HOME / THINGS TO DO / STIRLING
Stirling is the heritage capital of Scotland and home to a magnificent castle which rivals any historic building in Europe.
The Wars of Scottish Independence were fought and won in Stirling, where monarchs ruled for over 300 years and it was granted city status in 2002 as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Located just a 30-minute drive from CLC Duchally Country Estate, along the A9, Stirling is a city bursting with stunning buildings and historical monuments that attract ‘culture vultures’ from all over the world. Take a trip around Stirling Castle, the Church of the Holy Rude, the Wallace Monument and the Old Town for a true feel of this beautiful city.
Originally a stone-age site and strategically significant since the Roman era due to its naturally defensible crag and tail hill, now the site of Stirling Castle, the city was a fortress at the crossing point of the River Forth.
Stirling Castle is the oldest building in the city and has played a major role in numerous battles. The castle changed hands several times between England and Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357).
The Great Hall and the Renaissance Palace, situated within the castle, have now been fully restored. Open to the public, Stirling Castle takes a good 3-4 hours to walk around and the stunning views from the castle walls take in the Trossachs, Ben Lomond and seven battlefields including Bannockburn.
The Church of the Holy Rude, adjacent to the castle, is the second oldest building in Stirling dating back to 1129. King James VI was crowned King of Scots here in 1567. This church and Westminster Abbey are the only churches in Great Britain to have performed coronations.
Linking the Old Town with Stirling city centre is the compact heritage mile that has the finest concentration of historic buildings in Scotland. Medieval and Renaissance churches and mansions are all supremely preserved amid cobbled streets with period iron work and outdoor seating.
Stirling Old Town Jail
Discover tales of the horrendous history of crime and punishment at the Stirling Old Town Jail. You will hear about the infamous executioner Jock, ‘The Happy Hangman’ Rankin. Performance tours make your time in jail even more authentic.
From the Observation Tower, visitors can enjoy some of the best views of the historic Old Town and surrounding countryside. The jail has also been fully restored and provides a fascinating attraction for all the family.
The National Wallace Monument
William Wallace, famously played by Mel Gibson in the award-winning film Braveheart, is remembered by a 220ft high tower of the National Wallace Monument.
One of Stirling’s most distinctive landmarks, the monument overlooks the scene of Scotland’s victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Follow the story of William Wallace at an onsite exhibition as he faced execution in London.
Loch Lomond is just over an hour’s drive from CLC Duchally Country Estate and is the largest inland body of water in the British Isles by surface area, measuring 24 miles in length and up to 5 miles wide.
Part of the Trossachs National Park, Loch Lomond is an area of dramatic contrasts and beautiful scenery with a rugged backdrop of mountains. Ben Lomond, the most southerly of the Scottish Munros, is on the eastern shore and soars 3,195ft into the sky.
Ferries and pleasure craft operate throughout the season and are the best way to explore the loch. Boat trips on the loch can be found at Tarbet, Balloch, Balmaha and Luss. The harbour at Balhama is also a centre for sailing and water sports, the loch is open to any type including kayaks, canoes, wind-surfing, jetskis, speed boats and cruisers.
Walkers and cyclists are well catered for around Loch Lomond with plenty of easy going trails that will lead you past quaint lochside villages and sandy coves. Hikers and climbers looking for something more strenuous can head to the north of the Loch where the mountains await.
Loch Lomond Golf Club is one of the most famous in the world and has hosted many prestigious tournaments, including the Scottish Open. The Carrick Golf Course is situated on the banks adjacent to Loch Lomond Golf Club and is becoming known as one of the ‘must play’ courses in Scotland.
Guests staying at CLC Duchally Country Estate should head to Stirling or Loch Lomond for a fascinating day of culture, history and breath-taking views.