The best things to do in Stirling

Officially granted ‘city’ status as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, Stirling nevertheless feels more like a town than a city, with one Vue cinema, a fab new leisure centre, a pretty, pedestrianised centre, and a cluster of nice old medieval lanes up by the magnficent castle that dominates the skyline above town. Only 25 minutes drive from Lochend, it has plenty to offer sightseeers and shoppers on a day out from the lake.

The castle – where my brother, Topher had Chanter lessons as a child! – is what most people come to see, and with good reason. Former residence of Stewart kings and queens (with the oldest remaining parts dating back to the 1380s), it has been fought over for hundreds of years, a story told today by the costumed bodyguards and servants.

Stirling’s battle-filled past is also really well told at the Wallace Monument and the brilliant new Battle of Bannockburn Centre, both with excellent hologram characters telling blood-chilling tales of battles won and lost.
For entertainment of a more active kind, The Peak is an amazing £27 million leisure centre opened in 2009, with an excellent climbing wall, swimming pool, ice-skating rink and cafe, just along the river from the 8-screen Vue cinema and AMF Ten-Pin Bowling.

Click here for an up-to-date guide on shopping, sightseeing, entertainment and events in Stirling, including information on Ghost Walks at the Old Town Jail.