Stirling

Stirling Castle
For the population-2000 village in southeastern Ontario, Canada see Belleville (Ontario)#Stirling

Stirling is one of Scotland's most historic cities and the county town of Stirlingshire. In 2002, Stirling became Scotland's sixth city.

Understand

Overview of Stirling

Also known as "The Gateway To The Highlands", Stirling used to be the only connection to the Highlands and has therefore a significant position in history. Major battles for Scottish independence took place in and around Stirling. Stirling Castle is one of the great royal residences of Scottish history.

Get in

By car

Stirling is located on the main A9/M9 route from the central belt of Scotland to the Highlands, and is located approximately 28 miles (45 km) from Glasgow via the M80 motorway, 35 miles (56 km) from Edinburgh directly via the M9. Driving time is approximately 30 minutes if there are no traffic problems.

By plane

Edinburgh Airport is the nearest, and most convenient airport for Stirling by far. It is located 29 miles (47 km) from Stirling, and is easily reachable via the M9 motorway. See the main Edinburgh article for full details.

Glasgow Airport has more transatlantic and long haul flights than Edinburgh, although harder to get to from Stirling due to the unpredictable nature of cross-Glasgow road journeys since it is on the "wrong" side of Glasgow, although things have now improved markedly following the completion of the M80 and M74 motorways in 2011.

Prestwick Airport is approximately 60 miles (97 km) from Stirling. Again, inconvenient to get to by road as it involves going across Glasgow, but half price (or free, depending on origin) rail travel is available if you show your flight paperwork when buying your rail ticket at the airport. Involves changing trains in the centre of Glasgow (i.e. from Central to Queen Street stations), but well worth the effort in terms of the cost saving.

By train

Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.

Stirling station (Code: STG) is operated by ScotRail, and the station is staffed throughout its opening hours. It is located on the Highland Main Line from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness.

The local service pattern is as follows (all these services are run by ScotRail):

Stirling has two direct rail services from London per day, otherwise a change in either Glasgow or Edinburgh is required if you are travelling from south of the border.

Note that Stirling station is equipped with automatic ticket barriers, you need to remember to retain your ticket before leaving the train.

By bus

There are regular coach services to Stirling from all over Scotland run mainly by Scottish Citylink, with regular departures from Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) and Edinburgh (St Andrew Square Bus Station) calling en route to either Inverness or Aberdeen. There are also numerous connections from destinations in the Highlands and the North. Fares from Glasgow/Edinburgh are around £4 one way.

If travelling from Edinburgh, the CityLink 909 service runs Monday to Saturday. The bus leaves Edinburgh Bus Station at 10 minutes past the hour from 9:10 until 16:10 with two additional departures at 17:10 and 18:10 which extend to Dunblane (however these services are usually busy with commuters from Monday to Friday and these two services do not run on Saturdays). The journey time to Stirling Bus Station is 1 hour and 10 minutes. The bus returning to Edinburgh from Stirling departs the bus station at 40 minutes past the hour, last 909 service back to Edinburgh is the 17:50 service which begins its journey at Stirling University (this service does not run Saturdays so on a Saturday afternoon the last bus back to Edinburgh leaves at 16:40).

The budget operator Megabus calls at Stirling on its London-Aberdeen route (which confusingly is 'merged' with certain Citylink services from Glasgow), fares start at £1 plus a 50p booking fee, depending on how early you book.

Due to the unpredictability of journeys in the Glasgow/Edinburgh area during rush hour, it is advisable not to rely on coaches being on time - particularly if you intend to connect with other means of transportation. Leave plenty of slack in your itinerary as a precaution, or use the train instead.

Get around

There are several buses leaving to towns close by, but for Dunblane the train is a better bet. In summer there is a sightseeing bus which is a cheap way to get to the sights, as you can "hop on and off" at any time.

Suburbs and surrounding towns and villages

There are a few suburbs in the Stirling City area;

See

Wallace Monument

Do

Siberian Tiger at Blair Drummond Safari Park

Buy

Eat

Drink

Clubs

Stirling has three night-clubs - two in the city center and one out near Bridge of Allan - all of which require you to be at least 18 and to have proper ID with you. Usually, the bouncers won't let you in with sneakers, but you can try.

Bars

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Cope

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.