Backpacker’s guide

Top hints, tips and savings

Discover Stirling on a shoestring

Discover Stirling on a shoestring

“Not all who wander are lost” – that said if you’re feeling a little lost about what to do and where to stay on your trip to the heart of Scotland fear not. our helpful guide will point you in the right direction.

Stirling has two great hostels in the centre of town both offering warm welcomes to weary travellers. The Willy Wallace Hostel is a family run independent hostel. It is a clean, friendly, well-run budget accommodation provider just a stone’s throw away from Stirling train and bus stations. There are twin and double rooms and dormitories of various sizes. The specially built bunks are adult size, robust and well attached to the wall. The mattresses are comfortable and all bed linen is provided.

Stirling Youth Hostel is situated in the Old Town of Stirling, offering 4-star budget accommodation with 92 beds. A range of multi-share and private rooms are available, all en-suite. Facilities include a self-catering kitchen, dining room, two separate common areas and a meeting room for private use. This licensed youth hostel also offers meals to guests. Other budget accommodation option’s include a Camping/Caravan/Wigwam site at Mains Farm, or stay in the range of student accommodation available at Stirling University if you’re here outside of term time.

Stirling is jam packed with things to see and do. The three big attractions are Stirling Castle the Wallace Monument and the Battle of Bannockburn Experience – there are some things you can do for free if you would rather save your pennies at these attractions. First of all you can go up to the Wallace Monument and see it from the outside for free, this gives you some good views and photo opportunities. At the Bannockburn Experience you can see the battlefield monument and Robert the Bruce’s statue at no cost.

The Church of the Holy Rude is a great free attraction. Founded in 12th century, it’s the second oldest building in Stirling. The coronations of James IV and James VI took place here. The Stirling Smith Museum & Art Gallery is also free and houses the world’s oldest football. Scottish history collections, fine art and archaeology are used in the main display, called ‘The Stirling Story’, which explores the history of the city over the past Millennium. The Allanwater Brewhouse located in the picturesque town of Bridge of Allan lets you see behind the scenes of a working micro-brewery. You can meet the brewer and learn the secrets of making a traditional hand-brewed Scottish pint. Entry and tastings of Allanwater’s best-selling cask ales is free.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and at just £2 for beans on toast and a refillable tea or coffee, City Walls breakfast will set you up for the day without breaking the bank. If you have a busy day planned a take away coffee and breakfast roll from Ciscos is just the ticket and reasonably priced.

The Kilted Kangaroo serves Australian favourites with a Scottish twist, great for a big lunch or dinner at around £7 for most mains. The Green Gates Indian is good for take away dinner but you can sit in too. They also do half portions of popular dishes which if you add rice or a Nan bread is a filling meal with a low price tag. The Gallery restaurant at Forth Valley College is a great way to eat fancy food that’s wallet friendly. All cooked by chefs in training, it’s a steal at £10 for 3 courses. The Ground House Coffee Company is a great place to enjoy a light meal – you can get everything from nachos to pizzas. A pizza with two toppings comes in at just £6 or you can get two main meals for £10 – and you can use the free Wi-Fi while you eat.

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  • Willy Wallace Hostel

    After a walk up the stairs you’ll enter this smaller hostel with a very cosy and homely common room. The staff is super friendly and always around for a chat or to give you a hand with whatever is necessary. The dorm rooms are spacious, with comfy beds and enough sockets for everyone! This is […]

  • From £13.00 - £17.75pp

    Stirling Youth Hostel

    Stirling Youth Hostel is open all year, offering superb accommodation, en-suite rooms, modern facilities and a friendly international atmosphere. Set in the atmospheric Old Town of Stirlng only a few minutes from Stirling Castle and built behind the façade of a historic church, our Youth Hostel is ideal for exploring the historic city, attractions, shops, […]

  • Mains Farm Wigwams

    Our wonderful Wigwam, Caravan and Camping Park is situated on the outskirts of Thornhill with a panoramic view over the Carse of Stirling to the Fintry Hills. Mains Farm Wigwams lies near Stirling on the gateway to the New Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park ‐ a world famous area of lochs, glens and hills with […]

  • From £475 - £655 per week

    University of Stirling

    Set in the shadow of the Ochil Hills, our magnificent 310-acre campus encompasses a loch, a golf course and the 18th-century Airthrey Castle. Undoubtedly one of the most attractive campuses in Europe, a stay here is warmly recommended. At the University of Stirling we strive to tailor our service to accommodate guest’s needs and we’re always delighted to work […]

  • From Adult £14.00

    Stirling Castle

    There’s now more than ever to see and do at Stirling Castle. Cross the threshold into the Castle’s Royal Palace and enter an exciting world of plots, passion and intrigue with our costumed performers. A new exhibition focuses on some of the the Castle’s fascinating archaeology including the the Stirling skeltons. There’s also lots for […]

  • From Adult £9.99

    The National Wallace Monument

    A national landmark – a national hero.   Stirling’s renowned landmark, commemorating the life of Sir William Wallace and overlooking the scene of his greatest victory, at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, in 1297.   Inside the Monument you can visit the Hall of Arms to learn the story of how the Battle of Stirling […]

  • From £11 Adult

    The Battle of Bannockburn experience

    The brand new Battle of Bannockburn experience puts you in the heart of the action. Take your place on the battlefield. Stand face-to-face with fearless medieval warriors. Witness two opposing kings – Robert the Bruce and Edward II – whose tactics in 1314 changed the path of Scotland’s history, forever. With cutting edge 3D technology, […]

  • Free Admission

    The Smith Art Gallery & Museum

    If Stirling is Scotland’s heart, the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum is Stirling’s soul. All of the special objects and paintings relating to the history and culture of Stirling and Stirlingshire are gathered here, and the Smith’s main purpose is to collect, record, interpret and show the story of Stirling to the world, and […]

  • The Allanwater Brewhouse

    The hub of all brewing. You will enjoy many fine beers and a comfortable atmosphere within our walls. Enjoy our bar, take a tour of our facilities or just pop in to visit. This is where all our cask conditioned real ales and bottled ales are produced. Come and see the brewery in action and […]

  • Loving Food truck

    Loving Food truck is Stirling’s and Scotland’s first quality street food vendor trading Monday to Friday in the city centre. Working out of a vintage 1971 Citroen H Van called Hervé, Loving Food create fresh, restaurant-quality food using local suppliers for customers who appreciate good food served with friendly and affectionate banter. With our city […]

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