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My best friend, Ryan, lives in Menstrie which is not that far from Stirling and every year, I go up to stay with him at least once. As Menstrie is a small village, we don't spend much time there and instead venture into Stirling to do things. The first time I went up to see Ryan, I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I didn't really know what size the city was or what there would be to do there. Luckily, I was shown that there is a lot to do even though it isn't massive.
The first thing most girls want to know about when visiting somewhere new is the shopping. Stirling has a pretty decent shopping centre which is situated less than 5 minutes away from the train station and access right next to the bus station. Thistles shopping centre has more than 90 shops and you can pretty much find everything you could possibly need there. Inside is a big Marks and Spenser which also has a supermarket so you can clothes and food shop at the same time. I was happy to see that there was a lot of clothes shops for girls as well as a pretty big branch of Waterstones. I couldn't have been happier shopping here.
As soon as I arrive in Stirling, we always go out for some lunch considering I have usually been travelling for at least 5 hours and am starving by this time. Stirling has plenty of choice for everyone in regards to food and restaurants. Round the corner from the train station is a McDonalds if you want a cheap and easy option or if you need to rush before getting a bus somewhere. There are also plenty of pubs within walking distance from the train station so again, you can find somewhere pretty reliable for a cheap and easy meal. Ryan and I tend to stick to pubs because we know what we're getting and it is always easy to pick somewhere. However, there are also some really nice little cafes. A couple of years back we went to a cafe near Thistles and had sandwiches and jacket potatoes. The prices here were extremely reasonable and I would definitely have gone there again but we couldn't remember exactly where it is.
We have also been to a few different fast food takeaways here after nights out but honestly, I was too drunk to remember where they were. I have always enjoyed the food though. Stirling is home to a pretty large university so is very much a student city in some ways. Because of this, there are plenty of bars and a couple of clubs in the city centre. I wasn't really expecting a good night out here for some reason but it turned out to be one of the best I had in a long time. People in Stirling seemed to be extremely friendly, unlike where I'm from, and even though they were really drunk, there was no trouble. Even just going outside for a cigarette meant talking to random people about random things and generally just getting to know people. I had never experienced something like this before on a night out and I was quite pleasantly surprised by it.
I don't only like eating and shopping though in Stirling. There is plenty to do for tourists. First off is the Wallace Monument which commemorates Sir William Wallace. The walk up to the monument is a bit of a trek in itself before you even get to see anything as there are 246 steps on a spiral to walk up. Before I even got to the monument, I was bored of the walking and wanted to go back down but I persevered and carried on going. Although we didn't pay to go inside the attraction, it was quite impressive to see just from the outside and to take in a piece of history. A few years ago, there was also a statue at the monument which was carved to look like Mel Gibson in Braveheart but due to controversy and vandalism, it was removed.
Next is Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. On top of yet again, another hill, is a very impressive and large castle which took my breath away a little bit at first sight. The exterior and grounds of the castle are a sight to see in themselves without seeing anything inside. I would have been more than happy to have just walked around the grounds and to take in the beautiful architecture of the building. In order to make the most of this trip, we paid for the guided tour of the castle instead of being left to explore on our own and it really made a massive difference. The tour guides at the castle certainly know what they're talking about and really make the castle come to life, rather than looking around at things I didn't understand.
Stirling is also quite famous because of it's supposed hauntings. Stirling Castle is said to be haunted by a servant of Mary Queen of Scots. A ghost walk is available during the months of July and August and around Halloween which starts from the Old Jail and they start at 8pm, costing £6 for adults. I loved doing this activity as ghosts etc are something that have always interested me and the walk was fantastic. The guide made it as creepy as possible, pointing out anywhere that there has been supposed sightings of ghosts and explaining what had been seen and when. For the price, even though the walk is only 40 minutes long, it is an amazing thing to go and do and is also very interesting.
Even though I have been going to Stirling for a good few years now, there is still so much more for me to do and see there and I can't wait to go again!
Stirling is a beautiful city. It's a very historic town and also a University town and due to both these reasons it has a fantastic atmosphere.
The reason most people end up in Stirling is no doubt to visit the historic Striling Castle - home and fortress to many of Scotland''s kings and queens. There are also many other historic attractions in the area such as Bannockburn (battleground) and the Wallace Monument - both of these can be seen from the Castle.
As you wander round the city you will see many other fine old buildings. Stirling is also an excellent shopping destination with a huge shopping centre (with just about every shop you could imagine!) and high street and a particularly large branch of Debenhams. There are also a large selection of lovely restaurants in the town centre and an even larger selection of pubs (due in large part to the student population!).
There is a good selection of accommodation in the area so if you're planning on staying for a while you should find it quite easy to find a room.
A lovely city you''ll want to visit again and again
Last week I got up really early and it was a beautiful day with the sun rays lighting up the room I was sitting in and so I thought that maybe I should go somewhere. The only thing is it couldn't be somewhere too far away because by the time I got there I would have to think of the drive home so I got out a map of Scotland and thought of towns I had not yet visited. I looked at Falkirk and at first this was somewhere I wanted to go but then I thought of Stirling. I went on a website looked at everything I could visit all tourist attractions I then took my sunglasses, camera and CD's for the car and went. From Edinburgh it only took around 40 mnutes to get there and I printed my map off the AA website because they have a route planner option so you can get directions to where you want to go but I changed the route a little. When I was getting nearer to Stirling it was well sign posted and so I followed a lot of the signs but I then saw the Wallace monument standing up high above the town so I guessed I may as well head there first since it was on my list of places to visit and other attractions I planned on visiting were nearby. So I didn't follow signs to Stirling for the town centre and it was mostly countryside where I was but there was also the Mill Trail nearby I wanted to see. I didn't realise how near Stirling University was to the Wallace Monument, right accross from it which is out of the way of town. When I got to the car park of the Wallace Monument I saw it was very busy and I saw a space but deicded to drive around a little the car park was small but then I got a space quickly. When I got there I saw some tourists parking and they hit the back of somone's car really badly leaving a huge dent in the back and then they went away, I couldn't believe it so I decded to make my journey quick I would hate to come back and find my car had been hit by someone who couldn't park right. The weather w
as very hot and I went inside to the shop and information to ask about what part was free since I had phoned earlier. They told me it was to see the monument at the top so if you want to visit where comfortable shoes it's a long way up this spiraling road but there is an alternative route, take the bus. I never found out if it was free or not but I think it was for those who had paid to go inside the monument at the top once you get there. It seemed like forever but finally I saw the monument and there are stairs halfway up the route. Once there it was a beautiful view of Stirling and I had to take some pictures, some people were sunbathing and others resting. When there you could go inside the moument and even higher but I had seen enough by this point, I took pictures of the monument and then walked back down, I got into my car and headed off to the Mill Trail. It's quite a nice drive, lots of scenery and tea rooms that I had no time to visit but would next time. When I got to the mill trail I parked outside it's in a main street if thatis even what you would call it in a small village and then I walked inside. This was at first very small and it was about 4 miles between the attractions but it was another free attraction which I was looking for, who says you need money to enjoy the tourist attractions. On the right of the Mill Trail there is a shop of woollen items on sale but I didn't buy and on the left is the museum, well information. There is examples of people standing there, statues and then there are the machines that weaved the wool to make clothes back then, they have changed. There is lots to read on the walls and even though it is small, it's enough. There is a small cinema inside the dome in the middle. There are comfortable seats and a screen which is all very nice and when the film finishes if you have missed any then you press the red button and begin the presentation again. It was busy at first when
I went in but then everyone left. There are some lovely things to buy here I got lots of nice fod made in Stirling and there were lots of lvoely Thistly souvenirs and soft toys but I didn't want to get carried away with the merchandise so I quickly left after purchasing what I needed. After this I then decided to follow on the signs for the Designer Outlet. This was fantastic at Tillicoultry I had always heard it advertised on the radio and television and it was nice to finally get to visit it. There were lots of names including the Nike outlet which I visited and they had the trainers I wanted but I didn't have enough which made me get really annoyed so I left. I then saw shops like Pilot and Playtex and then my heaven Thorntons. I love Thorntons and I had an outlet at Freeport another outlet near Edinburgh but it closed so I was happy to find another I can visit regularly now. I obviously made sure I had enough money for a box of chocoaltes which I have already finished. After this it was getting very late and there were some shops I wanted to visit in the centre before I left so I rushed there and didn't know where to go so being a Sunday I parked anywhere and went. I saw the shop I wanted to buy from so i ran in because the shutters were going down, it was 5pm. I made it in but I have never had to find clothes I wanted so quickly in my life. I took the right sized and in the middle of the shop had to try clothes on over my clothes I felt so undignified. When I got home they all fit perfectly so for a 3 minute shopping spree it was a success! I love buying new clothes and they are fantastic but enough about that. The town centre is great lots of hotels and although it's small sometimes this gives a icr atmosphere a lot of good shops in this small place which again I could vsit maybe when they are actually open another time. I decided since everything was closed I should go home, I took my bags and everything el
se I had bought and follow he signs for the way home. It didn't take too long and when I got back toEdinburgh it was no surprise that it had been miserable and it was raining so it was nice for once to spend Easter with the sunshine. It has never been sunny on Easter for me for ages so it was a great day out and I will go back.
Yes, Stirling is full of history from the era when the Braveheart film starring Mel Gibson was set. There is the Wallace monument, Stirling Castle, The Bannockburn heritage site etc. But the focus of this review will be the after-dark attrations in Stirling. Where do you go if you are looking for a little entertaiment? Having lived near Stirling for almost 10 years, I have experienced pretty much everything it has to offer. If you are looking for good old-fashioned pubs then you really are spoiled for choice. Around the centre of town there is O'Neills which has a great atmosphere, frequent live music and friendly staff. This is a good place to start a night out. You could also try the Hogs Head, slap bang in the middle of Stirling, which has a good selection of ales and gets a good atmosphere going in the early part of the evening. If you venture up towards the castle, you will locate a good quiet pub - Whistlebinkies. Here you will find a well-kept place to enjoy a few pints, order some food and play a few tunes on the duke box. As the night goes on and you get looking for some more lively hangouts then you could try Gingers in the centre of town. This place serves booze at a reasonable price and is quite busy, especially on Friday/ Saturday nights. I also recommend All That Jazz which is another busy joint just down the road and is popular with young folks. If you are looking for a pub/club atmosphere then there is the yard which is situated on the walk up towards the castle. It has a small dance floor, is free to get in and is very lively on weekends and quite lively during the week. It plays all sorts of cheesy dance music and again is popular with youngsters. For clubs, you are spoiled for choice with a whopping 2 to take your pick from. There is the Fubar which I have not been to so cant comment and the Inigma club, which can be a little rough but plays some good dance music and is a g
reat place to end your night, with the price to get in about £5. So there you have it, my choice of pubs and clubs to frequent if you fancy going out for a large one after you have taken in the sites of this lovely, historical town.
Why I love Stirling Stirling is situated in the heart of Scotland, in the central belt. A historic town (that has recently received CITY status) with lots to offer. Historically it was a merchant town, a Royal Burgh and for the a time the Capital of Scotland. Today it is best known for its connection with William Wallace. (Although I disapprove with the statue that was commissioned in the last few years of William Wallace at the momument with Mel Gibson's face!!!) Tourist attractions include the Castle - which has recently completed years of restoration on the Grand hall. The limestone hall can be seen for miles around and stands out from the rest of the castle that has been "weathered" by industrialisation. Other attractions include Cambuskenneth Abbey, the Wallace Momument, Stirling Bridge and the Bannockburn Heritage centre. Did You know? During worrld War 2 the Germans used to identify Stirling by the number of Clocks & Steeples it has. They could then judge how far away Grangemouth & Glasgow were. Stirling is not just rich in history but it is also rich in scenery. The Ochil hills are a small range of hills about two miles out of the town. So if you like to be able to relax in the country and get away from it all, then you have that option. The University campus is also situated in some beautiful scenery, (its actually in Bridge of Allan) which includes a man made loch and is now home to a sports institute.There is now a pool that has an adjustable depth. On the other hand, if town life doesn't suit you, Stirling is about an hour away from both Glasgow & Edinburgh. Stirling has a multitude of hotels and good guest houses, so it is ideal for those who enjoy a short break. For those of you who like going out for a meal or a drink, there are a multitude of good pubs and restaurants to choose from. The pubs I like most is O' Neills - the Irish bar, Hogshead and the Portcullis. (The Portcullis
has also been the starting point for the Ghost Walks in the tourist seas on - if you are into that kind of thing. Personally I'm don't, but it is a nice pub with a friendly atmosphere, Real fire and resident pet dog.) They all tend to be fairly busy pubs but well worth the visit. The Portcullis is up at the Castle and a bit of a walk up a hill but it has a nice wee beer garden. O'Neill's is quite lively and tends to have lots of students. But it also has live bands from time to time and good offers. The Hogshead has some good ale with lots of obscure brands that a worth sampling. Good places to eat are The River House - A bit out of the way but a lovely setting It is on the ring road but has a man made water feature. Others include Papa Joe's - they serve a mix of food but tend to be mexican with lovely desserts - like oreo specials. Smiling jacks is another mexican place, but is very small almost cafe like so book in advance. ... I forgot to mention that Delight Kebab do excellent kebab's, curries, potatoes and pizza's (with lots of topping). It's just up from O'Neills. If you go say hello to Chico the owner!! There is also the Pirnhall, which is a brewers Fayre place. If you want a bit of class (if you pardon my pun) you can always go to Scholars Bar, which is part of the old high school. This is now the Stirling Highland hotel the only 4 star hotel in Stirling. It is lovely. So why do I love Stirling - There is plenty of choice. Town, country or city, you will not have to travel far.