A Full Guide to the Stunning Stirling

Carrying on with our series of most underrated Scottish locations to visit in 2024, we realise it’s crazy that we haven’t mentioned Stirling yet.

Apart from Edinburgh, Glasgow, and places like the Isle of Skye, Stirling is one of the top locations that you always see on ‘Must Visit Places in Scotland’ lists. 

The only problem is that those lists are ordinarily around 800 words long, and most of that word count is spent talking about Edinburgh, Glasgow, or the Isle of Skye! 

We think this is a little unfair, which is why we’ve decided to dedicate the entirety of this blog to Stirling. So, sort out your motorhome hire, strap in, get comfortable, and prepare to add this beautiful location officially to your own ‘Must Visit’ list.

Stirling: A History

Stirling was originally conceived as Royal Burgh back in 1124, with the city being built on the slopes below the infamous Stirling Castle. 

As development continued, it shared the same privileges as other Scottish capitals, including Edinburgh and Perth. In the 1200s and 1300s, two famous battles were fought in the region, the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Bannockburn, in which the Scottish regained their independence from King Edward II. 

Over the next few centuries, Stirling Castle became a regular royal residence for the Stuarts – which only came to an end when the Scottish and English crowns unified in 1603. 

Stirling continued to flourish, however. Throughout the 19th century, it grew rapidly with the arrival of railways and soon became a commercial hub for agricultural businesses. It was during this period that a new town was created, and Stirling became both a business and a tourist hotspot. 

A Day in Stirling

There’s a lot you can get up to during a stay in Stirling, starting with absorbing the history we’ve just spoken about. One of the most iconic tourist attractions is, of course, Stirling Castle, which sits in the heart of the city. 

Complete with epic royal halls and stunning modern gardens, visiting this castle is a must if you enjoy experiencing the wonders of the past while admiring the beauty of the present. 

Apart from the castle, there’s also the wonderful National Wallace Monument. This is where you can learn about the Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace, who played a vital part in the victory at Stirling Bridge. 

With the opportunity to admire the swords used during the battle, as well as enjoy the panoramic views at the top of the 246 steps, this is a destination that can be perfect for history lovers and those who just want one of the best views of Stirling.

Other Activities in Stirling

If you’re not so into history, there are other reasons to park one of our vehicles in the Stirling region. One of them is the fabulous Stirling Smith Art Gallery. 

This is one of the top free attractions that is home to around 40,000 pieces of art. Each one of these pieces celebrates the heritage and culture of both Stirling and the rest of Scotland, with exhibitions including Robert the Bruce and the Bronze Age. 

We’d also recommend taking a drive outside of the city to the second most famous loch in the country: the beautiful Loch Lomond. Made famous by the Scottish song The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond, this is a breath-taking loch that doesn’t need a monster to be fascinating! 

With boat tours available throughout the day, you can make a full day of sightseeing, and then perhaps finish up with a bite of haggis, neeps, and tatties in one of the many local pubs and restaurants. 

With the Loch Lomond Aquarium and Bird of Prey Centre also nearby, Loch Lomond itself is a perfect location to visit and experience on its own steam.

Stirling: A Fairy-Tale Destination

Stirling is a small city in Scotland, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in history. It’s hard to turn any corner and not be reminded of the city’s past, whether that be with views of Stirling Castle or the looming Old Town Jail – which is another location you can add to your tour. 

Not only this, but Stirling could be the perfect place if you want a good mix of modern Scotland and old Scotland. Other places in the country can be one or the other, but Stirling is a perfect example of a region that has constantly embraced modern life while staying completely true to its roots. 

Go there, explore, have fun, and when you’re done, be thankful that we told you all about it!