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Stirling

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Stirlingshire  /  Stirling
(3.9/5 based on 12,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, theme parks, sightseeing
Stirling is a city in central Scotland. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town. Stirling is the administrative centre for the Stirling council area, and is traditionally the county town of Stirlingshire. The city is located several miles to the west of the mouth of the River Forth. Historically it was strategically important as the "Gateway to the Highlands", with its position near the Highland Boundary Fault between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, indeed, it has been described as the brooch which clasps the Highlands and the Lowlands together.Its historical position as the nearest crossing of the Forth to the river mouth meant that many of its visitors were in fact invaders. The beast of Stirling is the wolf, which it shares with Rome. According to legend, when Stirling was under attack from Viking invaders, a wolf howled, alerting the townspeople in time to save the town. It is also claimed that the last wolf in Scotland was killed in Stirling.Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling contains the Great Hall and the Renaissance Palace within the Castle that rivalled any building in Europe at the time. Stirling also has its medieval parish church, The Church of the Holy Rude, where King James VI was crowned King of Scots on 29 July 1567. The Holy Rude still functions as a living church with a service every Sunday.
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Where to stay

Stirling's central location in Scotland means most of its many lodging options are quickly reachable from nearly anywhere in the country. Hotels located close to the city's iconic castle offer easy access to all of the area's celebrated historical sites. Though they provide the finest modern conveniences, hotels in this central part of town occupy buildings steeped in history and heritage. Just outside of town, explore a world of boutique hotels and quaint B&Bs, a perfect base from which to explore the picturesque Central Lowlands.
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