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WELCOME TO

STIRLINGSHIRE FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE K I N G F I S H E RV I S I TO R G U I D E S . CO M

FOLLOW KINGFISHER VISITOR GUIDES

NOT FOR SALE PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE


CHOOSE THE PERFECT GIFT

AT IAN GALLACHER

FOLLOW US ON

MONDAY - SATURDAY | 08:45-17:00

EMAIL: INFO@IANGALLACHER.COM

TEL: 01786 473 696

WEB: WWW.IAN GALLACHER.COM

7 MURRAY PLACE, STIRLING, FK8 lDQ


For over 40 years Ian Gallacher has been making the finest bespoke diamond jewellery and has a well-earned reputation for quality, personal service and value. To this day, Ian is totally hands-on in the workshop and ensures that every piece of jewellery produced by his skilled team meets with his exacting standards.

We supply diamond rings, wedding bands, bracelets and necklaces to suit every style and budget. From Diamonds to gem set pieces, we pride ourselves on having a range of styles for everybody and because it is a big investment and something you will want to wear for many years, you want to get it right. This is why we will take the time to get to know you and make sure that what you buy is perfect for you. Most customers will have a budget in mind when buying a diamond ring. We can work with your budget and make sure you get the most for your money. Typically, an Ian Gallacher diamond ring will be up to 50% cheaper than a ring of comparable size and quality found on the high street.

HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS POSSIBLE?

High street jewellers have far greater overheads with rent and rates in prime locations such as busy shopping streets and malls. They have more staff and higher insurance and distribution costs and they still need to make a profit. As a small, family-run business, Ian Gallacher can put more of the money you spend into the diamond ring that you buy. COME AND SEE FOR YOURSELF

Go to a high street jeweller and look for a ring within your budget. Make sure you are looking at a certificated stone so you are sure of the quality. Then visit our showroom and see what you can get for the same money. You will be amazed!


Tinsel & Tartan MANAGING DIRECTOR

Ian David Heads ian@kingfishervisitorguides.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Angela Upex angela@kingfishervisitorguides.com PUBLISHING ASSISTANT

Zoe Smith HEAD OF DESIGN

Howard Malone howard@kingfishervisitorguides.com DESIGNER

Lily Ray PRODUCTION MANAGER

Ashleigh Heald PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Amy Heads HEAD OF ACCOUNTS

Joanne James joanne@kingfishervisitorguides.com

Newly established in March 2019 by Lyndsey and the lovable Mr Manfred, Tinsel & Tartan, Stirling’s all year Christmas and Scottish souvenir shop is brimming with beautiful baubles and teaming with tasteful trinkets.

ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER

Bev Oakes beverley@kingfishervisitorguides.com Tel: 0191 917 0733 GENERAL ENQUIRIES

info@kingfishervisitorguides.com Tel: 0191 482 5799

Set in Stirling’s beautiful original Victorian arcade, pop in for a touch of traditional Christmas magic and the warmest wee welcome in the heart of Scotland.

WWW.KINGFISHERVISITORGUIDES.COM

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Tel. 01786 448348

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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14 The Stirling Arcade King Street • Stirling • FK8 1AX

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.

FRONT COVER IMAGES: ©BLAIR DRUMMOND SAFARI PARK; CROWN COPYRIGHT REPRODUCED COURTESY OF HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND; ING IMAGE; IRMELAMELA/ ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM STOCK IMAGES IN THIS PUBLICATION ARE USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

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CONTENTS

48 hours

Ten things

Discover how you can spend a weekend in the region... Page 48

Stirling Castle

CONTENTS

Check out the best things to do while you’re here... Page 34

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10

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Welcome...................................................................................... 09 Stirlingshire, Falkirk & Clackmannanshire is a region like no other!

History all around.......................................................................10 There are reminders of our eventful past all around this region.

Let’s go there............................................................................... 14 Whatever the time of year, and whatever the weather, there’s always plenty to do here.

A taste of Scotland – and the world...................................... 26 ©MATEJ KASTELIC/PHB CZ/ADOBE STOCK; ING IMAGE; JASON LEUNG/UNSPLASH; VISITSCOTLAND/PAUL TOMKINS

Top-end fine dining, adventurous independents and a great range of ethnic cuisine means you’ll never go hungry here.

36

Ten things you must do........................................................... 34 There are loads of things to do here – make sure you don’t miss these.

Like to shop? You’ll love it here............................................. 36 There are plenty of retail offers in the region to attract and intrigue the dedicated shopper.

If you’re only here for 48 hours.............................................. 48 You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it.

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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Stirling

Farmers’

Market For the freshest taste of Scotland On the second Saturday of the month in Port Street, Stirling FK8 2LD With extra markets held in November & December

10am - 4pm 4-minute walk from both the bus and train station

Farmers’ Market of the Year 2017 Award Winner

www.stirlingfarmersmarket.co.uk /stirlingfarmersmarketscotland @ StirFarmersMkt info@sfme.co.uk


CONTENTS

Further afield

Explore what lies on the doorstep of this beautiful region... Page 68

50

Travel

How to get around while you’re here... Page 67

The Kelpies, Falkirk

56

A region at the heart of art....................................................... 50 This area is very proud of its Scottish heritage, but these days our cultural offer is also decidedly international.

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Welcome to the night............................................................... 56 Traditional entertainment, a wide selection of music – and a warm welcome – are always on offer here.

Ten reasons to love this region.............................................. 60

Falkirk Stadium

Our sporting life......................................................................... 62

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©GORDON WHYTE/FALKIRK FC; SHARPSHOT/MTSARIDE/ ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; VISITBRITAIN/ JOE CORNISH; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

There are dozens of reasons to love it here – check out a few of our favourites.

Whether you want to watch or take part, there’s plenty on offer here.

Getting here and getting around............................................ 67 Travel here and you will find yourself in a stunning part of the world with plenty of easily-accessible transport links.

Let’s explore................................................................................ 68 Although you’ll never run out of things to do here, there’s also plenty to see and do further afield.

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I

true Emporium style of the shop, Lisa has lovingly designed the shop to evoke feelings of wonder and delight with its stunning fireplace (home to several fairies), traditional cart style display stand and endless trailing ivy, wooden logs and twinkling fairy lights and with ever changing stock the frequent visitors will always find something new to inspire and delight.

magine stepping into a shop and instantly falling in love, being transported back to your own childhood and feeling completely at ease as you take in the sights before you. This is exactly how customers describe their visit to Tinkerbells Emporium, a delightful little gift shop tucked away on the charming Friars Street in Stirling. Tinkerbells Emporium transports you to a place where magic lives on each shelf and where every detail grabs your imagination. As the shop name suggests Tinkerbells Emporium certainly ticks the box for fairy lovers with its bounty of fairy homes and accessories but there is so much more to discover inside with everything from unicorns to candles, toys to heart warming wall plaques and not forgetting the scarves, trinkets and beautiful home decorations. There really is something for everyone inside. The shop had been a long term dream for owner Lisa Davidson who wanted to create a shopping experience completely unlike anything else where visitors could peacefully enjoy looking around, completely immersing themselves in a feeling of happiness whilst restfully enjoying beautiful music which transports you to a woodland dream and if you are lucky enough whilst visiting you might just get to see some beautiful fairy lanterns being built,

Lisa builds these using miniature houses and accessories and they have proved a huge hit across the globe! After 3 years of opening its magical doors, Tinkerbells Emporium had earned its place in Stirling Community and was awarded Best New Business at the end of the first years trading and subsequently being awarded Best Business for Stirling and Falkirk for 2 years running with both awards being celebrated in true Tinkerbells Emporium style with a free fun day inviting all of the local children down to enjoy a day of arts and crafts whilst treating the adults to some home made cupcakes! Lisa puts these wonderful achievements down to spending time with each customer, listening to what they need and really thinking outside of the box to create magical gifts, it was often said that “the gift is here somewhere, we just need to find it!” which comes down to the

Fun is always the main focus at the shop every day and children especially cant wait to get inside the doors and see how many fairies they can find. Lisa interacts with the children, ensuring that their visit is as magical as possible and regularly supports local schools and nurseries with event prizes. Each season brings new activities with Christmas being the highlight where children post letters to Santa “fairy style” and receive a personalised letter from the fairies in return...Tinkerbells Emporium began hosting childrens Birthday Parties in the shop where Lisa takes care of each detail from personalised birthday cake to fairy style party games, the fun really never stops! So if you have already discovered Tinkerbells Emporium or if you have “never never” been before then be sure to head to Friars Street to enjoy all of the magic of make believe for yourself, a true delight in the art of shopping.

2 Friars Street, Stirling FK8 1HA 01786357490

www.tinkerbellsemporium.co.uk


WELCOME

Ben A’an, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

WELCOME

©VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

W

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! l

kingfishervisitorguides.com

“THIS IS A UNIQUE REGION, COMBINING PAST AND PRESENT ON A BEAUTIFUL LOWLAND BACKDROP OF FARMLAND AND SPECTACULAR ROLLING HILLS”

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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The National Wallace Monument, Stirling


HISTORY & HERITAGE

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

©VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

T

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 p12

“THE GREAT BATTLEFIELDS OF SCOTLAND’S HEROES WILLIAM WALLACE AND KING ROBERT THE BRUCE LIE IN THIS REGION”

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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HISTORY & HERITAGE

Hill House, Helensburgh

part to its strong defensive hilltop position and 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 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

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“COAL MINING AND WEAVING ALSO FLOURISHED IN CLACKMANNANSHIRE AND CONTINUED WELL INTO THE 20TH CENTURY”

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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. 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. Another popular attraction is the stunning Hill House, overlooking the Argyll town of Helensburgh, which is considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece. It has been restored by the National Trust for Scotland to look almost exactly as it did in 1904 when the up-and-coming architect Mackintosh and his wife, the artist Margaret Macdonald, were commissioned by Glasgow book publisher Walter Blackie to create almost everything you see in the house. l

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©ANTONY MCAULAY/ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; VISITSCOTLAND/PAUL TOMKINS

Cannon facing towards the National Wallace Monument

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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DAYS OUT

LET’S GO THERE! Whatever the time of year, and whatever the weather, there’s always plenty to do here

©FALKIRK COUNCIL

D

ays out in central Scotland offer memorable experiences for all ages and interests, but without the hassle of big city crowds, traffic jams and the strain on the wallet. Dominating the skies for miles is Stirling Castle, standing high on rocky crags above the city. Once a favoured residence of Scotland’s royalty, the building has been restored to its former grandeur. Now visitors can experience the sumptuous world of the Stuart royal family and the life of Mary Queen of Scots, who spent her early childhood here. The charismatic queen’s life has recently been brought to the big screen in Mary, Queen of Scots, which delves into the power struggle between the young Scottish monarch and her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. The big budget movie starring Saoirse Ronan as the ill-fated queen, has reignited interest in Mary, the sumptuous and dysfunctional world of the Stuarts, and Stirling Castle’s place as one of the royal dynasty’s favourite palaces.

kingfishervisitorguides.com

Today you can experience a flavour of what life was like in the 16th century for Mary and her court, as performers in meticulously-created costumes bring the mighty fort’s buildings and infamous characters to life. The castle’s other attractions are equally impressive, ranging from the restored kitchens to the cannons and rampart walks, the royal chapel, and the magnificent Great Hall – the largest of its kind ever built in Scotland. The castle is also the home of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum, which tells its history and its involvement in many wars, most notably its famous role as the Thin Red Line at the Battle of Balaklava in the Ukraine, in 1854. A more modern construction has recently grown to rival the status of the castle as the area’s most famous visitor attraction. The Falkirk Wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Union Canals, and is the world’s only rotating boat lift. The two canals were originally linked by a series of lock gates, now long since gone. p17

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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SO

LD

Luxury Living IN THE HEART OF SCOTLAND

Delta Superior Lodge £99,995

A spectacular New Lodge Development at Dollar Lodge Park just released

“Ochil View”

Delta Locksley Lodge £61,995

Pitches built with views in mind Prices from £61,995 Inclusive of fees until 2020, Decking and Skirting, and Safety Tests

Delta Thornbury Lodge £69,995

Selection of New Riverside Lodges Just Arrived

✓ Secured

Gated Community ✓ CCTV ✓ OPEN 365 days ✓ Stunning Locations by a private stretch of the River Devon To view these stunning lodges please call Fiona on 07561 712302 E-Mail sales@dollarlodges.co.uk Dollar lodge Park, Devon Road, Clackmannanshire FK14 7LX

Discover the life and legacy of William Wallace Patriot, martyr and Guardian of Scotland

History Fascinating

Fun Events an d

Activities

g Views Breathtakin

www.nationalwallacemonument.com info@nationalwallacemonument.com • 01786 472140

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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DAYS OUT

“THE 120-ACRE PARKLAND IS HOME TO MORE THAN 350 RARE AND EXOTIC ANIMALS, INCLUDING ZEBRAS, LIONS, RHINOS, CAMELS AND ANTELOPES, ALL OF WHICH CAN BE SEEN ON A SLOW DRIVE THROUGH THE RESERVE”

Opened in 2002, the Falkirk Wheel now forms the centrepiece of a project that has re-established coast-to-coast navigation of the two canals for the first time in more than four decades. 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 60-minute boat trip on the Union Canal, which includes the 334-metre Rough Castle Tunnel. There’s an excellent visitor centre and plenty of parking.

Blair Drummond Safari Park

©BLAIR DRUMMOND SAFARI PARK; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

Stirling Castle

kingfishervisitorguides.com

THE KELPIES Just a 15-minute drive away between Falkirk and Grangemouth, is another engineering wonder that dominates the local landscape – The Kelpies. The world’s largest equine sculptures stand more than 100ft tall and weigh an astonishing 300 tonnes each. Together they form the centrepiece of The Helix, a park offering more than 500km of connected cycle paths, water sports, walking opportunities, a splash play area, adventure zone, and more. But it is the magical Kelpies representing Scotland’s heavy horse heritage and modelled on two Clydesdale horses called Baron and Duke that present a wonderful photo opportunity. Visitors can also take a tour of the structures, and even venture inside. Another popular visitor attraction is the Blair Drummond Safari Park, just five miles from Stirling. The 120-acre parkland is home to more than 350 rare and exotic animals, including zebras, lions, rhinos, camels and antelopes, all of which can be seen on a slow drive through the reserve. There’s even a Macaque Drive-Thru where you can see the park’s famous troop of monkeys. Remember to keep your car window closed, though! You can walk with lemurs, take a boat ride to see chimpanzees, catch the popular sea lion presentations, watch outdoor birds of prey flying demonstrations and let the kids’ burn off some energy in the adventure playground with its giant fort, huge astraglide slide and pedal boats. The park is open from the end of 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 the 14th-century Doune Castle, once the home of the earls of Moray, and now considered the best p19

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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HOUSE I GARDENS I MAZE I SHOP & EAT I STAY

The Crowning Place of Scottish Kings

■ Visit the crowning place ■ See our Belle exhibition of Scottish Kings and the which tells of the historic site of the fascinating life of Dido Stone of Scone. Elizabeth Belle. ■ Roam around the ■ Open 1 April extensive grounds - 31 October, 7 days. featuring the Murray Star Maze, Kitchen Garden, ■ Winter Hours: FREE Pinetum, and Children's ADMISSION to the Play Area. Grounds, Food Shop and Coffee Shop each Friday, Saturday & Sunday in ■ Browse around our Food November, December, and Gift Shops then relax February & March. and enjoy delicious refreshments in our Coffee Shop.

t: 01738 552300 e: visits@scone-palace.co.uk

www.scone-palace.co.uk

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

Afterno o Tea fro n m

£11.95

No trip to Falkirk is complete without a visit to the historic Callendar House, set in the glorious grounds of Callendar Park. Our Tearoom serves freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, coffee and cakes. Our splendid Afternoon Teas are served in the Drawing Room and can be pre-booked on 01324 506850. Free Entry | Historial exhibitions | Art exhibitions | Gift Shop | Georgian Kitchen (where Outlander was filmed) | Tearoom | Free parking | Open 10am – 5pm (Closed Tuesdays) www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org | Callendar Park, Falkirk, FK1 1YR

| 01324 506 850

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DAYS OUT

A tour guide at the National Wallace Monument tells of William Wallace’s life

“VISIT THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN HERITAGE CENTRE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF STIRLING, WITH ITS MAGNIFICENT STATUE OF KING ROBERT THE BRUCE”

©RALFIK D/ADOBE STOCK; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

Finish the tour at Castle Campbell, which overlooks the town of Dollar from a lofty hilltop site. This forbidding but awesome 15th-century tower house once known as the Castle of Glooms, is open to the public and is well worth exploring. The views from the battlements alone are well worth the visit.

unaltered medieval castle in Scotland. You may recognise the romantic edifice from its starring role in a number of seminal films and popular TV series, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones – where it was Winterfell in the pilot episode – Outlander, and the BBC’s Ivanhoe. Here you can explore two great halls, climb spiral stairways and venture into dark cellars. The castle is open all year round, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July, stays open until 8pm to make the most of the lighter summer nights. From Doune, head for Clackmannanshire and its tower house trail. Here you’ll find 15thcentury Sauchie Tower (also known as Devon Tower) and 14th-century Clackmannan Tower, once home to a branch of the Bruce family.

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Both Sauchie and Clackmannan Towers are sadly only open for special guided tours during Scottish Archaeology Month and Doors Open Days each September. But both give an excellent idea of what the fortified tower houses that once littered both Scotland and northern England, were 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, the tower where Mary Queen of Scots and her son, James VI, both spent part of their childhoods, is open to visitors. It offers a great idea of the castle through its various stages of development as a family residence, ending up with a panoramic view across nine counties from the roof-top battlements.

NATIONAL WALLACE MONUMENT The area is also, of course, the focus of Scotland’s Wars of Independence. For many, that means Braveheart country, so learn about the man himself at the National Wallace Monument at Stirling (good parking and a minibus to take you uphill to the monument itself ). In its 150th anniversary year, The National Wallace Monument in Stirling has been transformed to tell Wallace’s story like never before. Visitors can make their way up 246 steps taking in the three galleries and experiencing Scottish history through informative displays, exciting videos, interactive activities and historical reconstructions on the way. Incredible views across Central Scotland await them at the landmark’s Crown. Throughout 2019, The National Wallace Monument is hosting 150 special events, including an evening illumination on Wednesday 11th September and a family-friendly festival on Saturday 14th September. For more information about opening times and upcoming events, visit www.nationalwallacemonument.com. Follow this with a visit to the Battle of Bannockburn Heritage Centre on the outskirts of Stirling, with its magnificent statue of King Robert the Bruce on his battle horse, standing on the spot where The Bruce raised his standard. The Heritage Centre boasts a p25

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Perth is a hub for culture and arts. Nestled on the banks of the River Tay, it boasts a wealth of history, culture and entertainment.

Why not start your visit by popping in to one of our many pavement café’s around St John’s Place, and take in the great views of the historic 15th century St John’s Kirk. If Perth’s medieval history appeals, follow the route of the old city walls along Canal Street, Methven Street and Mill Street. Take the time to check out Perth Museum and Art Gallery: approaching its 200th birthday it is one of the oldest museums in the UK. There is something of interest for everyone, with permanent exhibitions displaying the artistic, social, and natural history of the district.

Keep up the culture fix with a visit to the Fergusson Gallery, which celebrates the life and work of JD Fergusson, the great pioneer of modern art; and his wife, Margaret Morris, inspired choreographer, artist, movement therapist and author. With the publication of ‘Fair Maid of Perth’, by Sir Walter Scott, Perth was dubbed ‘The Fair City’. You can still visit the house featured in the novel, now transformed into a visitor and educational centre by The Royal Scottish Geographical Society. It features displays on geographical issues and the history of Perth. Within the


house you can see a substantial section of Mediaeval Wall, part of the Blackfriar’s Monastery where the Scottish King James I was killed in 1437. For lunch, Perth offers no shortage of award-winning eateries. The city centre is renowned for its fantastic food & drink, offering a great range of cuisines. Or find all the ingredients for a fabulous picnic in the award-winning bakers and delicatessens that make Perth City Centre a foodie’s paradise.

Perth offers no shortage of awardwinning eateries Work off lunch by taking a leisurely stroll around the city’s two spacious public parks, the North and South Inch. The city is a consistent Beautiful Britain award winner, and you can follow various walks, and trails such as the River Tay Public Arts Trail. This features 22 different sculptures, which draw inspiration from the river and its wildlife; and the city’s history. Balhousie Castle, on the North Inch, is home of the Black Watch Museum. Recently awarded 5 star status by the Scottish Tourist Board, it tells almost three centuries of history for this elite regiment. It also has a great café and gift shop.

Gardeners and botanists head to Branklyn Garden, overlooking the city, to see its outstanding collection of rhododendrons, alpines, herbaceous and peat-garden plants. Branklyn holds national collections of various plants, including the striking and unusual vivid blue Himalayan poppy, Meconopsis. Visitors can also take in the developing national collection of heathers. It is planned the garden will host 950 species of heather, forming an important and unique national collection. Back in the city centre, a great selection of unique independent boutiques sit alongside well-known big-name stores to offer a little retail therapy. If shopping’s not your bag, Perth is also a dream location for lovers of the great outdoors: there are many great routes for cycling and walking. Or take in a round of golf at the King James VI Golf Club on the outskirts of Perth, (or relive the Ryder Cup spirit on the famous Gleneagles course). You can also try your hand with a rod and reel, at the Willowgate Fisheries. It comprises a 9-acre fly-only trout loch and four miles of Salmon fishing on the River Tay. You can also hire canoes and paddle boards from the Activity Centre, and take part in organised excursions on the river. For alternative water sport, visit Perth Leisure Pool, one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions since it opened in 1988. This wonderful

PLAN YOUR VISIT

perthcity.co.uk

Perth is also a dream location for lovers of the great outdoors venue boasts training water, leisure water, flumes, a gym, health suite and so much more. As thoughts turn to dinner, look out for the restaurants that serve the great selection of home grown local produce. There are plenty to choose from! After dinner entertainment ranges from fantastic theatre, events and concerts at either Perth Concert Hall or Perth Theatre, or check out a film at The Playhouse, Perth’s independent 7-screen cinema that also features an IMAX screen. To end the day, Perth has loads of bustling pubs and slick bars, all in close proximity, with a number holding of the coveted Best Bar None award. With great live music on offer to boot, there is definitely something for everyone.

@PerthCityCentre #PerfectPerthshire #exploreperth #perthistheplace


THE HELIX HOME OF THE KELPIES A place to explore

@HelixFalkirk

@TheHelix

@Helixfalkirk

www.thehelix.co.uk Helix Park, Falkirk, FK2 7ZT 01324 590 600


D I S C O V E R T H E D I S T I L L E RY A traditional working distillery nestled in the Ochil Hills, the gateway to the Highlands. Tullibardine is one of the few distilleries in Scotland that distils, matures and bottles its exceptional single malts all on one site, giving us complete control over the whisky making process. Our distillery is open all year round, 7 days a week. Visit us and take one of our in-depth, guided tours. C L A S S I C TO U R

B O N D E D TO U R

C O N N O I S S E U R TO U R

W H I S K Y A N D C H O C O L AT E T O U R Tullibardine Distillery, Blackford, Perthshire, Scotland, PH4 1QG Easily accessible from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, Tullibardine is in Blackford, only 7 minutes away in a car or taxi from Gleneagles Train Station. For more information or to book a tour, please call the distillery on 01764 661 809 or email shop.admin@tullibardine.com Facebook @TullibardineWhisky

Twitter @Tullidistillery

The Woods Caravan & Lodge Park

Instagram @tullibardinewhisky

www.tullibardine.com

Enjoy exceptional scenic views of the Ochil Hills

The park is quiet, tranquil and an ideal base for Stirling, The Trossachs, Perth, Loch Lomond, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Park facilities: • 17 luxurious and contemporary lodges for hire (sleep 4, 6 or 8) • 97 hardstanding pitches for caravans/motorhomes (all 16 AMP) • 15 grass pitches for tents (9 EHU/6 non-electric) • 2 award-winning heated toilet blocks with disabled facilities • Children’s play area • Motorhome facilities/laundry and drying area/dish washing areas • Dog walk area on park and surrounding areas • Shop and restaurant on-site • Bus stop and railway nearby • Affiliated to Caravan & Motorhome Club • Open all year

Diverswell Farm, by Alva, Clackmannanshire FK10 3AN 01259 762802 // enquiries@thewoodscaravanpark.co.uk

www.thewoodscaravanpark.co.uk

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Say Aloha to Alloa’s very first indoor playground that will sure to have Clackmannanshire and beyond bouncing! Jump right in as our trampoline park, 5 miles from Stirling, guarantees a whole host of fun with our state-of-the-art trampolines suited for one and all. Packed with exciting activities for your family and friends to challenge themselves with, we want to ensure everyone can take part to provide you with an extra spring in your step!

Book your jump online at jump-n-joy.co.uk Bond Street • Alloa • FK10 2PB • T. 01259 215576 • E. info@jump-n-joy.co.uk

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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DAYS OUT

Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

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state-of-the-art 3D experience which brings this landmark Scottish battle to life. Here you can immerse yourself in the events during and surrounding the bloody 1314 clash, take command of your own virtual battlefield, and witness Bruce’s victory against all the odds over King Edward II of England. For a more tranquil experience, visit the Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s centre at Bo’ness, a few miles beyond Falkirk. As well as workshops and a museum, it has a diverse collection of railway locomotives, carriages, wagons, equipment and artefacts. 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 seven days a week between April and October. Close by is the Bo’ness Motor Museum. Popular exhibits include a Harry Potter car, Thunderbirds’ hover bike, and props from both Doctor Who and James Bond films. Suitable for all ages, it’s open all year. CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES There are also plenty of other options for kids. Burn off some energy at Wonder World Soft Play in Falkirk, or the Xtreme Karting centre in Larbert. There’s also Xtreme Combat laser tag which takes place in a five-acre wood at the Larbert centre. Options include Special Forces missions for children aged six-plus, and tactical assignments for age 14-plus. In Stirling there’s the AMF ten-pin bowling centre

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“THE FIRPARK SKI CENTRE OFFERS A RANGE OF ACTIVITIES ALL YEAR ROUND ON ITS 120M OUTDOOR DRY SKI SLOPE, FROM SKIING, SNOWBOARDING AND BLADING TO TUBING LETS”

or ice-skating and swimming at The Peak, a £27m ‘sports village’, which also includes an 11m high climbing wall. The Stirling Mystery Treasure Trail is a fascinating and informative two-hour self-guided adventure and clue solving walk suitable for ages six-plus. Starting at the Old Town Jail in St John Street and taking in a two-mile circuit of the city, this is one to buy before you leave home, however. A downloadable booklet – one will cater for up to five people – costs £6.99. The Jump n Joy Trampoline Park in Alloa is a great day out for all the family, with 35 performance trampolines, a climbing wall and a slam dunk zone among its many attractions. The Firpark Ski Centre at Tillicoultry, offers a range of snow sport activities all year round on its 120m outdoor dry ski slope, from skiing, snowboarding and blading to tubing lets, which allow up to 15 people of all ages to descend in what are effectively large inner tubes. Argaty Red Kites at Doune is a bird watching centre that offers a unique chance to get close to these beautiful birds of prey. Based on a working farm, booking is advised. You can go on a guided walk, while a ranger-led visit includes a trip to the hide. Under sixes go free. Finally, if you ever wonder if we’re in the universe alone, try a visit to Bonnybridge. This is Scotland’s UFO-spotting capital, with more sightings of space ships and aliens than Roswell USA. If you do see ET, get the camera out before phoning home. l

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EATING OUT

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


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cross Scotland, eating out has gone through something of a renaissance, but these changes are not restricted to the major cities. Across the Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire areas, the choice has grown enormously in recent years to suit every palate and pocket. Much of the produce used is locally sourced from farms on the rich lands of the Forth Valley, or from its rivers. Not surprisingly, given the proximity of Stirling’s internationally-renowned university and its diverse population, there is a wide choice of restaurants and bistros offering an impressive range of excellent world cuisines. 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, and even Australian and Austrian. Among the best and most popular pasta places are Italia Nostra in Baker Street and La Ciociara in Friars Street. Both have the fresh tastes of the Mediterranean, in a typically stylish but welcoming atmosphere. However, beyond the city centre, Corrieri’s Italian Café and Pizzeria 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. Among Stirling’s many curry houses Spice Garden serves delicious food made from traditional Punjabi family recipes, while the Indian Cottage in Dumbarton Road has developed into a local favourite thanks to its traditional dishes and informal atmosphere. Other well-established local favourites include Hermann’s in Broad Street (with Austrian food including schnitzels), and the Kilted Kangaroo in Upper Craigs (kangaroo burgers). DISCERNING DINERS Fast becoming a must go to haunt with discerning diners is The Orangery in Victoria Square. Initially opened in 2018 for light lunches and afternoon teas, 2019 has seen the introduction of a full fine dining evening menu. Local produce is to the fore with a regularly-changing menu blending traditional classics with modern innovation. Haggis, neeps and tatties sits comfortably alongside seared Scottish scallops, rare-breed pork with roasted fennel, and roasted artichoke with wild mushrooms.

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Recommended Chinese restaurants include the Regent in Upper Bridge Street and the Golden Crown on Barnton Street. Mediterranèa in Viewfield Place offers a fusion of Greek, Spanish and Lebanese meze and tapas dishes, while the wonderfully named Flip ‘n Shake, is an American-influenced diner on Forthside Way serving everything from sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles to French toast, ice cream, milk shakes and other sweet treats. A guilty pleasure! For something completely different, give The Gallery Restaurant a go. Situated in Forth Valley College’s Stirling campus, it is the training restaurant for students on the hospitality courses. But don’t be put off – it has been awarded a prestigious Taste Our Best Award by VisitScotland, for the high quality culinary experience it offers. Dine on the very finest European, British and Scottish-inspired dishes at great prices, whilst enjoying panoramic views over the Wallace Monument, the River Forth, the Stirling p29

“STIRLING’S CITY CENTRE OFFERS THE GREATEST CHOICE, WITH EXCELLENT CHINESE, INDIAN, ITALIAN, MEXICAN, TURKISH, THAI, GREEK, SPANISH, AND EVEN AUSTRALIAN AND AUSTRIAN CUISINE”

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Treat yourself to benny t’s fish and chips in Falkirk! Welcome to benny t’s, bringing you freshly prepared fish and chips along with other traditional classics including burgers and stone baked pizzas 7 days a week. We are a family-run business built upon strong family values and have years of experience and knowledge of the catering industry. Located just a 5 minute drive from The Falkirk Stadium, the Helix and the Kelpies. Enjoy a meal in our large family friendly restaurant or takeaway. 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.

Mary Street, Laurieston, Falkirk FK2 9PS 01324 678 730

www.bennyts.co.uk | info@bennyts.co.uk

Find us on social media

ITALIA NOSTRA RISTORANTE - PIZZERIA STIRLING

25 Baker Street, Stirling FK8 1BJ Tel: 01786 473 208

Italia Nostra is located on the hill up to the world famous Stirling Castle and offers what you would expect from an Italian restaurant and pizzeria. Expect 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.

Email: italianostra@stirling.co.uk

www.italianostrastirling.co.uk

Italia Nostra can be used for many celebrations. It is an ideal venue for a small wedding, birthday party or business lunch. Take away service available.

FIND US CLOSE TO STIRLING CASTLE !

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EATING OUT

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cityscape, and the Ochil Hills. Open for lunch 12pm-1.30pm and dinner Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm. Beyond Stirling the long-established India Gate in Dunblane, La Cucina Italian restaurant in Bridge of Allan, Bar Aldo’s Italian restaurant and Dnisi (impressive choice of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options), both in Alloa, and Pierre’s with its British/French-inspired food in Falkirk, are all recommended. In fact, Falkirk offers an excellent choice of world cuisine restaurants including the Sumo Noodle Bar, the Lanna Thai restaurant, and the Sanam Tandoori and the Bukharah Indian restaurants. PUBS GALORE A stroll round Stirling quickly reveals a wide variety of interesting pubs and bars, ranging from the trendy like 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 lies a host of colourful villages, each with local pubs serving delicious and filling meals, often made with ingredients sourced from nearby farms. Heading toward Loch Lomond lie the villages of Gargunnock, Kippen and Buchlyvie, all with

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excellent hostelries serving hearty, home-made pub grub. Gargunnock Inn regularly rates highly in the CAMRA Forth Valley Pub of the Year 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 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 tasty food well worth discovering include the Westerton Arms in Bridge of Allan, the Lion and Unicorn Country Hotel and Restaurant at Thornhill, the newly-refurbished Inn at Kippen, the Clachan Inn at Drymen (reputedly first licensed in 1734 and recently named the UK’s most popular longest running hostelry) and the award-winning Village Inn gastropub at Dunblane. On the outskirts of Stirling 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 pétanque for those who fancy an outdoor game of boules. If travelling instead through Clackmannanshire towards St Andrews, do not miss the Inn at p31

“BEYOND STIRLING LIES A HOST OF COLOURFUL VILLAGES, EACH WITH LOCAL PUBS SERVING DELICIOUS AND FILLING MEALS, OFTEN MADE WITH INGREDIENTS SOURCED FROM NEARBY FARMS”

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The Shore Restaurant & Lounge Bar The Shore is a family run local restaurant and lounge bar with a patio/beer garden to the side and rear. We offer quality homecooked food at affordable prices in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Food is also served in our lounge bar which is a designated dog friendly area. Takeaway food also available. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 12noon.

T. 01324 570658 E. the.shore@virginmedia.com /theshorecarronshore 195 Carronshore Road, Falkirk FK2 8ES

theshorefalkirk.co.uk

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Visit www.cooksbarandkitchen.co.uk cooksbarandkitchen@btconnect.com or for bookings, call 01324 877115

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 DAILY FROM 12 NOON, AND FOR BREAKFAST FROM 9AM SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 10% off main menu Monday to Friday 12noon until 6pm (with a photo of this voucher) Whether it be a romantic table for two, a family gathering or a quick lunch, with traditional favourites like fish and chips, or steak pie to burgers, steaks and even our vegan menu, there is something to suit all occasions and tastes at Cook’s Bar and Kitchen. Early Bird Menu, Monday to Friday 2.30pm-5.30pm Two courses £9.95 three courses £13.95 Sunday Lunch served all day, one course £12.95, two courses £14.95, three courses £16.95 All prices are correct at time of publication, and subject to change Cook’s Bar & Kitchen | Glensburgh Road | Grangemouth | Stirlingshire | FK3 8XJ

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EATING OUT

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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. What happens if everyone going out to eat fancies something a little bit different? You’ll find wide menu choices in Stirling The Namaste Stirling World Buffet is, as the name suggests, a multi-cuisine restaurant serving everything from Chinese to Thai, Italian, Japanese sushi, Indian and Nepalese all under the one roof. Plenty for even the pickiest eaters to get their teeth into. Or try the Filling Station, a bustling Americanstyle restaurant and bar with pizzas, pasta, burgers, Cajun chicken, and good, old-fashioned fish and chips all on the menu. BRITISH FARE The Jam Jar Café in Bridge of Allan is a relaxed and modern eatery serving up-to-date British fare that goes from being a cafe during the day to a restaurant at night, with everything from sandwiches and pizza to steaks and seafood aplenty. There’s a good range of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options too. In Falkirk, the ever evolving Behind the Wall is recommended, especially for its Sombrero Nachos. For light meals, the Old Bank with its welcoming log fire in Callander is a favourite. The menu, prepared from locally-sourced ingredients, includes delicious home-made soups, an Old Bank favourite

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– butter chicken – and a dedicated gluten-free menu with loads of tasty choices. Another not to be missed, is the Blairmains Farm Shop and 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. There’s also a younger, faster kid on the Blairmains block – the Coffee Bothy Express – offering a quick tasty snack alongside varied take-away options. Great for those who don’t have the time to tarry and admire the view over the picturesque Ochil Hills. For one of the best fish and chip shops in Scotland, look no further than the Allanwater Cafe in Bridge of Allan. The area boasts a mixture of fine hotels ranging from the cosy and homely to the seriously upmarket, but which also welcomes non-residents to its dining rooms. Scotland’s tennis superstar Andy Murray, is the man behind luxury Cromlix House, near his hometown of Dunblane. Its Chez Roux restaurant is overseen by the legendary French chef Albert Roux, and it is here you will find such delights as Highland wagyu steamed suet pudding; Marmite of Scottish seafood with wild p32

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rice and ginger; and Loch Etive sea trout with a black olive crust. Another hidden gem is the Roman Camp Hotel in Callander. Although set in 20 acres of gardens beside the River Teith, this secluded three-rosette hideaway is right in the centre of town. With a quiet ambience of antique furnishings and log fires, it offers excellent meals prepared with locally-grown ingredients served at tables set with fine white linen, silverware and crystal. Visitors can also enjoy afternoon tea in the drawing room and library.

“THIS FINE EATERY OFFERS EXCELLENT MEALS PREPARED WITH LOCALLYGROWN INGREDIENTS SERVED AT TABLES SET WITH FINE WHITE LINEN, SILVERWARE AND CRYSTAL”

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STUNNING VIEWS Another option is the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro (known simply as the Dunblane Hydro) located near the centre of the town, but on rising ground from where there are lovely views towards the Trossachs. Set in ten acres, it features the Kailyard by Nick Nairn Restaurant, serving hearty Scottish fare with a modern twist. Other hotels recommended for their meals include the 19th-century Royal Hotel in Bridge of Allan. Finally, for those who enjoy delicious home-made soup and bakeries, there is the fun of seeking out the area’s hidden tea shops. Even in Stirling there are several well worth sampling, including the Old Town Coffee House in Spittal Street, the Bluebell Tearoom in Pitt Terrace where baked goodies complement tea served in delicate vintage cups, the Burgh Coffeehouse in King Street and the Darnley Coffee House at the bottom of Broad Street – located in a

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

16th-century barrel vaulted building reputed to have been where Mary Queen of Scots’ husband, Lord Darnley, lived. Also well worth an hour or two of your time is the family-run The Smithy on St Mary’s Wynd near Stirling Castle, Loving Food on King Street, which has its origins in the street food scene, and the recently opened The Ugly Mug on Friars Street, offering great coffee and home baking. Beyond Stirling there are more tantalising little tea rooms. Try perhaps the Beech Tree cafe in central Dunblane or the excellent Hideaway off Fountain Road in Bridge of Allan. Look out for the cafe’s moreish goats’ cheese, avocado, pomegranate and salsa open sandwich, which is so good it had to go from the specials board straight on to the main menu. In historic Doune, the Buttercup Cafe offers delicious food, great coffee or tea, and an extensive cake selection, and there is a regular and wellattended monthly farmers’ market held in the courtyard behind the eatery. A good place to stock-up on food or find a bite to take-away if you’re out and about exploring. Also in Doune is Cafe Circa, a taste of Scotland awarded eatery based in the Scottish Antiques Centre, serving home bakes and a good selection of gluten-free and vegan options. While on the A811 the Woodhouse Coffee Shop near Kippen uses locally grown produce – there’s a farm shop next door. Further on in picturesque Buchlyvie is the Coffee Kiln Café, sat within a working

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EATING OUT

pottery with food served on hand-painted plates. It brings a new meaning to trying before you buy! In Falkirk, Tea Jenny’s, hidden away in King’s Court, is another little gem, where cute tea cosies and cakes to die for will leave a lasting memory. Nothing is quite as you would expect, with such delights as raspberry coconut or banana chocolate chip scones, exquisitely decorated cakes with flavours like strawberry Baileys and lemon and raspberry meringue, slick slabs of peanut butter caramel slice, and home-made Wagon Wheels. 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, enjoy and forget the waistline for a while. The Acoustic Café in Falkirk has been open since 2015 and has gained a huge following in the town for its mix of excellent cuisine and fantastic live music sessions. The cafe, which is in a prime spot just across the road from Grahamston train station, stands out as a beacon of style. Saved from dereliction by owner Alan Bye, the building is now an ultra-chic coffee shop and music venue. Inside, the cafe is perfectly in tune with the music-loving clientele. There is exposed brickwork on one wall of the long, galley-style venue. On the other, a panoramic photo wall shows a tranquil black-and-white woodland. Dozens of vintage guitars – which are all for sale to customers – adorn both sides of the cafe. l

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10

THINGS YOU MUST DO!

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10 THINGS

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Red kite; The Falkirk Wheel; Watch the Highland Games; Glengoyne Distillery; LEFT Climb the National Wallace Monument for great views; BELOW Stirling Castle

[01] CLIMB THE NATIONAL WALLACE MONUMENT

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!

©CROWN COPYRIGHT REPRODUCED COURTESY OF HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND; ELNUR/JAMES PINTAR/ADOBE STOCK; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM/PAUL TOMKINS

[02] DO THE FALKIRK WHEEL This extraordinary piece of modern engineering is a world one-off. Standing 35 metres tall and using 1,200 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. [03] 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. [04] SEE THE WORLD’S 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 The Stirling Smith Museum and Art Gallery. [05] 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

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Distillery near Killearn, now in its tenth generation of production, also offers tours and tastings, and is open all year round. [06] WALK THE ROMAN RAMPARTS AT ROUGHCASTLE OR ARDOCH 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 Stirlingshire at Braco will convey the strength of defences required, and also the sense of isolation and remoteness the Roman soldiers must have felt. [07] WIN THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN The 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.

“THE PICTURE-POSTCARD GLENGOYNE DISTILLERY NEAR KILLEARN, NOW IN ITS TENTH GENERATION OF PRODUCTION, OFFERS TOURS AND TASTINGS, AND IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND”

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 1856, are another colourful experience of piping, highland dancing and ancient traditional sports. [09] VISIT STIRLING CASTLE It may dominate the skyline and seem like an obvious attraction, but make sure you do actually go! More than 570,000 visitors a year can’t be wrong. [10] SEE ANDY MURRAY’S GOLDEN POST BOX 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. l

[08] ATTEND A HIGHLAND GAMES Some of the oldest, biggest and best Highland Games are held locally in this region. The

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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, Falkirk 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 Thistles shopping centre includes Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Boots, Primark, Dorothy Perkins, H&M, Next, River Island, Waterstones, currently the only bookshop in the city apart from Stirling Books, Zara, FatFace, 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. There is also a rolling programme of events within the centre, from children’s entertainment to book launches and live music. For foodie fans, a visit to Stirling Farmers’ Market is not to be missed. Held on Port Street, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, and renowned for its friendly traders and wide selection of award-winning food and drink, visitors can meet the producers and taste the very best of Scotland’s larder. On the western edge of Stirling stands Dobbies Garden Centre. Set in rural surroundings beside the River Forth and primarily a haven for gardeners, the centre also sells everything from pets and delicatessen food to books and clothing. There’s also a cafe and a Lakeland outlet has opened next door. Falkirk, about 12 miles to the east, has two large p41

“YOU CAN FIND EVERYTHING FROM HIGH STREET NAMES TO A HOST OF LITTLE SHOPS OF EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND VALUE”

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We are a fashion boutique that prides itself on offering high quality products at affordable prices. We have a fantastic range that includes Italian leather bags, fashion bags, ladies clothing, jewellery and scarves. We look forward to welcoming you to our boutiques very soon. Find us on Facebook @Honeybeeboutiquehandbags Find us on Instagram honeybeeboutique45

www.honeybee-boutique.co.uk 45 Glebe Street • Falkirk • FK1 1HX • Tel. 01324 227230 2 New Street • Bridge of Allan • FK9 4LZ

‘Would recommend the Woodhouse to anyone, couldn’t fault it in any way’ Farm shop, gifts, plants, butchery, deli counter and café/coffee shop, Woodland walks and ample parking Loch Lomond

A811

Open 9am – 5pm every day

Woodhouse Add for Sarah.indd 1

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

The Woodhouse Kippen

A811

Stirling

www.thewoodhousekippen.co.uk

16/07/2019 19:56

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DISCOVER STIRLING'S HIDDEN TREASURE! Common Ground Games is Stirling’s only dedicated boardgame shop that offers much more than the very best collection of games to buy. Inside you will discover a cafe and a varied selection of games available to play in the largest games room in Scotland, all while retaining the feel and intimacy of a Local Game Shop. Our library has games for everyone, of all ages. Our friendly staff will take you through the rules to ensure you start playing immediately and are always available to answer questions. Whether you already like card games or board games, or just want to join the board game rennaissance, we have the game for you! Not only do we know games, we know coffee. Our full service cafe offers a wide selection of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks, allowing you to spend as long as you like together. But beware our cheeky dog, she’ll be your best friend for bacon. Take a break from the tourist trail and recharge your batteries over a coffee and a newly discovered gem of a game. Whatever you choose we guarantee you will have fun with your friends and family.

Tel. 01786 357414 40 Cowane Street • Stirling • FK8 1JR

commongroundgames.co.uk


indoor shopping centres on the pedestrianised High Street and there’s a major retail park nearby. The Howgate shopping centre tends to have attracted most of the big names including Boots, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, River Island, H Samuel, Wallis, Trespass, USC and more. Howgate hosts a regular craft market in the community hub and Sensory Shopping on the first Sunday of every month for customers who find busy and noisy shopping venues a challenge. By contrast, the Callendar Square centre includes more specialised outlets selling cards and posters, party and celebration accessories, toys, books and household goods. Both centres also have a choice of cafes and plenty of parking nearby. RETAIL PARKS Falkirk’s Central 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, TK Maxx, Argos and other high street names. Clackmannanshire’s mainstream shopping is mostly concentrated in bustling Alloa, where there are several large supermarkets. However, the town has benefitted from a regeneration project which has seen the installation

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“HALF THE FUN OF SHOPPING IS DISCOVERING THOSE LITTLE, HIDDEN-AWAY SHOPS WHICH SELL THINGS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND IN ANY SUPERMARKET OR CHAIN STORE”

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

of public art works and enhanced streetscapes and shop fronts. Pleasingly, it 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 Affinity Sterling Mills Outlet Shopping Village. Everyone loves a bargain, and here’s the place to find High Street brands like Gap, Adidas, Jaeger, Charles Clinkard and Mountain Warehouse, at great prices all year round. Located right across the road from the huge Sterling furniture centre, this village also has its own spacious car parking area, children’s play area, and cafes. 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 the Stirling Arcade. Inside this restored Victorian shopping mall originally built in 1881, is a diverse range of independent shops, boutiques and cafes.

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SHOPPING

©BRAD PICT/MONKEY BUSINESS/ADOBE STOCK; STIRLING FARMERS’ MARKET

Stirling Farmers’ Market

Tinsel and Tartan has just opened in the arcade. This delightful and traditional Christmas shop and Scottish souvenir shop is packed full of tasteful tartan trinkets as well as beautiful baubles. Look out for The Scottish Gantry, a specialist whisky, wine and gin shop; Elegance Within selling beautiful occasion wear; Bluebell’s babywear and Silver Gems Jewellery’s stunning hand-made pieces. Friars Street is full of interesting small shops. Europa Music offers an impressive choice of thousands of old vinyl records, hard-to-find CDs and period memorabilia, and also hosts live music events. Also on Friars Street is House of Henderson, which has been making kilts for nearly a century. Next door is Tinkerbell’s Emporium, a magical gift shop dedicated to making fairy tales come true for children of all ages. At the top of King Street, Stuarts has a stunning range of beautiful, often locally-made jewellery. Also on King Street you’ll find Contempo, a winner of the Best Gift Shop in Central Scotland, boasting an impressive range of homeware and exciting brands from local artists. You’ll find more locally-sourced goods at Made in Stirling. A ‘show and sell’ store, it offers local designers, makers and artists the chance to sell their work on the high street. p45

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Stirling’s award-winning gift boutique, Contempo offer a unique collection of Scottish and internationally sources gifts, interiors and greetings cards. We work with local artists and artisans to handpick products that are unique and unusual. You’ll find us on King Street, right in the centre of town.

19 King Street, Stirling, Stirlingshire FK8 1DN

A visit is a must to ensure you have something special to remember your stay!

www.contempoonline.co.uk

01786 478097

creativestirling.org

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@madeinstirlingstore

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Kids@BakerStreet stock clothes ranging from new born to 8 years including everyday clothes and special occasion wear.

Designers include: A-Dee • Bea Cadillac • Billieblush • Dani by Sarah Louise • EMC Emile at Rose • Gymp • Ido • Kate Mack •Le Chic • Leon Shoes Mitch & Son • Patachou • Petite Bebe • Pretty Original

www.kidsatbakerstreet.co.uk T: 01786 445577 E: info@kidsatbakerstreet.co.uk 30 Baker Street • Stirling • FK8 1BJ

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BIG BRAND OUTLETS

Big Savings!

Come along and discover what makes Affinity Sterling Mills Outlet Shopping a totally unique shopping destination. You’ll find us at the foot of the stunning Ochil Hills, not far from Stirling and an easy car or bus ride from most of central Scotland. With free parking, a kids' play area and loads of events taking place throughout the year, shopping at Affinity Sterling Mills is a breath of fresh air. WWW.STERLINGMILLS.COM

DEVON WAY, TILLICOULTRY, FK13 6HQ

...and much more!

OPENING TIMES Mon-Sat 9.30 – 17.30

58 Murray place Stirling FK8 2BX 01786 357150 info@callunaethicalliving.co.uk

We are an independent family run shop in the heart of Stirling, passionate about promoting a fair-trade, ethical and sustainable lifestyle. We sell fair trade gifts, crafts, toys and jewellery, a selection of fantastic food from around the world and vegan chocolate. We stock ethical fashion brands, White Stuff, Nomads and Thought clothing. People love our colourful bamboo socks! Bamboo toothbrushes, re-useable coffee cups and zero waste shampoo bars are popular, helping to reduce the amount of plastics we use. We now stock some amazing and unusual house plants that make great air purifiers for your home.

www.callunaethicalliving.co.uk

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SHOPPING

ING IMAGE

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 draw you in to this fascinating place. Less than a 10-minute walk from Stirling town centre, Common Ground Games is a gaming and hobby centre. The centre includes a wargaming and a card game area with 20 full size wargaming tables, as well as 15 card and boardgaming tables. It also boasts a fully-stocked shop and a popular cafe. DESIGNER SHOPS Falkirk’s town centre offers plenty to browse, including designer clothes shop Kicks for Kids in Princes Street and the award-winning Kiltpin highland outfitters in Callendar Riggs. Honey Bee Boutique in Glebe Street offers a wonderful selection of Italian leather handbags, fashion and evening bags, as well as an exquisite range of jewellery. There’s also a producers’ and crafters’ market held on the first Friday of every month in Falkirk town centre where you will find a good selection of locally-grown, reared and made goods. Alloa’s town centre has lost many of its artisan shops but Gordon R McFarlane jewellers and art gallery in Mill Street survives as a little haven of excellence. There is a buzzing Thursday market held in the town centre in the Lidl car park where you will find everything from artisan breads to fruit and vegetables, hand-knitted babywear and even a singing trader! To the west of Stirling lie several historic and picturesque towns and villages. The Victorian spa town of Bridge of Allan offers the discerning visitor a good choice of small shops ranging from boutiquestyle shoe, fashion and interior design outlets such as Ruby Tuesday, Nutshell (formerly Treehouse), Ruban Rouge, the Drapers Award winning Country Pursuits and Capture Boutique and Minis. The Fotheringham Gallery, which stocks a great range of locally-produced and contemporary Scottish art and jewellery, and Woodwinters, which is a superb shop for whiskies and wines, are both highly recommended. Bridge of Allan is also home to the wonderful Angels’ Share Glass, set up by master glassmaker Tom Young MBE and his daughter, Karen Somerville, in 2013. They are known for making hand-blown glass angels filled with whisky, as well as whisky water droppers and other whisky-related glassware. There is unfortunately no physical shop, but it is possible to visit the glassworks by appointment, and both Country Pursuits and Woodwinters in Bridge of Allan, stock the range.

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“EUROPA MUSIC OFFERS AN IMPRESSIVE CHOICE OF THOUSANDS OF OLD VINYL RECORDS, HARD-TO-FIND CDs AND PERIOD MEMORABILIA, AND ALSO HOSTS LIVE MUSIC EVENTS”

Just a few miles north, Dunblane’s High Street offers an interesting choice of distinctive little shops such as Charisma specialising in quirky and quality gifts, Ruby Ruby Shoes and The Secret Garden designer florist. But for something truly 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 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. 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 stylish and exclusive women’s clothes. The Scottish Antiques and Arts Centre and The Desirable Curio (a vintage store selling everything from jewellery to furniture), are also well worth a visit. p47

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Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). Also operating in Northern Ireland.


SHOPPING

©JASMIN QUAYNOR/UNSPLASH; ADOBE STOCK

Callander’s main street also offers, among the woollen mills outlets, several unique little shops, including the fascinating Nutcracker Christmas Shop which is open year round. ANTIQUITIES For a memorable 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. Find time to pop into the Scottish Real Ale Shop, which sells over 130 different beers from around 30 microbreweries located between the Shetlands and the Borders and Galleria Luti, a charming contemporary gallery offering affordable original art, ceramics, sculptures and jewellery. No visit to this area would be complete without reference to Steven Burgess’s wonderful furniture workshop at Arnprior. Aptly named Steven Burgess Furniture and Interiors, it is located unobtrusively on the A811 road from Stirling to Loch Lomond, and offers some of the finest bespoke furniture in Scotland. Even if you’re not in the market for furniture, a stop-off is highly recommended to view

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“MAKE SURE YOU TAKE TIME TO VISIT THE DESIRABLE CURIO, A FANTASTIC VINTAGE STORE SELLING EVERYTHING FROM JEWELLERY TO FURNITURE”

some of the most exquisite fixtures and fittings you’re ever likely to see. Across Clackmannanshire the old mill villages also harbour a few surprises. Try Dollar’s Deli 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 Ellie’s Cellar and The Bottle Shop is also well worth a visit for its eclectic stock of drinks. Where else could you find a bottle of Smokey and Citrus Distilled Cocktail alongside a plum and vanilla gin? Make time for a detour to Alva Antiques and Collectables, which has recently moved to a new shop in Stirling Street, and specialises in everything from old postcards to vintage toys, books and other memorabilia. Finally, heading back towards Stirling you’ll pass signs to the Coffee Bothy at Blairmains Farm in 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! l

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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

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©AFUNBAGS/ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; STIRLING: ALIVE WITH SCOTLAND; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

DAY ONE 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. 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. Now walk through by Jail Wynd to see the 15th-century Church of the Holy Rude, one of the finest medieval 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. 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. For an evening meal try Hermann’s at the

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top of historic Broad Street or the beautiful Georgian ambience of the Park 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 TWO Let’s start by driving 10 miles to the Falkirk Wheel for another world-class experience. The first boat departs at 10.30am 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 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

OPPOSITE Castle Campbell; ABOVE LEFT The Kelpies; ABOVE Deanston Distillery Visitor Centre, near Doune

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 5.30pm), 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. l

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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

©ELNUR/RUTH BLACK/ADOBE STOCK

T

he Stirling and Clackmannanshire areas are rich in arts and culture, much of it typically Scottish and of outstanding quality. Culturally the area has much to celebrate. If you’re lucky you’ll see a local wearing the kilt as everyday dress, but it’s more common when heading off to a Scottish international football or rugby match. Weddings, especially, are when kilts are sported in all their finery by Scotsmen. If you hear bagpipes skirling outside a hotel, chances are it’s to welcome a wedding party to the reception, so go along and watch the guests arriving. People also wear kilts to the many ceilidhs held across the region, and to local Highland Games, that take place throughout the summer months. One of the oldest gatherings is the Bridge of Allan Highland Games held in the shadow of the gently rolling Ochil Hills in early August at

Strathallan Park. Here, following the traditional caber-tossing, piping and highland dance competitions, the climax is a march-past of up to 100 pipe bands drawn from across the globe. They use the event as a warm-up for the World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow during the same month. Second only to the Bridge of Allan gathering in size and popularity come the famous Alva Games in Clackmannanshire, held on the second Saturday in July, and featuring everything from cycling and athletics to Highland dancing, heavy weight events, and four tough hill races. Highland Games are held in Stirling and Airth too. Not to be missed is a local agricultural show, where farmers from the fertile Forth Valley celebrate their ancient skills and modern achievements. Here is where to see the best p53

“ONE OF THE OLDEST GATHERINGS IS THE BRIDGE OF ALLAN HIGHLAND GAMES HELD IN THE SHADOW OF THE GENTLY ROLLING OCHIL HILLS IN EARLY AUGUST AT STRATHALLAN PARK”

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43-45 West Bridge Street, Falkirk FK1 5AZ 12 The Cross, Linlithgow EH49 7AH 38 George Street, Perth PH1 5JL

www.thewestendgallery.co.uk

Gallery Two permanent exhibition: The Man Who Could Paint Anything: The Story Of Thomas Stuart Smith Gallery Two also has a new exhibition: Bound: Contemporary Sculpture from Forth Valley College Students

FÉ N CA PE EW O N OW N

The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

We are delighted to announce our new café is open! The Smith Café by Loving Food serves fresh, home-made cake, scones, soup and sandwiches daily. Art Gallery and Museum open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12-5pm Sunday. Closed Monday. A. Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2RQ  T. 01786 471917 W. www.smithartgalleryandmuseum.co.uk

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ARTS & CULTURE

©JACOB AVANZATO/UNSPLASH; JAMES PINTAR/ADOBE STOCK

of Scotland’s farming produce, from local breeds of sheep, cattle, and horses to the finest cheeses, bakery products and vegetables, as well as traditional crafts, such as shepherds’ crook-making or horse shoeing. At some events there is also the spectacle of horse and pony-riding competitions, Highland dancing and vintage tractor displays. The biggest agricultural shows within easy reach are held at Dunblane, Braco, Blackford, Crieff, Drymen and Stirling. FESTIVALS There are also many festivals held in and around the area, ranging from the three-day Callander Jazz and Blues Festival in October, to the Big Roman Week held in September at various venues around Falkirk. Actually a nine-day event featuring walks, talks and family events, its aim is to encourage people to find out more about the Antonine Wall and the area’s Roman roots. Vibration Festival is a new one-day family-friendly music festival held in Falkirk’s Callendar Park, showcasing international artists and up-and-coming Scottish bands. HippFest celebrates the era of the silent movie. Held every March at the Hippodrome in Bo’ness, it is Scotland’s first and only festival celebrating silent film and live music. The three-day Dunblane Fling in late May usually

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“THE ANNUAL STIRLING WHISKY FESTIVAL IS HELD EACH MAY AND OFFERS THE CHANCE TO SAMPLE MORE THAN 100 MALTS FROM ACROSS SCOTLAND, AND TAKE PART IN MASTERCLASSES”

includes a jazz night, concert, ceilidh, talent show, music 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 and even magic. The Callander and Trossachs Summerfest in July celebrates the area’s wonderful landscape, crafts, and music, and invites people to get out and enjoy the water, woods and hills. Also popular is the annual Stirling Whisky Festival, held each May, with the chance to sample more than 100 malts from across Scotland, and take part in masterclasses. Several distilleries are within easy reach of Stirling and Clackmannanshire, including the Deanston near Doune, the award-winning distillery at Glengoyne near Killearn and the Glenturret distillery at Crieff. There are festivals, shows, and events in the area to celebrate many interests. 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 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. There is an excellent choice of art and p54

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The Pineapple in Dunmore Park

This Journey’s End by Andy Scott

culture indoors. Stirling’s most important venue is The Stirling 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. It also has the purrfect curator in the shape of Oswald Clingan-Smith, the museum cat! The Smith is open Tuesday-Sunday, has free entry, good car parking and an excellent cafe. Close to The Smith is the Albert Halls, which runs a programme of events from music to stand-up comedy and wedding shows, ceilidhs and antique fairs. There’s a good restaurant, but parking is limited. Another popular Stirling arts venue is the Tolbooth, in Broad Street, where the old courtroom has been transformed into an auditorium offering an intimate performance area. This is the place to hear good traditional and alternative artists, as well as jazz, comedy and small theatre shows. STIRLING UNIVERSITY Stirling University is an important cultural centre for visual art enthusiasts. It has a renowned art collection including paintings by the Scottish Colourist JD Fergusson as well as works by artists such as David Donaldson, Joan Eardley, William

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“THE UNIVERSITY’S MACROBERT ARTS CENTRE HOSTS PERFORMANCES RANGING FROM BALLET, DRAMA, COMEDY, JAZZ, SYMPHONY CONCERTS AND MUCH MORE”

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MacTaggart, Alberto Morrocco and Anne Redpath. These are mostly displayed in The Pathfoot Building, itself an impressive example of modern architecture, but there’s also a notable sculpture trail in the campus grounds. The university’s Macrobert Arts Centre also hosts performances ranging from ballet, drama, comedy, jazz, symphony concerts, the local amateur operatic society, choral events, children’s workshops and much more. There is a casual cafe bar at Macrobert and excellent parking. The Falkirk area is also well served for art and cultural venues. The biggest attraction is undoubtedly The Kelpies, the now iconic 30m high sculptures of horses’ heads, set into The Helix parkland area at Grangemouth. Take the 30-minute guided tour to find out more and even go inside the sculptures to witness the engineering required to make something so big and beautiful. Their creator, Andy Scott, has fashioned numerous examples of public art, with a sculpture trail of six works that runs through Clackmannanshire, starting in Alloa Town Centre and taking in the villages of Tullibody, Clackmannan, Sauchie and Alva. For a taste of the region’s history, Callendar House set in its original 170-acre parkland, has a

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©CLACKMANNANSHIRE COUNCIL; DAVIDEPHOTO/GURUXOX/JELENA JOVANOVIC/ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

ARTS & CULTURE

restored 1825 kitchen, an excellent museum of local history and the Falkirk Archives, housed in the original Victorian library. Two galleries also display contemporary visual art exhibitions. The estate’s wider history dates back to the building of the Antonine Wall in 142AD by the Romans, and Mary Queen of Scots, Cromwell and Bonnie Prince Charlie, all stayed there. The woodland and grounds is home to an arboretum, ornamental gardens, and a large children’s play park. Callendar House is run by the Falkirk Community Trust, which also operates 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, open every day except Sunday. THE PINEAPPLE Probably one of Scotland’s best known architectural gems is The Pineapple in the garden of Dunmore Park, near Falkirk. Built as a folly in 1761, this bizarre pineapple-shaped building was once used as a garden retreat, and reflects the iconic status the exotic fruit enjoyed when first introduced to these shores and grown in hothouses on country estates like

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“THE ALLOA TOWER HAS AN IMPRESSIVE ART COLLECTION THAT INCLUDES PRECIOUS CHINA, SILVER AND PAINTINGS BY VAN DYCK AND HENRY RAEBURN”

Dunmore. The actual mansion at Dunmore is now a ruin, but The Pineapple is in the custody of the National Trust for Scotland. Another National Trust for Scotland property worth visiting is Alloa Tower, the ancestral home of the Earls of Mar and Kellie, with its impressive art collection including precious china, silver and paintings by Van Dyck and Henry Raeburn. Clackmannanshire Council’s own collection is displayed in the Speirs Centre, originally the town’s public baths and gymnasium built in 1897. It has a fascinating display of the town’s industrial heritage, including the oldest glassworks in Europe. The gallery is open Tuesday to Thursday afternoons. Duncarron Medieval Village is a fascinating open air museum where you can step back in time to see what the typical residence of a Scottish clan chief looked like in the early medieval period. Located in Carronvalley Forest near Falkirk, the 20-acre site has been hand built by volunteers with a lookout tower, longhouse, cabins and workshops. Open FridaySunday during term time and Tuesday-Sunday in the school holidays, currently only cash can be taken – probably because they are, literally, living in the 12th century! Take time exploring this area of central Scotland, which truly has some of the country’s hidden gems. l

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NIGHTLIFE

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

©ASH EDMONDS/UNSPLASH; ENDRILLE/ADOBE STOCK

I

t’s true that Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire can’t offer the same numbers of pubs and club as large cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, but sometimes we need to think of quality rather than quantity. With a large student population and thriving tourist industry, there is a good choice of nightlife, whether it’s a quiet pint or a night on the dancefloor that’s desired. Stirling has two nightclubs, popular with local clubbers but also with students from the city’s university. The long-established Fubar, in the town centre, has several rooms and offers a choice of types of music for dancing from guest and resident DJs. Thursday tends to be student night and Saturdays cater for over-21s. Stirling’s other club is Dusk, located on Baker Street. Open from 10pm to 3am, this venue is popular with a younger crowd and hosts weekly club nights and special events. Falkirk offers three clubs. Storm nightclub in Meadow Street is the

city’s oldest surviving night venue. Originally opened in 1933 as Doaks Dancing Academy, the name has changed over the years before becoming Storm in the early Noughties. Open Saturday nights between 11pm-3am. The City Nightclub in Princess Street has a main dance floor which plays host to the big events and international DJs, The Terrace on the first floor with its leather sofas, glass tables and colour changing wall (open Thursdays 10.30pm2am and Saturdays 10.30pm-3am), and the Ciroc Sky Lounge, the venue’s VIP area. Temple on Burbank Road offers live music and club nights and bills itself as Falkirk’s ‘only Friday night out’ venue. Open Friday and Saturday nights 10pm-3am. If clubbing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of lively pubs and bars all over Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire offering a wide choice of evening entertainment. Quiz nights, darts and karaoke nights are everywhere but some pubs also offer live p58

“WITH A LARGE STUDENT POPULATION AND THRIVING TOURIST INDUSTRY, THERE IS A GOOD CHOICE OF NIGHTLIFE, WHETHER IT’S A QUIET PINT OR A NIGHT ON THE DANCEFLOOR THAT’S DESIRED”

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BrewDog Stirling

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. LIVE MUSIC In Stirling, Nicky-Tams Bar and Bothy (a pub since 1718) has live Scottish music on Mondays, an Open Mic on Wednesdays, followed by a Friday night DJ set, live music on Saturday afternoons and some Saturday evenings and a pub quiz to round off the weekend on Sunday evening. Nearby can be found No. 2 Baker Street where there’s live entertainment virtually every night. There’s live music on a Monday night, Tuesday is quiz night while on Wednesdays there’s a popular jam session. Thursday is karaoke, while Fridays and Saturdays see live bands playing everything from current hits to Celtic rock and folk music. Sunday is left to beer and banter! In Upper Bridge Street, the Settle Inn dates back to 1733 as an alehouse. Live music nights run on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday there is a quiz. All start at 9pm. Mediterranea is both a restaurant and an events venue hosting an eclectic mix of live music, DJ club nights, jam sessions, poetry and spoken word gatherings, cinema showcases and international tango, salsa and Latin get-togethers. Stirling Folk Club is based at the city’s rugby ground in Bridehaugh Park, and over the years has

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“BEHIND THE WALL OPENED IN 1985 AND HAS DEVELOPED INTO ONE OF THE MOST VIBRANT AND DIVERSE EATING, DRINKING AND ENTERTAINMENT VENUES”

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hosted some of the great folk and traditional music acts. The club meets every Monday night from 8pm with tickets available on the door. Traditional music can also be found at other pubs around Stirling including the William Wallace bar at Causewayhead. At the Allanwater Brewhouse, Bridge of Allan’s tiny brewery, they host bands playing Americana, folk and roots music as well as open mics, quiz nights and monthly jazz sessions. The first Sunday of the month is one for fans of traditional music. Further afield, the Old Rectory Inn at Callander has a variety of music nights, from tribute acts to acoustic sessions on Wednesday nights, the occasional Saturday and Sunday afternoons, while the Lade Inn just beyond Callander hosts good live Scottish music every Friday and Saturday during the summer and most Saturdays in the winter – both the weather and customers permitting. Around Falkirk several pubs provide live music. Behind the Wall opened in 1985 and has developed into one of the most vibrant and diverse eating, drinking and entertainment venues. It hosts live music, comedy, DJ nights and other acts on its live stage – some geared towards children and families. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for events information. The recently refurbished New Market Bar on Upper Newmarket Street also holds live music events as well as karaoke nights.

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NIGHTLIFE

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The Brightons Inn near Polmont also has bands playing at weekends. Other music venues include the Cairn in Alva and the Mansfield Arms in Sauchie and the excellent King’s Seat in Dollar. REAL ALE There are also several real ale breweries in the area, and their produce is sold in many local pubs. In Clackmannanshire these include Devon Ales, situated at the Mansfield Arms in Sauchie, the Williams Bros. brewery in Alloa and the multi award-winning Harviestoun Brewery at Alva. Near Stirling there’s the Allanwater Brewhouse (formerly the TinPot) microbrewery just off the main street in Bridge of Allan, the Black Wolf Brewery in Throsk and the Tryst brewery at Larbert. Craft beer heavyweight BrewDog is also present with a bar on Baker Street, Stirling. 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 there’s the already mentioned Stirling Folk Club, while in Falkirk, the folk club meets in the Tolbooth Tavern on Tolbooth Street on Thursdays. 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 Halls. The bands are always excellent and there’s always a caller to explain the steps to visitors. If dancing sounds a bit too energetic, there’s always the cinema. Stirling’s Vue cinema has eight screens,

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“CEILIDHS ARE HELD ACROSS THE AREA FROM TIME TO TIME, THE BANDS ARE ALWAYS EXCELLENT AND THERE’S ALWAYS A CALLER TO EXPLAIN THE STEPS TO VISITORS”

a choice of eating places and plenty of parking. Alternatively, Falkirk’s Cineworld has 12 screens, including 3D facilities and also has good parking. Another option is the Macrobert Arts Centre at Stirling University, where both mainstream and more obscure art films are screened every week. It also hosts a wide range of stage shows ranging from operas and symphony concerts to musicals and pantomimes. Also in Stirling, there are music, comedy and theatrical events at the Albert Halls and The Tolbooth. The Hippodrome in Bo’ness fist opened in 1912 and is believed to be the oldest surviving purposebuilt cinema in Scotland. Converted into a bingo hall in the 1970s, it reopened as a cinema in 2008, is run by the Falkirk Community Trust, and screens all the latest films as well as holding a Silent Film Festival every March. Chalmers Alloa Cinema is Clackmannanshire’s only film venue based in an old church in Bank Street. Independently run, it’s open seven days a week, and screens the latest blockbuster releases at four showings daily. In Falkirk, the FTH is a multipurpose arts centre with a theatre and cinema, and sometimes the Falkirk Stadium stages rock and pop events as well as party nights. 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. l

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10

REASONS TO LOVE THIS REGION!

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WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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10 REASONS

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Here’s where some of Scotland’s finest crafters live and work; Traditional Scottish bagpiper; Ben Arthur, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park; Cambuskenneth Abbey; LEFT Stirling Castle

[01] 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.

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[02] 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 are 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. [03] THE LOCATION The great thing about this area is that it’s not far from anywhere, being 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.

[06] 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? [07] 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.

[04] THE PEOPLE Stirling University is where the people of the world meet to share their cultures and values. It has a diversity which influences and enriches far beyond the bounds of the campus.

[08] THE CRAFTSMANSHIP Here’s where some of Scotland’s finest craft workers live and work. Hidden away in quiet corners of the region you will find inspiring glass-makers, jewellers, wood carvers, silversmiths, potters and weavers, whose unique products truly enrich the local shopping experience.

[05] 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 mass-marketed brands. Enjoy!

[09] 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

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“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 MASS-MARKETED BRANDS”

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 2,000 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 re-invented them, designed the modern kilt, and the rest, with its pipe bands and tartan days, as they say, is history! l

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SPORT

OUR SPORTING LIFE! Whether you want to watch or take part, 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, Alloa currently competes at the highest level, in the Scottish Championship. Falkirk FC who compete in Scottish League One, 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. Although Stirling Albion currently play in the fourth tier of Scottish football, they were 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 £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 icemaking process is fed back to heat the 25m swimming pool. Curling has a long history in the 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. 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

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“CURLING HAS A LONG HISTORY IN THE STIRLING AREA, AND AT THE RIGHT TIME OF YEAR IF THE ICE FREEZES THICK ENOUGH, YOU CAN OFTEN FIND A CURLER ON THE LAKE”

Bannockburn, there is the Brucefields Family Golf Centre with its 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 an honorary degree from Stirling University, in recognition of his tennis achievements. 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. 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 Divisio, Grangemouth and p65

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GET THE FULL PICTURE!

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SPORT

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The Forth and Clyde and Union canals have tow-paths along which you can cycle

Hillfoots, who play home matches in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, also have senior teams. Falkirk also represents 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. For keen runners, try the annual Dumyat (pronounced Dum-aye-at) hill 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.

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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”

The Ochils and the Campsie Fells, while not as high as the Trossachs further north, 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 celebrated 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. l

WELCOME TO STIRLINGSHIRE, FALKIRK & CLACKMANNANSHIRE

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Are you affected by dementia?

Alzheimer’s Society offers support to anyone affected by dementia – including family members, friends and carers. Whether it’s face to face, Get the support online or over the phone, you need today we are here for you. alzheimers.org.uk/ getsupport Alzheimer’s Society operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Registered charity number 296645.


TRAVEL

GETTING HERE AND GETTING AROUND!

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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 you’ll discover good main routes and delightful country lanes. To plan your journey try the AA Route Planner or RAC Route Planner. You could spend as long as you like exploring glorious Scotland. Scotland is a relatively small country so it shouldn’t take you too long to travel between destinations, and there will be lots of great places and attractions to stop and visit. In the cities, you’ll often find 24-hour access at fuel stations. But it’s worth noting that in the

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countryside, there are fewer fuel stations, so it’s best to keep your vehicle topped up if travelling in remote areas. BY COACH National coach services run to many of the larger towns in the area, from where you can link with local services. National Express and Scottish Citylink both offer national services. 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, Ryanair, British Midland and

British Airways. British Airways also offer local connections to Tiree, Islay and Campbeltown. 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. BY SEA Car and passenger ferries serve the Scottish west coast islands, as well as many mainland destinations. Ferry services are offered by: Caledonian MacBrayne and Western Ferries. l

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FURTHER AFIELD

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


©VISITBRITAIN/JOE CORNISH; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM/PETER DIBDIN

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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 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. 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 centre 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 used as a film location. From there it’s on past the famed Forth Bridges to the wonderfully picturesque fishing villages of St Monans,

OPPOSITE PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP St Andrews Cathedral; Old Course, St Andrews; Pittenweem Harbour; ABOVE Loch Leven, Kinross

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

“SET IN THE HISTORIC VILLAGE OF FALKLAND, THE PALACE IS WELL WORTH A VISIT FOR ITS GUIDED TOUR, ROYAL ‘REAL’ TENNIS COURTS (A GAME MORE LIKE SQUASH, PLAYED THERE BY MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS) AND BEAUTIFUL GARDENS”

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THE HOME OF COUNTRY CLOTHING SCOTLAND’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS INDEPENDENT STORE

The House of Bruar is one of the leading designers of country clothing in Great Britain, creating a premium range of contemporary country classics in quality materials, with our Call of the Wild collection bringing you strikingly modern designs that set new standards of style. Our Cashmere and Knitwear Hall - the largest in the UK - is a treasure trove of stunning natural fibre garments in a spectacular range of colours. Alongside our own original creations you’ll also find a host of leading brands throughout our Ladieswear Department, including Adini, Gardeur, Masai and Barbour - of which we have the largest selection in Britain - while our Shoe and Handbag Department showcases Dubarry, Brics, Gianni Conti and Gabor. Men are equally well catered for in our 20,000 square foot Menswear Hall, with brands including Barbour, Gant, Levi’s and RM Williams, all of which are perfectly complemented by our own exclusive British tweeds, shirts, shoes and more to create the complete country wardrobe.

Innovative ideas for home and garden reside in the Country Living Department, and gifts galore can be found in our Present Shop, the highlights of which feature in our annual Handmade Gift Catalogue. We can even help you set up an exclusive wedding list for your special day. New to the store this year is The Jewel in the Crown, our dazzling jewellery shop filled with a resplendent collection of artful creations in gold, silver and a host of other materials. The best of Scotland’s natural larder is always on the menu in our Food Hall, Delicatessen and Restaurant, while our award-winning Butchery features quality cuts from local providers. Our new Bakery provides tempting treats with everything from freshly made sugar ring donuts to Mackie’s Scottish ice cream, while the unique Fish & Chip Shop also specialises in fresh lobster - the ultimate luxury comfort food! No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to The House of Bruar, located just off the A9 ten miles north of Pitlochry. Shown here is a taste of our new Autumn/Winter 2019-20 range. To order a copy of the latest mail order catalogue please call us or visit our website.

The Fishing Tackle Shop offers a haven for the keen angler, while just next door you can browse contemporary rural art from some of Britain’s leading artists in our Gallery.

The House of Bruar by Blair Atholl, Perthshire, PH18 5TW Telephone: 01796 483 236 Email: office@houseofbruar.com

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Welcome to Stirlingshire, Falkirk & Clackmannanshire  

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

Welcome to Stirlingshire, Falkirk & Clackmannanshire  

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

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