11 Must-Visit Hidden Gems in Stirling

So you've been to Stirling Castle, scaled The National Wallace Monument and stepped back in time at The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre - now what? Try visiting some of these hidden gems in and around the city of Stirling.

  1. The Church of the Holy Rude In the city centre

    The Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling

    The Church of The Holy Rude at the top of Stirling Old Town has witnessed over 900 years of history. It was the crowning place of King James VI of Scotland, and even bears bullet marks from past battles.

    Visit for peaceful reflection, impressive architecture and stunning stained glass windows. Make sure to explore the atmospheric cemetery too, which offers views across to Stirlingshire and The Trossachs.

  2. King's Park In the city centre

    King's Park, Stirling

    © @fantastic_bars

    Visible from the castle esplanade but often overlooked by first time visitors, King's Park was once a royal hunting ground.

    Still a place of leisure, it's now home to a skate park and BMX track, a fantastic outdoor play area, tennis courts and lots of green space to enjoy. The park is also neighboured by Stirling Golf Club.

  3. Briarlands Farm, Blair Drummond For families

    Briarlands Farm

    Just north of Stirling, Briarlands Farm is perfect for a family day out.

    Traditional farm-themed fun, such as feeding the animals, picking fruit and mini diggers are combined with other activities such as riding the zip wire, archery and ceramic painting. Refuel at the team room to enjoy treats made from local produce, including the farm's own strawberry jam.

  4. Bliss Trail, from Strathyre For families

    Bliss Trail, from Strathyre

    © @coopercottages

    Take a mini road trip north of Stirling through 'Rob Roy Country' on the BLiSS Trail to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Explore Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans by car or by bike and look out for over twenty specially commissioned pieces of artwork on the way. Cameras at the ready!

  5. The Portcullis Hotel Food and drink

    The Portcullis Hotel, Stirling

    © @fantastic_bars

    Located by Stirling Castle, the The Portcullis Hotel is the perfect place for a pub lunch, whether you want to dine out in the beer garden or indoors by the fire.

    This traditional inn serves up classic dishes such as steak pie, breaded fish and chicken stuffed with haggis, as well as lighter meals like paninis and wraps for lunch.

  6. Venachar Lochside Food and drink

    Venacher Lochside

    Journey north east of Stirling to Venachar Lochside and you won't be disappointed. Located in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, this waterside restaurant is an oasis of calm, serving up meals made with fresh Scottish produce against a stunning backdrop.

  7. Cambuskenneth Abbey, Cambuskenneth More to explore

    Cambuskenneth Abbey

    Cambuskenneth Abbey can be reach by road or on foot from Stirling. The abbey grounds are free to enter and feature a magnificent 13th century bell tower as well as church and monastery ruins.

    It was the burial place of James III and amongst the graves there is a Victorian tomb created in honour of him and his wife, Queen Margaret.

  8. Macrobert Arts Centre More to explore

    VisitScotland logo

    Soak up a bit of culture at the Macrobert Arts Centre at the University of Stirling. Over 400 performances take place here across the year including dance, comedy, music, and art exhibitions, as well as a year-round film programme. The centre offers a particularly family-friendly programme featuring productions and workshops especially for kids.

  9. Dumyat, Ochil Hills More to explore

    Dumyat, Stirling

    © © VisitScotland / Discover Clackmannanshire / Damian Shields

    Offering great views of Stirling, the Forth Valley and The Trossachs, Dumyat is a wee hill at 1371 ft (418 m) but it packs in a lot of character. The most eastern of the rolling Ochil Hills, it can be scaled in a couple of hours.

  10. Cowane's Hospital Stirling

    View of Cowane's Hospital from the Parterre Gardens

    Located a short distance from the fortress that guards the city of Stirling lies a unique building dating from the 17th century. It was built as a refuge where locals who had fallen on hard times would be cared for. It’s since undergone an extensive restoration which has seen its period features restored to their former glory, including exquisite stained-glass windows and the statue of its founder, John Cowane. Nicknamed “Auld Staneybreeks”, he’s said to come alive on the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay.

    The building is free to enter and has its own café.

    Key facilities
    • On Public Transport Route
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Accessible toilets
    • WiFi
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  11. Action Adventure Activities Easterhill Farm, Gartmore


    Action Adventure Activities offers an impressive array of outdoor activities to suit both families and adult groups. But what sets this outdoor activity provider from the the rest is that its activities are designed to keep both their and their visitors' carbon footprints to a minimum. Enjoy enviromental guilt-free excursions like carbon negative quad biking, for instance, alongside a myriad of watersports, off-road driving, Highland warrior games, climbing and abseiling, and much more.

    Glamping facilities can booked over select weekends during the summer season.  

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