If you want to make the most of seeing Scotland, Stirling is the place to be, there’s plenty to do on and off campus with good vibes all round! Relive the centuries at Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and the Battle of Bannockburn Experience, or head to the Allanwater Brewhouse for a traditional Scottish pint.
The best news though? Our awesome student accommodation is just a short 8-minute drive from The University of Stirling, smack bang in the centre of the city, so you’re never too far away from all the action. With the city centre literally on your doorstep and all the amenities you’ll ever need just a hop, skip, and a jump away, your uni life just got a whole lot easier.
So, whether you’re visiting The Church of The Holy Rude, or taking a stroll to King’s Park with your mates, take comfort in knowing that your new home is close by.
Have fun exploring Stirling, and make sure you keep your eye out for any hidden gems (there’s a lot of them!)
1 Property in Stirling
The University of Stirling campus is one of the most beautiful and picturesque you’ll find anywhere in the UK. It is one of those universities that has a genuine feeling of community between the students, as well as with the teaching staff. It offers a safe learning experience to students and an incredibly high standard of teaching, brilliant facilities and achieves sporting excellence on a regular basis.
The university offers innovation and has always had a view of pushing for the best and seeking out the exciting new horizons within every medium and subject matter. At Stirling, students from around the world take advantage of over 300 flexible courses, each designed to demand the best from over 10,000 students and to encourage a mantra of forward-thinking learning. The five-star facilities and community spirit certainly help to foster the development of all students.
The Macrobert Arts Centre is located at the very heart of the university campus. It is home to a cinema, art exhibitions, comedy shows, dance, music, opera and over 400 live performances as part of a variety of activities for you to get involved in. The Students’ Union offers access to over 70 clubs and is the first carbon neutral union in the whole of the UK.
In terms of travelling around Stirling and the university campus, our Stirling student accommodation is just a short 10-minute drive away from campus (or around 25 minutes on public transport). There is a fabulous nextbike cycling scheme also available that gives students an easy way to travel around campus and the city itself. It is a truly beautiful city to live in as a student, and as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’ you have access to so much incredible nature on your doorstep in one direction, whilst Edinburgh and Glasgow are only an hour away with regular bus and train links departing from the city centre.
What’s better than heading out for a bite to eat with your new university friends? Maybe you’re looking for a quick snack on your way to university or on your back home after a hard day of study. There are some fantastic eateries in Stirling, from local pubs to fancy restaurants and the great coffee shops and cafés that you find in between the two. Whether you are looking for a casual lunch or a fine dining experience with your date or your visiting parents, Stirling is a city with great taste(buds).
The Kilted Kangaroo on Upper Craigs is a good example of something a little fun and different. It is an Australian-themed bar and grill house. It’s a fantastic place to go for some big pub meals at a good price, so come hungry and you’ll never be disappointed with the grills and beer. On top of the food, the Kilted Kangaroo is always active and entertaining, with pub quizzes, open mic nights and live music regularly. The City Walls is another fine pub and restaurant on the Back Walls. This curious location on the ancient walls of the city make it an interesting place to visit. The menu boasts traditional Scottish fare alongside classic British pub grub, which you can wolf down with a pint in hand whilst watching live sport on one of the 10 big screens dotted around the venue or relax up on the rooftop beer garden.
If you are looking for a casual coffee and a lunchtime sandwich, The Burgh Coffeehouse on King Street is the place to go. It is a speciality coffeehouse that serves up the perfect cup of coffee. Why not grab a tasty pastry whilst you’re relaxing after a hard day of study? It’s open until 8pm every night, making it the perfect place to unwind. Other popular restaurants and student favourites include Sida Thai on Baker street (fresh, authentic Thai food), Bite East on Port Street (a popular student venue serving sushi) and Maharaja Indian restaurant on King Street.
Stirling is a small city, but it certainly comes alive at night. There are loads of pubs, bars and clubs that make it a really fun place to live as a student. Before a big night out on the town, there are plenty of amazing restaurants and cafés too, as you can see in the Eating Out section. On campus itself, the Students’ Union bar is open early in the morning right through to late at night. You can pick up some tasty food during the day, watch live sport on the big TVs and take part in the weekly pub quizzes and karaoke. The Macrobert Arts Centre has a range of activities and events on campus, and if you want to go ice skating or ten-pin bowling as a night out, there are those venues in the city too!
If you are looking for fun and shots to get the party started, Tingle Bar on King Street is the place to start. The shooter bar has a wide selection of shots and cocktails, free pizza for those of you venturing straight to a night out after uni and just a fun place to start a student night out. Fubar on Maxwell Place is another fantastic student nightspot, whilst Dusk is a popular student club that is the biggest nightclub in Stirling. It always has a whole host of special events planned for pretty much every day of the week and it’s here that most students will end the night.
For a sophisticated evening of Whisky, Curly Coo on Barnton Street is the destination in Stirling. It is just a short walk from the city centre and is home to over 130 malt whiskies. Nobody does it as well as Scotland does, and Curly Coo itself has even been voted ‘The Best Whisky Bar in the World’. For an authentic Scottish experience, enjoy a dram at Curly Coo.
The University of Stirling is widely known as the university that showcases sporting excellence in Scotland. Within the uni itself you’ll find over 120 sports clubs and societies open for you to join. Whether you are looking for a sport to keep fit and relax, to just have fun and to make friends, or to compete and get to the highest level possible as a single competitor or as part of a team, there is something for everyone.
On campus there are some amazing sports facilities to take advantage of. At the University Sports Centre there is a 50m swimming pool, six indoor tennis courts and three squash courts, an eight-court sports hall, a nine-hole golf course, a 400m athletics track and a stunning fitness suite with over 50 fitness classes each week. University sport is a great place to make new connections and can quickly and easily become an important part of your life that you’ll cherish in your post uni days. When the facilities are as top-notch as you’ll find in Stirling, it makes it an even more attractive option.
Outside of the campus there is plenty else to get the blood flowing and to explore in terms of sport. There is an ice-skating rink, a fitness and dance studio, and a climbing wall alongside a swimming pool at The Peak indoor sports complex. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are not far away either, offering you the best in hiking, cycling routes, watersports and the great outdoors in some of the most beautiful locations anywhere in the country. In fact, you’ll find many of the famous Scottish long-distance trails run through the rural parts of Stirling and it is a great place to explore nature and to stay active during your time at university. For those of you interested in watching football, Stirling Albion is the local team, currently playing in Scottish Football League Two.
As with any new town or city you move to, you want to know what shopping is available. Whether it’s to stock up the cupboards of your student accommodation or to buy clothes, books or other personal treats. Head on down to the High Street area in Stirling city centre and you’ll find a whole host of famous British brands and high street shopping. Murray Place and Port Street make up the High Street and there are loads of lovely little shops and cafés to explore. Thistles is the main shopping centre in the city. Here, you’ll find 90+ stores to browse, just make sure you get there early enough in the day, as it is always busy, busy, busy. Every second Saturday of the month the Farmers’ Market is held in this part of town, opening up a whole world of Scottish produce, as well as hand-crafted trinkets and other gifts.
If quirky and interesting boutiques are more your scene, Stirling Arcade is the Victorian-era shopping hall where you’ll find a vibrant mix of small independent retailers from all sorts of backgrounds. Contempo and Made in Stirling, both on King Street, are good examples of local businesses supporting local talent, whilst on Friar Street the House of Henderson is a spectacular store that is one of the oldest kilt makers in Scotland.
At the Castle and around the old town in Stirling is where you’ll find some amazing souvenir shops to send back to your family back home (and maybe to treat yourself). This area was the main shopping hub right up until the mid-20th century and it is full of history and quirky shops. The gift shop at Stirling Castle has plenty of souvenirs to choose from, whilst there are also plenty of keepsakes to find at the Old Town Jail. The Stirling Bagpipes Shop on Broad Street is another interesting glimpse into Scottish culture and tradition, whilst Bridge of Allan is a short trip outside of Stirling but worth it for its array of specialist shops and beautiful scenery.
Stirling has been voted the safest city in the UK as recently as 2019, making it an appealing place to study and live for students the world over. It has a range of attractions and events in the city, but its location as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’ and good transport links to the bigger cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, makes Stirling the perfect place to explore Scotland as a whole.
Stirling Castle is a must-see as soon as you’ve settled in your new student accommodation. It has a Royal Palace, the Chapel Royal and the Regimental Museum to explore. It is an imposing fortress that offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a picturesque walk up the cobbled streets of the old town to gain entry. Just beyond the walls of the Castle, Argyll’s Lodging is a 17th century townhouse which is the best example of its kind in Scotland. It was a home for noblemen of the Royal Court and is home to period furniture, grand rooms and fantastic artwork. The Church of the Holy Rude is another great attraction close to the castle, founded in the 12th century it is the second oldest building in Stirling and it is full of important history.
The National Wallace Monument is the most famous landmark in the city, commemorating the life of Sir William Wallace. It can be found on the Abbey Craig on the outskirts of Stirling and overlooks the site of the victorious Battle of Stirling Bridge. Exhibition galleries tell the story of the battle and Wallace’s legacy and there are some amazing views from the top of a 220ft tower. The Battle of Bannockburn Experience is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in the battle. 3D technology brings you into the heart of the action, as if you were in the centre of medieval combat on the day when Robert the Bruce changed Scottish history forever.
For something a little bit different, Blair Drummond Safari Park is close to Stirling and is a great, fun, day out with your student friends. Throughout the year they have plenty of events, but just driving through the reserves and getting close to the deer, cattle, rhinos, camels and zebras is a lot of fun. It’s an out-of-the-ordinary day out that is an amazing attraction.