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WELCOME TO

STIRLINGSHIRE

FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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OUTLET SHOPPING VILLAGE, TILLICOULTRY


OVER 90 STORES AND THOUSANDS OF BRANDS At The Thistles, Stirling, Central Scotland’s premier shopping destination

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IMAGES: STIRLING DISTRICT TOURISM; CLACKMANNANSHIRE COUNCIL; THEFALKIRKWHEEL.CO.UK; GLASGOW CITY MARKETING, KIM TRAYNOR, RAYFYFE; GORDON WHYTE; GRAEME WALLACE; PETER SANDGROUND/SCOTTISH CANALS; ROB MCDOUGALL

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Love to shop?

Let’s go there!

A taste of Scotland!

Shopping here is a delight that just goes on and on, with everything from big-name stores to wonderful one-off independents.

Whatever the time of year, and whatever the weather decides to do, there’s always a great choice of fun days out.

Top-end fine dining, a huge range of ethnic cuisine and adventurous restaurants of every description means you’ll never go hungry here.

FEATURES Welcome ................................................7

Nightlife .............................................. 48

History and heritage .............................8

Sport .................................................... 52

10 reasons to love this region ........... 12

Further afield ...................................... 58

Eating out ........................................... 14

Getting here and around ................... 60

Shopping............................................. 22

10 things you must do ....................... 66

Days out .............................................. 30

48 hours in this region ...................... 68

Arts & culture ..................................... 42

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This publication, its title and content, is wholly owned by and the copyright of Kingfisher Media Ltd. It is entirely independent and does not endorse, and is not supported or endorsed by, any official or private body or organisation. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without written permission from the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher accepts no responsibility for errors, omissions or the consequences thereof. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the views expressed by contributors, or for the accuracy of claims made by advertisements appearing in this publication.

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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Welcome! TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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elcome to Stirlingshire, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire – you’ve picked a great place to visit! This is a unique region, combining past and present on a beautiful lowland backdrop of farmland and spectacular rolling hills. Steeped in history, ancient traditions are kept alive, often with a modern twist, and there are a host of historic sites, castles and abbeys to visit. This is, after all, where William “Braveheart” Wallace and Robert The Bruce won independence for the Scots from England.

Whether you’re coming for a short break or an extended stay, we can recommend some fabulous places to relax and make the most of your stay in our region. Whatever you’re looking for, we have it all. Whatever the season, and whatever pace you’re looking to set, this region has space – to ride, walk, cycle or drive, fish or play golf, eat, all in fabulous settings which are a feature of our region. There’s always a warm welcome here, so enjoy this wonderful part of Scotland – and do come back soon!

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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HISTORY & HERITAGE

HISTORY

ALL AROUND! There are reminders of our eventful past all around the region

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he wider Stirling and Clackmannanshire areas have a rich history which has left an outstanding mark on Scotland and continues to draw people to the region today. The Forth Valley was one of the first areas of Scotland to be settled by prehistoric people. Remains of Stone Age life, Bronze Age farms and Iron Age Celtic brochs and hill forts can still be seen all over the area. Indeed the Wallace Monument stands inside a Celtic fort!

For three centuries the Romans tried to hold this area. The Antonine Wall, now a World Heritage site, crosses through the Falkirk area and the remains of several Roman forts are well preserved, especially at Rough Castle near Bonnybridge, while north of Dunblane lie the extraordinary ramparts of Ardoch Roman fort at Braco. In the Middle Ages the area became the main focus of the Scottish Wars of Independence against England. Here lie the great battlefields of Scotland’s heroes William Wallace and King Robert the

Bruce. This is where Wallace defeated the English at Stirling Bridge, then lost at Falkirk, and where Bruce won his decisive victory at Bannockburn in 1314. Two Scottish knights lie buried in the grounds of Falkirk ancient parish church, the only known graves from the Wars of Independence. Stirling Castle became a favoured royal residence of Scotland’s Stewart royal family, thanks in part to its strong defensive hilltop position and CONTINUES PAGE 10

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surrounding sheer cliffs. Most of what is seen today dates from the 15th and 16th centuries – the time of Scotland’s great renaissance, King James IV, the tempestuous Mary Queen of Scots, and King James VI who eventually became also king of England. James IV’s Great Hall, James V’s wonderfully restored Palace, the royal kitchens, and James VI’s Chapel Royal all bear witness to the magnificence of Stirling Castle. James VI was also crowned in Stirling’s impressive medieval Holy Rude Kirk, the only surviving church in Britain, apart from Westminster Abbey, in which a monarch was ever crowned. This church, and the substantial remains of Stirling’s town walls, bear

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

witness to the town’s history as a thriving royal burgh. The feeling of 17th and 18th century life is still strong in Stirling, thanks to many preserved old buildings, including the magnificent Argyll Lodging. During the 18th century the Jacobite rebellions both reached into this area. The 1715 battlefield of Sheriffmuir lies above Dunblane, where a monument to the dead of Clan McCrae can also be seen. In 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie besieged Stirling Castle. Although his Highland army defeated a government force at Falkirk, where there is now a monument, his occupation of Stirling and siege of the castle, which still displays bullet marks, was unsuccessful.


HISTORY & HERITAGE

The 18th and 19th centuries saw great industrial change in the region. The Falkirk and Alloa areas especially became centres of canals, coal mining, iron making, brewing and weaving. Bannockburn’s woollen mills made about 90 per cent of all the world’s tartan during the 19th century, while at Grangemouth the Charlotte Dundas, launched in 1803, is now regarded as the world’s first practical steam ship. Coal mining and weaving also flourished in Clackmannanshire and continued well into the 20th century.

JAMES VI WAS ALSO CROWNED IN STIRLING’S IMPRESSIVE MEDIEVAL HOLY RUDE KIRK, THE ONLY SURVIVING CHURCH IN BRITAIN, APART FROM WESTMINSTER ABBEY, IN WHICH A MONARCH WAS EVER CROWNED

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REASONS TO LOVE THIS REGION! There are hundreds of reasons to fall in love with this area – here are our top 10

1 The sense of history

From mighty Stirling Castle to Clackmannanshire’s mills; from statues of Wallace and Bruce to the time-worn buildings of old Stirling; from King James III’s grave at Cambuskenneth Abbey to the Roman ramparts of the Antonine Wall and the hillforts of the Celts, this region is the heartland of Scotland’s history. 2 The landscape

Stand on the ramparts of Stirling Castle and look west to the bens – Ben Lomond, Ben Venue, Ben Ledi, Ben Vorlich, highland peaks often still snowy even in May. Look east, past the picturesque windings of the River Forth to the steeply-climbing edge of the Ochil Hills. A lovely setting in which to be.

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

3 The location

The great thing about this area is that it’s not far from anywhere. On a major motorway and a mainline railway. Less than an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports; half an hour from Gleneagles or Linlithgow and just an hour from Loch Lomond, St Andrews and Killiecrankie. Less than three hours from Loch Ness, Oban, Glen Coe or Aberdeen. 4 The people

Stirling University, where the people of the world meet to share their cultures and values. A diversity which influences and enriches far beyond the bounds of the campus.


TEN REASONS

5 The tipple

Half a dozen local real ale breweries and three nearby distilleries bring a distinctive sense of locality to the palate – something different from the mass-produced and massmarketed brands. Enjoy! 6 The culture

In what other area beyond the major cities can you enjoy the Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, top names in rock and pop and jazz, performing in venues as varied as Falkirk Stadium, Stirling Castle or the MacRobert Theatre? 7 The Scottish-ness

Beneath the area’s multi-cultural life there is still a vibrant Scottish culture. Kilted weddings in medieval castles, highland games, ringing fiddles, rousing songs, thriving ceilidhs and busking pipers – Scotland’s people’s culture thrives here. 8 The craftsmanship

Here’s where some of Scotland’s finest craft workers live and work. Hidden away in quiet corners of the region can be found

inspiring glass-makers, jewellers, wood carvers, silversmiths, potters, weavers and others, whose products truly enrich the local shopping experience. 9 The architecture

Look around you, for there’s a wealth of fine, often quirky, architecture to enjoy. From Stirling Castle’s Renaissance Palace to the crow-stepped gables of its houses; the French chateau style of Callendar House in Falkirk to the ancient little cottages of a dozen villages and the grand public and private buildings of Alloa’s industrial heyday, there’s a great heritage to notice. 10 Tartan

If it wasn’t for Bannockburn’s 18th and 19th century woollen mills, and especially the Wilson family of mill-owners who invented around 2000 tartans, we might not have kilts or tartans today. The defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie saw all tartan outlawed for a generation until 1782, by which time many had been forgotten or lost. Wilson reinvented them, designed the modern kilt, and the rest, with its pipe bands and tartan days, as they say, is history!

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EATING OUT

A TASTE OF SCOTLAND – AND THE WORLD! Top-end fine dining, adventurous independents and a huge range of ethnic cuisine means you’ll never go hungry here

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Among the best and most popular pasta-places are Italia Nostra in Baker Street and La Ciociara in Friar Street. Both take great pride in cooking only the finest ingredients, freshly prepared.

Much of the best produce used is locally sourced from farms on the rich lands of the Forth Valley, or from local rivers. Not surprisingly, given the proximity of Stirling’s internationallyrenowned university and its diverse population, there is a wide choice of restaurants and bistros offering a great range of excellent world cuisines.

However, beyond the city centre, Corrierri’s restaurant at Causewayhead, now into its third generation of family management, is well worth visiting, as is Vecchia Bologna, hidden away but well worth finding in nearby Bridge of Allan. Advanced reservations are recommended for both, especially at weekends. For excellent pizza try the Paparazzi restaurant in Bridge of Allan.

Where once Chinese and Indian food were all that could be found, the variety is now much wider and there is sure to be something for everyone. Stirling’s city-centre offers the greatest choice, with excellent Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Turkish, Thai, Greek, Spanish, Australian and even Austrian eateries.

Among the city’s many curry-houses Rana’s Spice Garden serves delicious food made from traditional Punjabi family recipes, while the Indian Cottage in Dumbarton Road and Mr Singh’s Indian Brasserie in Barnton Street have developed into local favourites thanks to their traditional, carefully prepared dishes and informal atmosphere.

ating out in the Stirlinghire and Clackmannanshire area has grown enormously in recent years and a wide variety of great venues, to suit every taste-bud, ambience and price, can be enjoyed.

Other well-established local favourites include Hermann’s in Broad Street (including schnitzels), Smiling Jack’s Mexican restaurant in Barnton Street (great fajitas, but very popular so booking advised), the Kilted Kangaroo in Upper Craigs (kangaroo burgers) and Mango Mayhem in Barnton Street (including haggis pakoras). Recommended Chinese restaurants include the Regent in Upper Bridge Street and the Imperial in King Street.
Among more recently opened restaurants in Stirling, the Mediterranea offers excellent Spanish tapas and Greek mezze and has already attracted great reviews. Beyond Stirling the long-established India Gate in Dunblane, the Frenchslanted Cafe Continental in Dunblane’s High Street, the Similan Thai restaurant and La Cucina Italian restaurant both in Bridge of Allan, Shaan’s Palace and Mr Singh’s Indian restaurants in Alloa, the Bar Aldo Italian restaurant in Alloa and La Banca tapas grill in Falkirk are all recommended. CONTINUES PAGE 16

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EATING OUT

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Indeed, Falkirk offers a choice of good world-cuisine restaurants including the Sumo Noodle Bar, the Lanna Thai restaurant, the Sanam Tandoori, the Teng Huang Palace and the Jambo Grill and Restaurant – opened in 2012 as Central Scotland’s first African eatery. A stroll round Stirling will quickly reveal a great variety of interesting pubs and bars, ranging from the cool and trendy such as the Cape, to the traditional ‘howff ’ such as No 2 Baker Street, and nearby Nicky

Tam’s Bar and Bothy, reputedly also one of the most haunted bars in Scotland. However, beyond Stirling lie a host of colourful villages, each with their own local pub serving delicious and filling meals, often made with ingredients sourced from nearby farms. So a trip into Stirling’s rural surroundings is well advised! Heading toward Loch Lomond lie the villages of Gargunnock, Kippen and Buchlyvie, all with excellent hostelries serving hearty home-made pub grub. Gargunnock Inn was voted CAMRA Forth Valley Rural Pub of the Year 2012 and features guest cask ales, home-made soups and special menus for children. The 18th century Cross Keys at Kippen is another favourite, where the food is ‘traditional

Enjoy good times and great food at Cook’s Bar and Kitchen. Located in the grounds of the Grange Manor hotel, Grangemouth, Falkirk, our 19th-Century coach house offers warm and stylish decor with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. OPEN FROM 9AM, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, WE SERVE FOOD ALL DAY Whether it be a home cooked breakfast to start your day, a quick coffee and cake, or a delicious main meal you’ll find something for all occasions. With 15 wines and champagnes by the glass and a very tempting cocktail list, there could be no better way of relaxing. £8.95 Two-course special menu available, Mon-Sat, 12-6.30 £12.95 Two-course Sunday roast menu – £14.95 for three courses Patio area available for al fresco dining

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modern’ and on Sundays includes at least two delicious roasts. A few miles further on, the Buchlyvie Inn offers another friendly environment and great home cooked food. While in the area west of Stirling, other village pubs with good food well worth discovering include the Westerton Arms and Old Bridge Inn in Bridge of Allan, the Lion and Unicorn at Thornhill, the Inn at Kippen, the Clachan Inn at Drymen (reputedly first licenced in 1734) and the Dunblane Hotel. Just outside Dunblane stands the old Sheriffmuir Inn, built on a Jacobite battlefield and once an 18th century cattledrovers’ resting place. Now it’s a peaceful getaway with flagstone CONTINUES PAGE 18

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ITALIA NOSTRA

RISTORANTE & PIZZERIA

The Queen’s Hotel, situated in the heart of Bridge of Allan a Victorian Spa town. This unique building dates back to the early 1900’s and has been modernised to include a boutique restaurant, cocktail bar, residents lounge, late license bar and function room. The Queen’s offers the stylish city centre experience in the busy little town of Bridge of Allan. 24 Henderson Street | Bridge of Allan | Stirlingshire | Scotland | FK9 4HP

T: 01786 833268

e: e s d n a o d Things toCastle

• Stirling nument o M e c a l l • Wa n Jail • Old Tow Distillery y k is t! h W • Restauran y r e l l a G • Eat at

Italia Nostra, is located on the hill up to the world famous Stirling Castle. It offers what you would expect from an Italian restaurant and pizzeria. With a wide and varied menu of succulent steak, chicken, veal, seafood, pasta and pizza dishes as well as a mouth-watering selection of special dishes. Italia Nostra also supplies a take away service. Italia Nostra can be used for many celebrations. It is an ideal venue for a small wedding, birthday party or business lunch. Opening Times: Tues - Sun, Lunch 12noon-2.30pm. Evening 5pm-11pm. 25 Baker Street, Stirling FK8 1BJ Tel: 01786 473 208 Email: italianostra@stirling.co.uk

www.italianostrastirling.co.uk

FOR BOOKINGS 01786 406027 gallery@forthvalley.ac.uk www.forthvalley.ac.uk/gallery Forth Valley College, Stirling Campus Drip Road, Stirling, FK8 1SE

© Forth Valley College 2014 All information was correct at time of publishing, but may be subject to change.

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EATING OUT

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floors, log fires and a menu described as ‘traditional Scottish fare with flair’ prepared almost entirely with locally sourced ingredients. On the outskirts of Stirling itself nestles the multi award-winning Birds and Bees pub at Causewayhead. Converted from an old farm steading, this gem has been a favourite with locals in the know for many years, and even offers petanque for those who fancy an outdoor game of boules. If travelling instead through Clackmannanshire towards St Andrews, do not miss the Inn at Muckhart, a short distance beyond the small town of Dollar. Good beers, log fires and excellent homemade fare draw people from far and wide to this secluded corner. For those not wishing to drive that far, the Devonpark Inn at Tillicoultry is also recommended. Many restaurants offer a more general range of tempting dishes and do not fall into any one category. The best in Stirling include Papa Joe’s, now a well-established favourite; the stylish Adamo; and the River House, built in a style influenced by ancient Celtic dwellings and with great views of nearby Stirling Castle. Beyond Stirling itself, the Adamo in Bridge of Allan, the trendy Jam Jar in Bridge of Allan and Behind the Wall in Falkirk are also recommended.

NOW IT’S A PEACEFUL GETAWAY WITH FLAGSTONE FLOORS, LOG FIRES AND A MENU DESCRIBED AS ‘TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH FARE WITH FLAIR’ PREPARED ALMOST ENTIRELY WITH LOCALLY SOURCED INGREDIENTS

For light meals the Old Bank with its welcoming log fire in Callander is highly recommended. The menu, prepared from 18

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

locally-sourced ingredients, includes delicious homemade soups and a good choice of gluten-free dishes. Another not to be missed is the Coffee Bothy at Blairlogie, run by local farming family the Logans – Kenny Logan won 70 rugby caps for Scotland and a set of practice rugby posts still stands in the garden next door. It sounds like a simple coffee shop but it’s actually a thriving restaurant which serves delicious locally-grown, home-made, dishes. Indeed, you’ll probably have to wait your turn for a table, but there’s plenty to browse around in the farm shop while you wait. For one of the best fish and chip shops in Scotland, look no further than the Allanwater Cafe in Bridge of Allan. As elsewhere in Scotland, the area also boasts a mixture of fine hotels ranging from the cosy and homely to the seriously upmarket, but which also serve meals to visitors. Scotland’s tennis superstar Andy Murray recently refurbished and reopened the much-loved Cromlix House, near his hometown Dunblane, as a five star luxury country-house hotel. Its Chez Roux restaurant is overseen by the legendary French chef Albert Roux. Another hidden gem is the Roman Camp Hotel in Callander. Although set in 20 acres of gardens beside the River Teith, this CONTINUES PAGE 20

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The authentic taste of Spain

Nights

Located only 5 mins from The Falkirk Stadium and 3.5 miles from the Falkirk Wheel, benny t’s is listed by ‘The Best of Falkirk’ as the ‘best fish and chip takeaway and restaurant’ in the Falkirk area. Specialising in fish and chips, benny t’s offers an extensive fish menu including lemon sole, calamari, langoustine, scampi and of course the more traditional haddock and cod as well as classic favourites such as haggis, grilled burgers and stone baked pizzas. A children’s menu is also available offering smaller portions of many of their most popular items. Also available is an array of ice cream flavours including the hugely popular ‘Scottish tablet’. benny t’s restaurant concept is refreshingly simple: freshly made fish and chips, served in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Described by food critic, Tam Cowan, as ‘home of arguably the best fish supper in Scotland’ (Scottish Daily Record), benny t’s restaurant is the ideal venue for family gatherings or a more relaxed weekday treat.

Benny T ‘s | Mary Street | Laurieston | Falkirk | FK2 9PS 01324 678 730 | www.bennyts.co.uk | info@bennyts.co.uk

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EATING OUT

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secluded three-rosette hideaway is actually right in the centre of town. With a quiet ambience of antique furnishings and log fires, it offers excellent meals prepared with locallygrown ingredients served at tables set with fine white linen, silverware and crystal. Visitors can also enjoy the ‘art of taking afternoon tea’ in the drawing room and library. Another option is the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro (aka simply as the Dunblane Hydro) located near the centre of Dunblane but on rising ground from where there are lovely views towards the Trossachs. Set in ten acres, it includes for diners the Kailyard by Nick Nairn Restaurant. The food is described by TV celebrity chef Nairn as using ‘the finest Scottish

ingredients, in-season and locally produced where possible’. Other hotels well recommended for their meals include the 19th century Royal Hotel in Bridge of Allan, the converted farm steading which is now Harviestoun Country Hotel (with its Courtyard Restaurant) near Tillicoultry, and the Castle Campbell Hotel in Dollar, complete with a selection of real ales. Finally, for those who enjoy delicious homemade soup and bakeries, there is the fun of seeking out the area’s hidden little tea shops. Even in Stirling there are several well worth sampling, including the Old Town Coffee House in Spittal Street, the Butterfly tearoom in Port Street where delicious bakeries complement tea served in delicate vintage cups, the Burgh Coffeehouse in King Street and Darnley’s at the bottom of Broad Street – located in a 16th-century barrel vaulted building reputed to have been where Mary Queen of Scots’ husband, Lord Darnley, lived. Beyond Stirling there are more tantalising little tea rooms. Try

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

perhaps the Beech Tree cafe in central Dunblane or the excellent Hideaway off Fountain Road in Bridge of Allan. In historic Doune the Buttercup Cafe offers delicious food, great coffee or tea, and an extensive cake selection, while on the A811 the Woodhouse Coffee Shop near Kippen uses locally-grown produce – indeed there’s a farm shop next door. Further on in picturesque Buchlyvie the Coffee Kiln is actually located in a working pottery, while McMillan’s Bistro and Coffee House occupies the former village post office. To the east of Stirling lies Falkirk where Alder’s Traditional Tearoom in the Cow Wynd is a family-run establishment offering homemade fare, freshly prepared to order. Tea Jenny’s, hidden away in Falkirk’s King’s Court, is another little gem, where cute little tea-cosies and cakes to die for will leave a lasting memory. Finally, in Clackmannanshire, a visit to the Tilly Tearoom in Tillicoultry is a must, if only for the stove, the lentil soup and the delicious home-made bakeries. In short, Stirling and Clackmannanshire offer something for every palate – so get out there and enjoy!



WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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SHOPPING

LIKE TO SHOP? YOU’LL LOVE IT HERE! High street chains, one-off independents and quirky specialists – they’re all waiting for the shopaholic

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hopping in Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire offers something for everyone, from well-known High Street names to a host of little shops of exceptional quality and value. The area is well served by large shopping centres, where all the best-known multi-national High Street names can be found. As well as six major supermarkets scattered across the city, Stirling’s Thistle shopping centre includes Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Boots, BHS, Primark, Dorothy Perkins, Next, River Island, Waterstone’s – currently the only serious bookshop in Stirling – W H Smith, which also houses the city’s Post Office upstairs, and many more. The centre is well provided with cafes and restaurants and Port Street outside is

also pedestrianised, which allows leisurely strolling to other nearby outlets. On the western edge of Stirling stands Dobbies garden centre. Set in rural surroundings beside the River Forth, the grounds include a duck-pond and a maze. Although primarily a garden centre, the venue also sells everything from pets and delicatessen food to books and clothing. There’s also plenty of parking at Dobbies and recently a Lakeland outlet has opened next door. Falkirk, about 12 miles to the east, has two large indoor shopping centres on the pedestrianised High Street and a major retail park nearby. Many of Stirling’s High Street shops can also be found here, serving a different regional population around the town. The

Howgate shopping centre tends to have attracted most of the big names including Marks and Spencer, Boots, Debenhams, Argos, Dorothy Perkins, River Island, H Samuel, Evans, Wallis and more. By contrast, the Callendar Square centre includes more specialised outlets selling cards and posters, party and celebration things, toys, books and household goods. Both centres also have a choice of cafes and plenty of parking nearby. Falkirk’s large retail park offers a similar range of outlets. Apart from cinemas, eating places and furniture stores, this is where to find Boots, Tesco, Sports Direct, Next and such-like High Street names. Clackmannanshire’s mainstream shopping is mostly CONTINUES PAGE 26

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Connies Closet 2013 HP_Layout 1 04/06/2013 09:24 Page 1

The Boutique for the stylish individual woman Stockist of Exclusive Fashion from Marc Cain Riani Oui Latte Cabotine Vilagallo Frank Lyman Stills

Open Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm. 19/21 The Stirling Arcade, King Street, Stirling FK8 1AX. Telephone 01786 464669.

www.connies-closet.co.uk

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16-18 Newmarket Street Falkirk FK1 1JQ Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm Sunday 11am-4pm T: 01324 611350 E: fiona@froxoffalkirk.co.uk www.froxoffalkirk.com


SHOPPING

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concentrated in bustling Alloa, where there are several large supermarkets. However, the town has managed to retain an atmosphere of small independent shops ranging from butchers, bakers and newsagents to pharmacies, hardware stores and clothing accessory outlets. There’s also a regular open-air market. At nearby Tillicoultry, and nestling under the spectacular setting of the Ochil Hills, lies the Sterling Mills outlet shopping village. Everyone loves a bargain, and here’s the place to find High Street brands at great prices all year round. Located right across the road from the huge Sterling furniture centre, this village has its own spacious car parking area, children’s play area, cafes and a wide choice of High Street names. These range from Marks and Spencer, GAP, Adidas and Austin Reed to Thornton’s chocolate, the Card Factory, Holland and Barrett health food products, a Nike factory store and much more. Of course, half the fun of shopping is discovering those little, hidden-away shops which sell things impossible to find in any supermarket or chain store. Happily, the Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire areas have plenty of secret gems just waiting to be found – if you know where to look. In Stirling itself, begin the hunt at ‘Mr Simm’s 26

Olde Sweet Shoppe’? This dentist’s nightmare is located right outside the Thistle Centre and, with its jars of boilings and sticks of rock, transports you back to a different age. Where else can you find humbugs these days? Nearby Friar Street is full of interesting small shops. Among the best are The Honey Tree, an independent shop which sells distinctive children’s clothing and, next door, Europa Music which offers an impressive choice of thousands of old vinyl records, hard-to-find CDs and period memorabilia. At the top of King Street, Stuarts has a stunning range of beautiful, often locallymade jewellery. From here it’s just a step across the street to what could justly be called ‘Stirling’s greatest secret’ – the city’s Victorian Arcade. Often overlooked by locals and visitors alike, this reminder of a bygone age houses among its cafes and beauty salons a fascinating collection of little niche shops. These include Bannjaxx Comics, a Fair Trade spiritual and fantasy shop called Divinity, the Straitwurly

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

BMX and skateboard accessories centre, a specialist lingerie shop and a silver gems shop, among others. Finally, head up to Broad Street where you’ll find Sage, a glorious celebration of period odds and ends, described by one visitor as ‘a magical little shop’. Next door you’ll also find Stirling Bagpipes, where with wonderful craft skills they make, sell, repair and refurbish different kinds of bagpipes, and also have an interesting collection of historical pipes and memorabilia. A look in the window will surely draw you in to this fascinating place. To the east, Falkirk also offers a good range of surprising little shops. One ‘must’ is a visit to Barbara Davidson’s Pottery in Larbert where her distinctive, hand-thrown and often personalised dinnerware has been popular for over 40 years. Falkirk’s town centre offers plenty to browse, including designer clothes CONTINUES PAGE 29

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If you’re looking for something special head to ‘Catwalk’, one of Scotland’s largest independent stockist of Ladies special occasion, casual and party wear plus a great selection of shoes, bags, hats and accessories. Renowned for no pressure, friendly advice and award winning customer service. Collections include: John Charles, Condici, Ispirato, Linea Raffaelli, VM by Mori Lee, Veromia, Joseph Ribkoff, Gelco, Lebek, Oui Moments, Not Your Daughters Jeans & many more... size 8-24

Catwalk | 16-18 Princes Street | Falkirk | FK1 1NE Tel: 01324 636343 | www.catwalk-falkirk.com

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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# Hashtag Something different.... ....something special! At Hashtag we believe in supporting independent designers, craftspeople and small companies from Scotland and the wider UK. We aim to offer our local and overseas customers something in the form of quality cards, jewellery, art, ceramics, glass, photography, general gifts, Scottish gifts, scarves, candles, soaps and more...

Open 7 days 38-40 Stirling Arcade King Street • Stirling • FK8 1AX Tel. 01786 448096 10 High Street Crieff • PH7 3BS Tel. 01764 655073 E. info@hashtag-scottish-gifts.co.uk www.hashtag-scottish-gifts.co.uk

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE


SHOPPING

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shop Kicks for Kids in Princess Street, Vogue Ladies Clothes in the High Street, the award-winning Kiltpin highland outfitters in Callendar Riggs, or the Emporium gift shop in Cow Wynd. There’s also the town’s indoor market, held in what used to be the ice rink, or the many little shops on Grahams Road. Alloa’s town centre has lost many of its artisan shops but Gordon McFarlane’s jewellers and art gallery in Mill Street survives as a little haven of excellence. Elsewhere in Alloa, Floral Gems in the High Street has a good name for contemporary flower arrangements.
So much for the larger towns. To the west of Stirling lie several historic and picturesque towns and villages. Bridge of Allan offers the discerning visitor a good choice of small shops ranging from boutique-style shoe, fashion and interior design outlets such as Ruby Tuesday, Treehouse, the Nikki Taylor Boutique, Ruban Rouge, Love Lala, Chapter Shoes or Country Pursuits, to distinctively different gift shops such as Collections, Elemental or Heart of Glass. Also not to be missed are the Fotheringham Gallery, which stocks a great range of locally produced contemporary Scottish art and jewellery, and Woodwinters, which is a superb shop for whiskies and wines. Just a few miles north, Dunblane’s High Street offers an interesting choice of distinctive little shops such as Ian McNab’s little art gallery, the Old Curiosity Shop full of wonderful memorabilia, or Unique which stocks a great selection of handbags, scarves and jewellery.

WHERE ELSE COULD YOU FIND EDINBURGH RASPBERRY GIN ALONGSIDE SHEEP DIP AMOROSO OLOROSO WHISKY (MATURED THREE YEARS IN SCOTLAND AND NINE YEARS IN SPAIN)

But for something really special drop in to Graham Stewart’s silversmith workshop. One of Scotland’s greatest modern silversmiths, Graham and his small team of skilled craftsmen have made commissioned pieces for the royal family, the Scottish parliament, the British government, the Ayr gold cup horse-racing trophy, the Commonwealth Games and other prestigious clients. A visit to his unobtrusive little retail shop is simply jaw-dropping.

Callander’s main street also offers, among the woollen mills outlets, several unique little shops, including the fascinating Shell Shop, an excellent whisky shop and the fascinating Nutcracker Christmas Shop.

Four miles further on lies the historic village of Doune where, clustered around the market cross, are several wee gems such as Woodlane, which sells beautifully crafted and distinctively different wooden toys, and Chez Moi which stocks designer shoes.

For a real experience try Lady Kentmore’s Antiques where, in a tiny room, you’ll be surrounded by perhaps the most fascinating collection of memorabilia in central Scotland. No visit to this area would be complete without reference to Steven Burgess’s

wonderful furniture workshop at Arnprior. Located unobtrusively on the A811 road from Stirling to Loch Lomond, this outlet offers some of the finest bespoke furniture in Scotland. Even if you don’t buy (for the prices are not cheap), you are highly recommended to stop and view some of the most exquisite furniture you’re ever likely to see. Across Clackmannanshire the old mill villages also harbour a few surprises. Try Reid’s Delicatessen in affluent Dollar or the Inspirations art materials shop in Tillicoultry. In Alva, the Higglety Pigglety shop does what it says – it’s full of all kinds of gifts, while the Bottle Shop is also well worth a visit for its eclectic stock of drinks – where else could you find Edinburgh Raspberry Gin alongside Sheep Dip Amoroso Oloroso Whisky (matured three years in Scotland and nine years in Spain). Finally, heading back towards Stirling you’ll pass signs to the Coffee Bothy at Blairlogie. The food is great, but the Bothy shop also stocks a wonderful selection of unique furniture, house decorations, things to hang on walls and kitchenware, along with delicious local farm produce. So off you go. Whether searching for high street bargains or Scotland’s finest craft produce, enjoy yourself!

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DAYS OUT

LET’S GO THERE! Whatever you want to do, and whatever the weather, there’s always plenty on offer here

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE


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ays out in central Scotland offer just about any kind of experience you want, without the hassle of city prices, crowds or traffic jams.

Dominating the scene for miles is Stirling Castle, standing high on rocky crags above the town. Once a favourite residence of Scotland’s royalty, the building has gradually been restored to its former grandeur. In 2011 the Palace apartments, among the finest Renaissance buildings in Britain, reopened following a £12 million restoration. Visitor numbers have been soaring ever since. Today visitors can experience the sumptuous world of the Stewart royal family in authentic detail, especially the castle as it was at the time of the young Mary Queen of Scots, who spent her early childhood there. Apart from the meticulously-restored apartments, costumed performers tell first-hand about their lives, transporting visitors back to a bygone royal dynasty. The castle’s other features are also impressive, ranging from the restored kitchens or the cannons and

rampart walks to the royal chapel and the magnificent Great Hall – the largest in Scotland. Before the restoration project began, the castle was also the headquarters of the famous Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders army regiment. Its regimental museum is also open to the public, telling stirring tales, such as that of the ‘Thin Red Line’, from many wars. While Stirling Castle is undoubtedly the area’s biggest attraction, the more recent Falkirk Wheel has quickly grown as a major rival. Costing £85 million and opened in 2002, this extraordinary rotating boat lift, unique in the world, at Falkirk connects the Union Canal to the Forth and Clyde Canal, some 35 metres lower. The two canals were previously linked by a staircase of 11 locks, but these were dismantled in 1933 which broke the link between the two canals. Although a huge structure, the 1200 tonne mechanism requires only 1.5 kilowatts of electricity to raise a canal boat – and 600 tonnes of water – from one level to another. CONTINUES PAGE 34

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Included in Admission Price Wild Animal Reserves, Boat Trip around Chimp Island, Sea Lion Shows, Bird of Prey Centre & Displays, Elephant habitat with public viewing gallery, Bug Land, Lemur Land, Pets Farm, Adventure Playground, Giant Astraglide, Pedal Boats, Flying Fox, Picnic & Barbecue areas By Stirling Scotland FK9 4UR Tel: 01786 841456 Junction 10, M9 4 miles along A84 towards Doune signposted on M9 & A84. On-site parking

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE


Clackmannanshire

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Set in the very heart of Scotland, with the stunning Ochil Hills as its backdrop, Clackmannanshire is Scotland in miniature, beautiful landscapes, a vibrant history, inspiring public art and welcoming people. Less than an hour from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, Clackmannanshire offers something for all.

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Clackmannanshire has a long and rich heritage of artists and makers, and an extensive collection of public art. The area is indelibly linked with the work of international artist and sculptor Andy Scott. The installation of six of his sculptures in such close proximity is an unprecedented concentration of his work. The informal art trail also features work by artist Michael Visocchi RSA.

Take the Tower Trail and visit four medieval towers and a mansion house, including Alloa Tower, one of the largest surviving tower houses in Scotland and Castle Campbell set dramatically within the picturesque Dollar Glen. Each has its own fascinating story - some have been attacked, most have played host to royalty, and another has even witnessed the ‘knighting’ of the poet Robert Burns.

The Ochil Hills dominate Clackmannanshire and provides some of the best terrain in Scotland for outdoor activities including paragliding and hill running. The cycle network includes the national cycle route 76 ‘Round the Forth’. Gartmorn Dam Country Park is popular with all ages for fishing, walking and bird watching. There is also a choice of six golf courses, offering fantastic scenic views across the fairways.

To find out more visit www.clackmannanshiretourism.com


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The combination of extraordinary shape and design, awesome engineering, and the experience of being lifted in a boat from one level to the other, makes for an unforgettable visit. One option is to include a boat trip on the Union Canal, which includes the 334-metre Roughcastle Tunnel. There’s an excellent visitor centre and plenty of parking.

£5million landmarks are also the centrepiece of the new Helix development, a £43 million regeneration project between Falkirk and Grangemouth that is expected to attract 300,000 people to the area each year. The stunning heads present a wonderful photo opportunity, but visitors can also take a tour of the structures, and even venture inside.

Not far away, another engineering wonder has recently hit the headlines. The Kelpies, which officially opened in April 2014, are the world’s largest equine sculptures. The two giant horses heads are the work of Glasgow sculptor Andy Scott.

Another popular visitor attraction is the Blair Drummond Safari Park, just five miles from Stirling. Opened in 1970 on a 120 acre parkland site beside Blair Drummond Castle, here’s where to find the real safari experience.

Standing 30 metres high over the Forth & Clyde Canal and weighing 300 tonnes each, the

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You’ll see everything from bears, bison CONTINUES PAGE 36

DISTILLERY VISITOR CENTRE

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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THE NEW BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN EXPERIENCE Experience medieval warfare like never before with cutting edge 3D technology. Take command of the troops who fought in 1314 and pit your wits against fellow visitors on our virtual battleďŹ eld. Tickets are limited and entry is by timed ticket only. Enlist at www.battleofbannockburn.com The Battle of Bannockburn, Glasgow Road, Stirling, FK7 0LJ. OďŹ&#x20AC; M80/M9 at junction 9, on A872, 2 miles south of Stirling.

www.battleofbannockburn.com The National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is a charity registered in Scotland, Charity Number SC 007410.


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and elephants to lions, tigers, wallabies, rhinos and lots more, even meerkats. Included in the ticket price there’s a boat trip round Chimp Island, sealion and bird of prey shows, a pirate boat, astroglide, a wooden fort, pedal-boats and a zip-wire run. Other attractions such as the fun fair are optional extras. The park is open from mid-March to late October. If you’d prefer a driving tour, the area is famous for its outstanding castles. One option is to begin at Doune Castle, once the home of the earls of Moray, now considered the best unaltered medieval castle in Scotland and famous for its role in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Here you can explore two great halls, climb spiral stairways, venture into dark cellars and generally have a great castle experience. The castle, built around 1400, is open all year round and there is adequate parking. From Doune, head for Clackmannanshire and its tower house trail. Here you’ll find 15th century Sauchie Tower and 14th 36

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

century Clackmannan Tower, once home of a branch of the Bruce family. Neither is open to the public but both give an excellent idea of what a tower house was like. In Alloa town centre you’ll find Alloa Tower, once the home of the Earls of Mar and Kellie and much altered by them over the centuries. Now run by the National Trust for Scotland, it’s open to visitors and offers a great idea of the castle through its various stages of development as a family residence, ending up with a great view from the roof-top battlements. Try to finish your tour at Castle Campbell, which overlooks the town of Dollar from a lofty hilltop site. This forbidding but awesome 15th century tower house has parking, is open to the public, and is well worth exploring. The views from the battlements alone are well worth the visit. From Doune to Dollar – a great day out, rounded off perhaps with a CONTINUES PAGE 41

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The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre Open daily 10am-5pm, May-June July-August 10am-6pm September 10am-5pm Summer Nature Club Thursdays & Saturdays in July 10am-1pm ÂŁ3.50 per session. Booking essential please call 01877 382258. Interested in Volunteering at The Lodge contact: thelodge@forestry.gsi.gov.uk For a list of events please check our website. til 15% This of fer runs un , 14 November 20 s. excluding Saturday Book online at foyle using the goape.co.uk/aber ll 0845 643 9215 code AB15FC or ca

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Uncover Scotland’s heartland and discover a wealth of things to see and do from amazing outdoor adventures to medieval buildings. Call into a VisitScotland Information Centre and pick up a free guide or speak to one of our Scotland experts who can also book accommodation or arrange tickets for events, activities and transport across Scotland. You can also pick up a quality, authentic Scottish souvenir Whatever you are looking for, our friendly experts will help you uncover all that this area has to offer.

Falkirk Falkirk Wheel, Tamfourhill, Falkirk FK1 4RS Tel: 01324 620244

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Abbey Craig, Hillfoots Road, STIRLING FK9 5LF Tel: (01786) 472140 • info@nationalwallacemonument.com www.nationalwallacemonument.com 3. as title

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

2. centred


SAILINGS IN THE TROSSACHS From walking to running, sailing to cycling, we have it all - so come along and explore,

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• Classic Steamship Cruises on Sir Walter Scott • Panoramic Cruises on Lady of the Lake • Lochside Dining in The Brenachoile Café - Restaurant - Bar • Katrine Gifts - Souvenirs & Scottish Crafts • Katrine Kiosk - Snacks, drinks & sandwiches to take away • Cycle hire with Katrinewheelz - For all the family • On-site professional photography from Borg Grech Photography

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SEE SCOTLAND FROM

STIRLING Created as a Royal Burgh in 1124, Stirling offers a fascinating journey back in time for anyone with even a passing interest in Scottish history and heritage. Discover our unique tapestry of original, historic attractions that tell the story of the Scottish nation at first hand. Today, Stirling is a vibrant city, steeped in historic atmosphere yet offering a host of modern day attractions, facilities and events. A popular

international university town, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants and a wide range of shopping, together with a fine selection of hotels, bed & breakfasts, self-catering accommodation and caravan & camping parks. To find out more visit destinationstirling.com the official guide on where to stay and what to do in and around Stirling.

destinationstirling.com


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good meal and excellent local real ale. The area is also, of course, the focus of Scotland’s Wars of Independence.

AS WELL AS LEARNING OF SCOTLAND’S HISTORY, VISITORS CAN ALSO TAKE PART IN A DIGITISED GAME TO RE-ENACT THE SCOTS’ FAMOUS VICTORY OF 1314 OVER THE ENGLISH, AND IN THE 3D ROOM CAN EVEN EXPERIENCE BEING RIGHT IN THE BATTLE, COMPLETE WITH FLYING ARROWS AND HORSEMEN CHARGING PAST

Why not visit the recently-refurbished National Wallace Monument at Stirling (good parking and a minibus to take you uphill to the monument itself ), followed by a visit to the brand new Bannockburn Heritage Centre on the outskirts of Stirling, and the magnificent statue of King Robert the Bruce on his battle horse which stands nearby on the spot where Robert the Bruce raised his standard.

in the battle, complete with flying arrows and horsemen charging past.

The Heritage Centre, re-opened in 2014 as a state-of-the-art venue, is a unique experience. As well as learning of Scotland’s history, visitors can also take part in a digitised game to re-enact the Scots’ famous victory of 1314 over the English, and in the 3-D room can even experience being right

For a completely different experience, visit the Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s centre at Bo’ness, a few miles beyond Falkirk. As well as workshops and a museum, they have the largest collection of railway locomotives, carriages, wagons, equipment and artefacts outside the

National Railway Museum at York. They also run daily trips on the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, including an optional stop to visit the interesting Birkhill Clay Mine. The centre is open from April to October. There are also plenty of options for kids. Tire them out playing at Monster Mania in Falkirk, or the Xtreme Karting centre in Larbert. There’s the AMF indoor bowling centre in Stirling, or ice-skating and swimming at the city’s Peak sports centre. There’s also Kidz world in Alloa and a variety of bird of prey centres within driving distance, at Blair Drummond Safari Park, Cumbernauld or Auchterarder. Finally, if you’ve nothing else to do at night, try a visit to Bonnybridge, Scotland’s UFO-spotting capital with more sightings of space ships and aliens than Roswell USA (mostly after the pubs close).

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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ARTS & CULTURE

A REGION AT THE HEART OF ART! This area is very proud of its Scottish heritage, but these days our cultural offer is also decidedly international

T

he Stirling and Clackmannanshire areas are rich in arts and culture, much of it very Scottish and of outstanding quality. Culturally the area is proud of its Scottish identity. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see some people wearing the kilt as everyday dress, or when heading off to a Scottish international football or rugby match, but weddings, especially, are when kilts are displayed in all their finery by many Scotsmen. If you hear bagpipes skirling outside some hotel,

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chances are itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to welcome wedding guests to the reception, so go along and watch the guests arriving. People also wear kilts to the many ceilidhs held across the region, and also to local Highland Games. One of the oldest gatherings is the Strathallan Games held in early August at Bridge of Allan. Here, following the traditional caber-tossing, piping and highland dance competitions, the climax is a march-past of up to 100 pipe bands from all over the world, warming up before the pipe band

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

world championships usually held in Glasgow the following week. Second only to the Strathallan gathering in size and popularity come the Alva Games in Clackmannanshire, but there are also Highland Games at Stirling, Airth, and, not far away, the two-day Callander World Highland Games. Not to be missed is a local agricultural show, where farmers from the fertile CONTINUES PAGE 44

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ARTS & CULTURE

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Forth Valley celebrate their ancient skills and modern achievements. Here is where to see the best of Scotland’s farming produce, from local breeds of sheep, cattle and horses to the finest cheeses, bakeries, vegetables, and local crafts such as shepherds’ crook-making or horse shoeing. There are usually also lots of horse and pony-riding competitions, highland dancing, vintage tractor displays and so on. The biggest agricultural shows within easy reach are held at Dunblane, Braco, Blackford, Crieff, Drymen and Stirling. There are also many festivals held in and around the area, ranging from the three day Callander Jazz and Blues Festival to Alva’s excellent Scotfest food and drink festival and the annual Scribbler’s Picnic music festival held at Bridgehaugh – the home of Stirling County Rugby Club – in aid of cancer charities.

sessions in pubs, a family day by the River Allan and a hilarious ‘duck race’. May also sees the Falkirk Tryst Festival, an annual celebration of visual and performing arts including theatre, music, dance, drama, writing, magic and more – basically, ‘something for everyone’.

THERE ARE ALSO MANY FESTIVALS HELD IN AND AROUND THE AREA, RANGING FROM THE THREE DAY CALLANDAR JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL TO ALVA’S EXCELLENT SCOTFEST FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL AND THE ANNUAL SCRIBBLERS PICNIC MUSIC FESTIVAL HELD AT BRIDGEHAUGH

Falkirk Football Club also runs an annual ‘Rock the Stadium’ weekend, which attracts star names each June, while the three-day Dunblane Fling in late May usually includes a jazz night, concert, ceilidh, talent show, music 44

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

Also popular is the annual Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival, held each May in the Albert Halls. Several distilleries are within easy reach of Stirling and Clackmannanshire, including at Deanston near Doune, the award-winning distillery at Glengoyne near Killearn, and the Glenturret distillery at Crieff. Stirling’s festival brings together all that’s best in Scotland’s whisky, from local and more distant distilleries. The choice of festivals and events across the area is very varied. For example, the Scottish Railway Preservation Society regularly holds steam locomotive events and trips ranging from Thomas the Tank Engine days to Santa Trains from their depot CONTINUES PAGE 46

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Quality performances and events in the heart of Stirling. Open all year round, Stirling’s Tolbooth and Albert Halls are at the heart of the action when it comes to worldclass performances and top-quality nights out. With a varied programme of events covering everything from ceilidhs and classical concerts to stand-up comedy and live music gigs, there’s bound to be something to make your stay even more memorable. Find out what’s on by visiting us online or by calling our friendly box office team.

Elin Isaksson Glass MACROBERT

Central Scotland’s leading arts venue The very best in theatre, comedy, dance, cinema and family entertainment right on your doorstep.

Swedish glass blower Elin Isaksson makes hand blown & cast glass in her studio in Stirling. Her gift range includes vases, candle holders, whisky glasses etc. She offers glass blowing courses and a bespoke service for sculptures & lighting for interiors and gardens. Designs are contemporary in vibrant colours.

Studio & Gallery (Open by app.only) Braehouse | Touch | Stirling | FK8 3AH E: info@elinisaksson.com T: 07968871439

Online shop: www.scotlandglassblowing.co.uk

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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and workshop at Bo’ness, just beyond Grangemouth. There’s also the Stirling and District Classic Car show held every May in Bridge of Allan, while new to the scene is the Stirling Fringe festival of the performing arts. It promises ‘an array of performances: from theatre and comedy, to poetry and children’s shows, and everything in between’. There’s also plenty of art and culture indoors. Stirling’s most important venue is the Smith Museum and Art Gallery in Dumbarton Road. As well as an excellent museum of local history, there’s an impressive art collection including portraits, watercolours, oil paintings, stained glass, prints, drawings, sculpture and pewter. The Smith is open from Tuesday to Saturday, has free entry, good car parking and an excellent little cafe. Close to the Smith is the Albert Hall, which runs a continuous programme of varied events from concerts and ceilidhs to wedding shows and antique fairs. There’s a good restaurant but parking is limited. Another Stirling arts venue is the 46

Tolbooth, in Broad Street, where the old courtroom has been transformed into an auditorium offering an intimate performance area for a variety of mostly alternative or world musicians, comedians and dancers.

contains a restored kitchen of 1825, an excellent museum of local history and the local Falkirk Archives, housed in the original Victorian library. Two galleries also display contemporary visual art exhibitions.

Stirling’s other main cultural centre is the university, which has a renowned art collection including paintings by the Scottish Colourist JD Fergusson as well as works by other past or contemporary notable artists such as David Donaldson, Joan Eardley, William MacTaggart, Alberto Morrocco and Anne Redpath. These are mostly displayed in the Pathfoot building but there’s also a notable ‘sculpture trail’ in the campus grounds.

Callendar House is run by the Falkirk Community Trust, which also operates the Grangemouth Museum (accessed through the Library on Bo’ness Road) and the Hippodrome in Bo’ness – Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema, opened in 1912 and now an A-listed building. The Grangemouth Heritage Trust also runs a heritage centre with an excellent collection of old photos, models and memorabilia of the town.

The university’s Macrobert Theatre also hosts performances ranging from ballet, drama, touring comedy shows, jazz, symphony concerts, the local amateur operatic society, choral events, children’s workshops and much more. There are plenty of dining choices at the Macrobert and excellent parking. The Falkirk area is also well provided with art and cultural venues. Callendar House, set in its original parkland,

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

The most striking new attractions to the Falkirk and Grangemouth area are the two magnificent statues of horses heads known as the Kelpies, which stand at the entrance to the Forth and Clyde Canal beside the M9 motorway. Designed by Glasgow sculptor Andy Scott, these impressive examples of public art tower 30 metres, weigh 300 tonnes each, are open 361 days a year for interior visits, and are a photographic ‘must’ for any visitor.


ARTS & CULTURE

Clackmannanshire has no obvious art galleries but the National Trust property at Alloa Tower, ancestral home of the Earls of Mar and Kellie, offers an impressive art collection including precious china, silver and paintings by Van Dyck and Henry Raeburn. Clackmannanshire Council’s own collection is displayed in the Spiers Centre, originally the town’s local baths and gymnasium of 1898. Here can be seen a fascinating display of the town’s industrial heritage, including the oldest glassworks in Europe. The gallery is open Tuesday to Thursday afternoons. Finally, no visitor to Clackmannanshire can fail to notice the striking metal sculptures standing prominently at roadsides and roundabouts. As with the Kelpies at Grangemouth, these are the work of international public art sculptor Andy Scott from Glasgow. So far six statues have appeared, undoubtedly enhancing the experience of any visitor to the area.

THE STIRLING SMITH The Soul of Stirling, Scotland’s Heart Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10.30 – 5; Sundays 2-5

Café u shop u meeting place u gardens u picnic area FREE ADMISSION AND PARKING Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum Dumbarton Road | Stirling | FK8 2RQ | Tel 01786 471 917

www.smithartgalleryandmuseum.co.uk www.facebook.com/TheStirlingSmith

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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WELCOME TO THE NIGHT! Traditional entertainment, a wide selection of music – and a warm welcome – are always on offer here

I

n spite of a large student population and thriving tourist industry, the Stirling and Clackmannanshire areas do not have the same club or pub scene which larger cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh enjoy. But that’s not to say that there’s no nightlife. The city of Stirling boasts two nightclubs, popular with local clubbers but also with students from nearby Stirling University. The long-established Fubar, in the town centre, has several rooms and offers a choice of music and dancing to both guest and resident DJs. Thursday tends to be student night and Saturdays cater for over-21s. If the 48

music’s not to your taste, Bar4VIP offers quieter surroundings away from the main club dance area. Closing time is usually 3am. Stirling’s other club is Dusk, located on Baker Street. Operating from 10pm to 3am, this venue is popular with younger clubbers. Fakirk offers three: Storm nightclub in Meadow Street opens on Fridays and Saturdays, offering ‘five different experiences over two nights’ including a VIP lounge and a retro room with classic 60s, 70s and 80s videos, hosted by

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

both resident and guest DJs. The City Nightclub in Princess Street has three dance floors and a terrace bar, also with resident and local DJs. This club is open 10pm to 2 am on Thursdays and to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. The Martell Nightclub and Bar is located further away from the town centre on Burnbank Road and has two dance rooms. If clubbing isn’t your preference, there are plenty of lively pubs and bars all over Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire offering a wide choice of evening entertainment. Quiz nights,


NIGHTLIFE

darts and karaoke nights are everywhere but some pubs also offer live comedy or music, often weekly. The music can vary from young bands trying to break into the music scene to someone strumming a blues or folk guitar. In Stirling, Nicky-Tams Bar and Bothy in Baker Street has a DJ on Thursdays but also hosts live music with a Metal Night on Tuesdays and an open mic night on Wednesdays. On Saturdays there’s live acoustic music from 4-6pm. This venue is especially popular with students. Nearby can be found No. 2 Baker Street where there’s live entertainment

virtually every night. On Wednesdays there’s a popular jam night, while Fridays and Saturdays see live bands playing everything from current hits to Celtic rock and folk music. In Upper Bridge Street the Settle Inn dates back to 1733 as an alehouse. They have an open mic night, live bands on Saturdays and a reggae night on Thursdays. On Wednesdays the place is packed with fiddlers, accordions, guitars, whistles, bodrans and banjos for the weekly traditional music session. Traditional music can also be found at other pubs around Stirling including the William Wallace bar at Causewayhead and the Dunblane

Hotel, where there’s a session every Tuesday. At Bridge of Allan’s tiny brewery behind the Adamo Hotel they host bands playing Americana, folk and roots music on the first Saturday of every month and periodic jazz performances on Sundays. In Dunblane the Westlands Hotel also hosts the Allan Water Jazz Band every Monday. Further afield, the Old Rectory Inn at Callander holds a session every Wednesday and Saturday, while the Lade Inn just beyond Callander hosts good live Scottish music every Friday and Saturday. CONTINUES PAGE 50

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Around Falkirk several pubs provide live music. Behind the Wall is Falkirk’s best known venue and bands play there regularly. The Firkin pub in Vicar Street has open mic evenings while at Stenhousemuir the Stables pub restaurant features a different cabaret singer every Saturday. The Brightons Inn near Polmont also has bands playing at weekends. In Clackmannanshire the Burnside Inn at Menstrie has live entertainment most Fridays, but other music venues include the Cairn in Alva, both the Woolpack and the Red Lion at Tillicoultry, the Mansfield Arms in Sauchie and the excellent Kings Seat in Dollar.

MOVING AWAY FROM THE PUB AND CLUB SCENE, IF YOU’RE AFTER TRADITIONAL MUSIC THERE ARE SEVERAL LOCAL FOLK CLUBS WHICH ALL WELCOME VISITORS

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

In Clackmannanshire these include the Devon Brewery in Sauchie, the Williams Brothers brewery in Alloa and the multi-award-winning Harviestoun Brewery at Alva. Near Stirling there’s the Tin Pot microbrewery in Bridge of Allan, the Traditional Scottish Ales brewery in Throsk and the Tryst brewery at Larbert. With so many breweries in the area, real ales are there to be discovered in lots of local pubs and a good night out is very likely. Moving away from the pub and club scene, if you’re after traditional music there are several local folk clubs which all welcome visitors. Dunblane Folk Club meets at the Braeport Centre on Sundays for a singaround while Stirling’s folk club meets at Stirling County Rugby Club on Mondays for


NIGHTLIFE

big name guest performers. In Falkirk the folk club meets in the Tolbooth Tavern on Fridays. Ceilidhs are also held across the area from time to time. Stirling Council hold regular summer ceilidhs in the Tolbooth or in Stirling’s Albert Hall. The bands are always excellent and there’s always a caller to explain the steps to visitors. However there are ceilidhs on most weeks somewhere in the area. If dancing sounds a bit too energetic, there’s always the cinema. Stirling’s Vue cinema has eight screens, a choice of eating places and plenty of parking. Alternatively, Falkirk’s Cineworld has twelve screens, including 3D facilities, and also has good parking. On ‘Bargain Tuesday’ the prices are much cheaper.

Another option is the MacRobert Theatre at Stirling University, where both mainstream and more obscure art films are screened every week. The MacRobert Theatre also hosts a wide range of stage shows ranging from operas and symphony concerts to musicals and pantomimes. Stirling’s other main show venues are the Albert Hall, which hosts big-stage musical events and the Tolbooth where, in a smaller venue, music and dance artistes can perform in a more intimate setting. In Falkirk the Town Hall, and sometimes the football stadium, stage rock and pop events, while in Alloa the little 63-seat Coach House Theatre, tucked away in the grounds of Inglewood House, stages amateur dramatic productions and the Town Hall sometimes holds bigger shows.

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SPORT

OUR SPORTING LIFE Whether you want to take part or just watch, there’s always plenty to do here

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tirlingshire and Clackmannanshire have a wealth of sports to enjoy, whether you want to watch the pros or participate. In an area that boasts five senior football clubs, during the football season there is always an entertaining fixture to go along and watch on a Saturday afternoon. Stirling Albion, Falkirk FC, East Stirlingshire, Stenhousemuir, and Clackmannanshire’s top club Alloa Athletic – known as the Wasps – all compete in the Scottish Football League system. Of those, Falkirk FC and Alloa currently compete at the highest level, in the Scottish Championship. Falkirk play their home games at the Falkirk Stadium on the outskirts of the town, within easy access from the M9 from Stirling, while Alloa play home matches at Recreation Park, on the town’s Clackmannan Road.

STIRLINGSHIRE AND CLACKMANNANSHIRE HAVE A WEALTH OF SPORTS TO ENJOY, WHETHER YOU WANT TO WATCH THE PROS OR PARTICIPATE

Although Stirling Albion currently play in the fourth tier of Scottish football, they were recently taken over by their own Supporters’ Trust to proudly become Britain’s first fully-owned community club. The club is based in the city’s sports village at Forthside, also home to Stirling Wanderers Hockey Club and the ground of Stirling County Cricket Club. The sports village is dominated by The Peak, Stirling’s new £27.3 million indoor sports complex. The biggest single development for sport and leisure in Stirling for over 30 years is home to the city’s swimming pool, climbing wall, gym and ice rink, which was awarded the Ice Rink of the Year 2012 title at the Scottish Curling Awards. The complex is also cost-effective as excess heat from the ice-making process is fed back to heat the 25m swimming pool. Curling has a long history in the CONTINUES PAGE 54

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THE BIGGEST SINGLE DEVELOPMENT FOR SPORT AND LEISURE IN STIRLING FOR OVER 30 YEARS IS HOME TO THE CITY’S SWIMMING POOL, CLIMBING WALL, GYM AND ICE RINK, WHICH WAS AWARDED THE ICE RINK OF THE YEAR 2012 TITLE AT THE SCOTTISH CURLING AWARDS

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Stirling area, and at the right time of year if the ice freezes thick enough to walk on the Lake of Menteith, you can often find a curler on the lake willing to let you try your hand at the sport. When it reaches ten inches thick an historic bonspiel or grand match could take place. Scotland is the home of golf and it thrives across this area. Stirling and its surrounding area has a number of nine and 18-hole golf courses, the largest of which is the Stirling Golf Course, located in the Kings Park area of the city – in the shadow of the imposing medieval castle.

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Stirling University also offers a nine-hole course, with views up to the National Wallace Monument. Most local golf clubs sell day tickets, however, so get out and enjoy some wonderful courses with the additional bonus of spectacular views to the distant Highlands. And if you can’t afford the course fees at Gleneagles in Perthshire – home of the 2014 Ryder Cup just only 15 miles from Stirling – try Braehead Golf Club near Alloa or Glenbervie at Larbert. On the outskirts of the city of Stirling, at Bannockburn, there is the Brucefields Family Golf Centre with its

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE


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driving range, while of Bridge of Allan and Dunblane also offer courses with scenic views. Stirling is also a major centre of sports training and education in Scotland. The headquarters of the Scottish Institute of Sport, which opened in 2002, is a purpose-built facility on the campus of Stirling University. Also at the university are the Scottish National Swimming Academy, and the Gannochy National Tennis centre where world tennis star Andy Murray, from nearby Dunblane, has trained. In April 2014 Murray was awarded the Freedom of the City of Stirling, and awarded an

honorary degree by Stirling University, in recognition of his tennis achievements.

Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, also have senior teams.

Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire are also home to several senior rugby union clubs. Stirling County RFC, who play at Bridgehaugh Park, less than a mile from the city centre, compete in the Scottish Premiership Division One.

Falkirk also represent the area in basketball. Falkirk Fury Basketball Club – currently called Clark Eriksson Fury in a sponsorship deal with local firm Clark Eriksson – play in the Scottish Men’s National League, the top league in Scottish basketball. They play most of their home games at the Mariner Centre in Camelon.

The club has produced several international stars, most famously Kenny Logan, who won 70 caps for Scotland between 1992-2003. Falkirk, who play in the Scottish Premiership Division Two, Grangemouth and Hillfoots, who play home matches in

For keen runners, try the annual Dumyat (pronounced Dum-aye-at) hill CONTINUES PAGE 56

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race, which provides a stern challenge comprising a 390-metre climb (1280 feet) over an eight km (five mile) distance on one of the hills in the Ochil range overlooking Stirling University. The race, which attracts runners from all over Scotland was first created in 1972 when a university psychologist laid a £1 bet claiming the return trip from the university’s Gannochy pavilion to the top of the Dumyat was impossible in less than an hour. He lost his bet by three minutes. It is now held annually in May. The Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire areas are blessed with wonderful countryside, so for a more leisurely stroll there is a wide variety of landscapes in which to wander. Dumyat itself offers a comfortable walk to the summit from a convenient parking area and breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape. But Stirling, Falkirk, and Clackmannanshire offer routes to keep walkers happy for days. The Ochils and the Campsie Fells, while not as high as the Trossachs further north,

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GUARANTEED TO BE A FANTASTIC DAY OUT! Wester Jawcraig, Garbethill Muir Nr. Cumbernauld, Falkirk FK1 3AL

Tel. 01324 851672 www.hookedonshooting.com If you have enjoyed a day with us please leave feedback via our Facebook page, this helps ensure we always deliver the best service possible.

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE


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THERE IS SALMON AND TROUT FISHING IN THE RIVERS TEITH, DEVON, ALLAN AND FORTH, WHILE A POPULAR COARSE FISHING LOCATION IS THE UNION CANAL NEAR FALKIRK

command superb views over the surrounding valleys, while the Union and Forth and Clyde canals take you through beautiful rural scenery as well as the sites of Scotland’s industrial heritage. For an even more leisurely pursuit, what about fishing? There is salmon and trout fishing in the Rivers Teith, Devon, Allan and Forth, while a popular coarse fishing location is the Union Canal near Falkirk. There are also fine trout fisheries on the outskirts of Stirling. Traditional Scottish boat fishing for trout is available in magnificent surroundings at Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire, which celebrates 300 years in 2013, and the Carron Valley Reservoir. Around Falkirk, the River Carron has been described as ‘the jewel in the crown’, after salmon were reintroduced. Day permits are available in most riverside towns. Pony trekking and riding centres can also be found throughout Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire, many catering for riders of all standards, from the young beginner to the experienced rider, while the areas are also good venues for family cycling. The Forth and Clyde and Union canals have tow-paths along which you can cycle, while there are many quiet lanes in the countryside also popular with family cyclists. WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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LET’S EXPLORE! Although you’ll never run out of things to do here, there’s also plenty to do and see further afield

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ocated in the heart of Scotland, there is a wide variety of places and experiences with easy reach of Stirling, Falkirk or Alloa. Whether it’s highland grandeur, quaint coastal villages, rugged history or the big city shops, they’re all within an easy drive or train journey. One popular option is to head west into the picturesque Trossachs area. Beyond Callander lies the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, a region of fine mountains, photogenic

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lochs, great fishing, peaceful sailing, excellent little tearooms and a great sense of history. Try Aberfoyle’s famed woollen centre, or the longest zip wire ride in the UK at the David Marshall Lodge visitor centre. Explore Loch Katrine on the historic steamship Sir Walter Scott, now well over 100 years old but still running daily trips from March to late September. Or head north past Loch Lubnaig to scenic Balquidder and the grave of the legendary Rob Roy. Alternatively, make for the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

There are the picturesque villages of Balmaha and Luss, a choice of scenic cruises from Balloch, and golf at the five star Cameron House Hotel. The Loch Lomond Shores retail complex at Balloch offers great shopping, from designer fashion to the best of Scotland’s larder, plus boutiques, a Sea Life aquarium and unrivalled views from excellent restaurants. If heading east, try taking the coastal route round Fife to St Andrews. Stop to explore Culross (pronounced ‘Kooross’), a restored village of 16th and 17th century buildings still often


FURTHER STRAP AFIELD HERE

HEADER DOWN ALONG!

used as a film location. From there it’s Further on lies Falkland Palace, set in shops, the oldest university in Scotland, on past the famed Forth Bridges to the historic Falkland village and well worth and excellent eateries often hidden down wonderfully picturesque fishing villages a visit for its guided tour, royal ‘real’ little lanes – it’s got everything. Finally, if of St Monans, Pittenweem, Anstruther tennis courts (a game more like squash, heading towards Edinburgh, consider standfirst please to by goMary in Queen hereofand andatthen – home of the ScottishA Fisheries played there Scots)along stopping Linlithgow. Museum – and Crail. down here and andsome beautifulmore gardens.along Then there’s the here xzxxxxxxxxxx Scottish Deer Centre and the historic Not only does it offer an historic town Make sure you have some fish and chips town of Cupar before you reach St centre and a magnificent royal palace at Pittenweem, and don’t forget to bring Andrews. where summer ceilidhs are now a camera for the colourful sights you’ll regularly staged, there’s also an see at every little harbour. A different St Andrews surely needs no introduction. excellent canal centre and museum way to reach St Andrews is to take the The world home of golf with an which offers cruises on the Union A91. You’ll skirt past historic Loch excellent museum, beaches made famous Canal, usually over the exhilarating Leven where you can visit the castle on by the movie Chariots of Fire, an Avon viaduct – the second longest in its picturesque island, or the excellent excellent Sealife Centre, an historic Britain – and sometimes as far as the RSPB nature reserve at Vane Farm. abbey and castle, picturesque streets and Falkirk Wheel.

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or work, play, study or simply because they’ve fallen in love with it, there seems no shortage of people keen to put down roots on Tyneside and, whether they’re looking for a temporary rental or something more permanent, it’s a great place in which to set up home. With stunning coastline to the east, countryside to the west and flanked by historic Edinburgh and Durham to the north and south, NewcastleGateshead has plenty to offer and its superb road and rail infrastructure makes light work of getting around – for work or for leisure. Although Newcastle is almost 1000 years old its pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s led

to rapid expansion and the vast majority of properties within the city and on its immediate outskirts spring from this era. The city boasts a wide variety of terraced properties particularly in the suburbs of Jesmond and Sandyford – a mile or so to the north and west of the city itself. Sandyford, in particular, is renowned for its Tyneside flats. These terraced properties are unique to this area of the North East and, at first glance resemble houses –however, closer inspection reveals two front doors, one leading upstairs and the other downstairs. Although they don’t have front gardens they almost always have large back yards which, again, are divided CONTINUES PAGE XX

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TRAVEL

GETTING HERE & GETTING AROUND! Travel here and you will find yourself in a stunning part of the world with plenty of easily-accessible transport links

By car From the south, there are excellent motorway links. Routes from the south are the M74 from Carlisle or the A1 from Newcastle. From the North Stirling can be reached via the A9, A90 and A82 main routes. Within the area youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll discover good main routes and delightful country lanes. To plan your journey try the AA Route Planner or RAC Route Planner.

By coach National coach services run to many of the larger towns in the area, from where you can link with local services. Useful contact details for national services

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are: National Express 08717 81 81 81 Scottish Citylink Buses 08705 50 50 50.

By rail There are good mainline rail links to most parts of the area on both the east and west coast lines. These services also link with local bus and ferry timetables. Most rail services within our area are operated by Scotrail. For information on rail services to Scotland try Virgin Trains or Great North Eastern Railways.

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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TRAVEL

THERE ARE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TO GLASGOW AND EDINBURGH AIRPORTS, BOTH OF WHICH ARE LOCATED ON THE FRINGES OF THE AREA

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Or phone the National Rail Enquires Hotline on 08457 48 49 50.

By air There are national and international flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports, both of which are located on the fringes of the area. For flights to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK try:
Easyjet 0905 821 0905
Ryanair 0844 24 866 07
British Midland 0870 60 70 555
British Airways 0844 493 0787
British Airways also offer local connections to Tiree, Islay and Campbeltown.

By sea Car and passenger ferries serve the west coast islands, as well as many mainland destinations.
Ferry services are offered by:
Caledonian MacBrayne 08705 650000
Western Ferries 01369 704452.

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X38

Our flagship service X38 connects visitors to Stirling with Falkirk, Linlithgow and Scotland’s capital Edinburgh. Buses depart up to every 20 minutes from Stirling Bus Station in the heart of the city centre. Falkirk is home to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift which links the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals: the Wheel is a day out with a difference! And from summer 2014, customers can connect with services 3, 4/4A and 5 in Falkirk to visit The Helix for its cycle trails, parkland walks, nature habitats and Andy Scott’s world famous sculptures, The Kelpies. Linlithgow is top of the list for fans of Scottish history. As well as the charm of its historic closes and wynds (some dating back to the 17th century), you’ll love Linlithgow Palace. This well preserved medieval palace was the birthplace of King James V and Mary Queen of Scots.

Edinburgh: The capital is home to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the National Museum of Scotland. Nature lovers can enjoy Princes Street Gardens (City Centre) and the Royal Botanic Gardens (North of Stockbridge and Haymarket). And your cheeky little monkeys will go wild for Edinburgh Zoo (Corstorphine). Visit in August for the Edinburgh Festivals, the world’s largest collection of arts and entertainment events.

Uni-Link

Our fast and frequent link to the University of Stirling is perfect for students and visitors. Buses depart up to every 10 minutes from Stirling City Centre. You can also catch up with work on-board with our free Wi-Fi. Services 54, 62 and 63 also serve the University campus.

Service 59

If you’re looking for a wild day out while in Stirling, look no further than Blair Drummond Safari Park. Catch service 59 from Stirling City Centre to the park to get up close with lions, elephants, camels, giraffes, tigers, zebras, sea lions and much more! Buses depart every hour from Stirling Bus Station in the heart of the city centre.


STRAP HERE

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THINGS YOU MUST DO! There are loads of things to do here – but make sure you don’t miss these

1 See some birds of prey

Buzzards, kestrels, sparrowhawks and other birds of prey live here and there’s a good chance you’ll spot some. But for a spectacular experience visit Argaty Red Kite Centre, at Doune, central Scotland’s only red kite feeding station, and watch the spectacular birds flying, perching and feeding. 2 See the worlds oldest football

The leather and pig’s bladder ball, found in rafters in the Queen’s Chamber at Stirling Castle in 1981, dates to around 1540 when a young Mary Queen of Scots lived there. It is now kept at Stirling’s Smith Museum and Art Gallery.

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3 Visit a distillery

Whiskies are like wines – there are regional differences. The Deanston Distillery at nearby Doune produces excellent lowland malt whisky and offers explanatory tours around the centre – including whisky tastings. Alternatively, picture-postcard Glengoyne Distillery near Killearn, now in its tenth generation of production, also offers tours and tastings, and is open all year round.

Stirlingshire at Braco will convey the strength of defences required, and also the sense of isolation and remoteness the Roman soldiers must have felt. 5 Count the steps of the National Wallace Monument

4 Walk the Roman ramparts at Roughcastle or Ardoch

The Victorian monument to Scotland’s “Braveheart” William Wallace is famous worldwide. But this impressive tower, overlooking the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge holds a challenge of its own – can you count all the steps to the top? (there are 246). But don’t forget to stop and view Wallace’s famous sword!

For three centuries this area was a frontier zone, where Roman battled Celt. A walk along the ramparts of the Roman forts at Bonnybridge or just outside

This extraordinary piece of modern engineering is a world

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6 Do the Falkirk Wheel


TEN THINGS

one-off. Standing 35 metres tall and using 1200 tonnes of steel, its gondolas hold enough water to fill an Olympic swimming pool, but the energy used to turn the wheel is the same as boiling eight household kettles. 7 Win the Battle of Bannockburn

The brand new £9.1 million Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre doesn’t just re-tell the story of Scotland’s most famous victory, it gives visitors a chance to rewrite history by

recreating the 1314 battle for themselves. The hi-tech centrepiece of the centre is a fast-paced battle game in which visitors are assigned to command units in either the Scots or English armies and asked to make tactical decisions which will win or lose the battle. You might be Robert the Bruce himself, or alter the course of history by leading England to victory as King Edward II.

1856, are another colourful experience of piping, highland dancing and ancient traditional sports. 9 Visit Stirling Castle

It may dominate the skyline and seem like an obvious attraction, but make sure you do actually go! More than 450,000 visitors a year can’t be wrong.

8 Attend a Highland games

10 See Andy Murray’s golden post box

Some of the oldest, biggest and best Highland Games are held locally. The Bridge of Allan Games, held in early August, regularly attracts 10,000 people and 80-100 pipe bands, while the Alva Games, held in mid-July since

The post box in Dunblane High Street was painted gold in honour of local tennis ace Andy Murray after he won the men’s singles at the London Olympics. It’s now a top visitor attraction.

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48 HOURS

IF YOU’RE ONLY HERE FOR 48 HOURS… You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it

DAY 1

churches in Scotland and where King James XI was crowned in 1567 – the only surviving church in Britain, other than Westminster Abbey, to have held a coronation.

House Hotel, but make reservations. For an evening out there’s the Vue Cinema’s eight screens, the MacRobert Theatre, music in pubs, or perhaps one of Stirling’s summer season ghost walks.

DAY 2

From there, walk down through the old part of Stirling. Visit the Argyll Lodging, the best example of a 17th century lord’s town house in Scotland. Pause outside the Tolbooth in Broad Street where the town’s medieval markets were held, and where criminals were beheaded or hanged in public.

Stirling is full of nice little places for a good home-made lunch. The 17th century Darnley Coffee House is in Broad Street, or you might try Victoria’s Coffee Shop in King Street for a hearty soup and scone. The afternoon is for shopping. You’re right outside the Thistle shopping centre, with its High Street names and tempting bargains. Or you could walk a short distance to see the world’s oldest football on display at the Smith Museum and Art Gallery.

Now walk through by Jail Wynd to see the 15th century Church of the Holy Rude, one of the finest medieval

For an evening meal try Hermann’s at the top of historic Broad Street or the beautiful Georgian ambience of the Park

Start with Stirling Castle, a world-class venue with superb views from its battlements and a great way to introduce you to the area. You’ll love the interactive experience and be impressed by the castle’s superb restoration.

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

Let’s start by driving ten miles to the Falkirk Wheel for another world-class experience. The first boat departs at 10.30 so there’s no rush. You’ll be filled with awe and wonder, exhilaration and enjoyment, and you’ll leave with unforgettable memories. Nearby at Grangemouth stand the magnificent Kelpies – two huge sculptures of horses’ heads placed at the mouth of the Forth and Clyde Canal as a memory to the horse power which once worked there. Even if you don’t


START WITH STIRLING CASTLE, A WORLDCLASS VENUE WITH SUPERB VIEWS FROM ITS BATTLEMENTS AND A GREAT WAY TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE AREA

take a tour inside these soaring, impressive monuments, you’ll certainly want to photograph them. From there, head for the Clackmannanshire Bridge at Kincardine and follow the A977 to Dollar for some lunch. Try the King’s Seat restaurant, the Cafe des Fleurs or the Castle Campbell Hotel. Then it’s a visit to Castle Campbell, a typical ancient Scottish tower house standing high above the town but with parking and great views. You still have time to take a leisurely drive along the A91 through Clackmannanshire’s old mill villages towards the imposing Wallace Monument. For a later-afternoon experience browse the boutiques in Bridge of Allan. Stirling University’s beautiful campus is also right there and

makes a lovely setting for a stroll. You might prefer to drive another two or three miles to Dunblane, with its magnificent Cathedral and little High Street shops. At Graham Stewart’s jewellery workshop you’ll see work by one of Scotland’s finest silver craftsmen. Another option is to head for the ancient village of Doune. Here you have a choice between the excellent medieval castle (open to 5.30), the Deanston Distillery (open to 5pm), or just stroll round the market cross area for the little shops. From here you’re only a few miles from Stirling. One option for a lovely evening meal is Nick Nairn’s restaurant at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel – the perfect way to round off your two-day visit. WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK NANSHIRE

& CLACKMAN-

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Welcome to Stirlingshire, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire  

Unique, beautifully designed, high-quality visitor guide, which is available in leading hotel bedrooms. For those enjoying a break, or stayi...