
Falkirk Wheel Fireworks Display: An annual fireworks display held in November at the Falkirk Wheel, a unique boat lift and engineering marvel that’s about a 20-minute drive from Stirling.
These events offer a variety of options for locals and visitors to enjoy throughout the year, from cultural festivals to outdoor activities to art exhibitions and more.
There are many events held in Stirling all year so it is also worth checking out Ticketmaster for ticketed events.
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Attractions in the area
The are has many great attractions worth visiting if you are in the area. Here are a few of our suggestions:
Doune Castle – a medieval castle that has been featured in several movies and TV shows, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Outlander.
Blair Drummond Safari Park – a wildlife park with a variety of animals, including elephants, lions, and giraffes.
The Glengoyne Distillery – a whiskey distillery that offers tours and tastings.
The Trossachs National Park – a beautiful area of mountains, forests, and lochs, perfect for hiking and outdoor activities.
The Forth Bridge – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a famous landmark in Scotland, known for its unique design and engineering.
Stirling Castle– a historic castle with beautiful views of the surrounding area. Visit Stirling castle perched above the city centre.
The Battle of Bannockburn Experience – a visitor center dedicated to the famous battle that took place near Stirling in 1314.
The Kelpies – two 30-meter-high horse head sculptures located near Falkirk.
The Wallace Monument – a tower dedicated to the Scottish hero William Wallace.
Falkirk Wheel – a rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. Enjoy a canal boat trip and travel via the rotating mechanical wheel from the canal basin to the higher canal.
Deanston Distillery – a distillery located in a converted cotton mill, offering tours and tastings.
Antonine Wall – The Antonine Wall was a defensive wall built by the Romans in Scotland during the 2nd century AD. It stretches for about 60 kilometers (37 miles) between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde, and was constructed primarily of turf and timber, with stone foundations and fortifications.
Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum – a museum and art gallery that showcases the history and culture of Stirling.
Dunblane Cathedral – a historic cathedral dating back to the 12th century, located in the town of Dunblane.
Callendar House – a historic house with a museum and art gallery, located in Falkirk.
Inchmahome Priory – a 13th-century priory located on an island in the Lake of Menteith.
Stirling Old Town Jail – a former jail that has been turned into a museum and tourist attraction.
The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway – a heritage railway that runs steam and diesel trains through the countryside between Bo’ness and Manuel.
Alloa Tower – a medieval tower house that has been restored and opened to the public.
The Pineapple – a unique 18th-century summerhouse shaped like a pineapple, located near Stirling.
Stirling and the surrounding areas offer many great outdoor activities. Here are some of the best:
Hiking and Walking – The Stirling area has many beautiful trails and paths for hiking and walking. Some popular routes include the Dumyat Hill, the Ochil Hills, and the Trossachs National Park.
Cycling – There are many cycling routes in the Stirling area, including the National Cycle Network, which passes through the region.
Fishing – There are several lochs and rivers in the Stirling area that are popular for fishing, including Loch Lomond, Loch Venachar, and the River Teith.
Golfing – There are several golf courses in the Stirling area, including the Stirling Golf Club, the Dunblane New Golf Club, and the Bridge of Allan Golf Course.
Watersports – There are many opportunities for watersports in the Stirling area, including kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding on the Forth and Clyde Canal or Loch Lomond.
Wildlife watching – The Trossachs National Park and the surrounding areas are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including red deer, otters, and golden eagles. Wildlife watching tours and safaris are available.
Horse Riding – There are several equestrian centers in the Stirling area that offer horse riding lessons and trail rides.
Adventure Activities – There are several adventure activity centers in the Stirling area that offer activities such as zip-lining, tree-top courses, and rock climbing.
Skiing and Snowboarding – There are several ski resorts within driving distance of Stirling, including Glencoe Ski Resort and Glenshee Ski Centre.
Camping and Caravanning – There are several campsites and caravan parks in the Stirling area, offering a range of accommodation options for outdoor enthusiasts.