Welcome to Stirling – here is everything you should do as a student here.
1. Enjoy a walk around the loch
Stirling is famous for its beautiful campus and the loch is the selling point.
In your first week, you should explore campus, meet the swans and enjoy the scenic views.
2. Visit the Wallace Monument
Almost everywhere you look you’ll see a pointy building towering above.
The Wallace Monument is one of the most picturesque structures in the area and is dedicated to local hero William Wallace.
The walk up to the monument has cool animal statues and inside you can view the Hall of Heroes, stunning stained-glass windows and at the very top some of the best views in Stirling.
Although, if you’re afraid of heights, this one might not be for you.
3. Go to Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is an icon of independence and has changed hands often.
There’s an old saying: “He who holds Stirling, holds Scotland.”
If you enjoy learning about history, this one’s for you.
Take a tour and see the Stirling tapestries, palace vaults and other exhibits.
4. Get a Blobby Biscuit from Bayne’s
What is Bayne’s, I hear you ask? A chain of bakers found in the Central Belt and Tayside with one very famous biscuit.
Modelled off Mr Blobby, the pink and spotty character from Noel Edmond’s Saturday Night, the biscuit has become a must-try in Stirling.
5. Climb Dumyat
The most famous Stirling bucket list item is climbing Dumyat. You know, that big hill behind the uni?
From campus, start at Pendreich Way and follow Sheriffmuir Road. Keep heading up, until you reach Pendreich Forest park, then follow the signed footpath.
6. Wednesdays at Fubar
Stirling used to have more nightlife pre-pandemic. Now Dusk and Tingle are closed, the best night out is Fubar.
Students don’t go out on the weekends; Wednesday is the night.
Sports clubs compete in BUCs and are out to celebrate or drown their sorrows.
You’ll bump into everyone you know and barely make it to your 9am Thursday seminar, but hey, that’s student life.
7. Have curly fries in the Union
All freshers must learn early on that curly fries are the best item on the Union’s menu.
When you’re drowning in coursework and group projects are stressing you out, Studio’s curly fries and cheap pints have your back.
8. Bracklinn Falls, Callander
Callander is the perfect day trip in Stirlingshire. You can drive or get the 59 bus – which is around a tenner – and walk the rest.
It may be steep, but it’s so worth it for some of the most beautiful falls in Scotland. Just take care and avoid risks around the waterfalls.
Make sure to get the most out of your trip by visiting the lovely pubs and eateries. There’s also a beautiful church.
9. Do the famous Stirling walks
Cambuskenneth Abbey is an Augustinian monastery just out of Stirling. Walk through Riverside, over the Cambuskenneth bridge and into the village. The houses are beautiful, adorned with flowers at certain points of the year.
King’s Park is where all the students land in the summer for sunbathing, barbeques or ball games, but it’s a lovely walk. If you continue down the road you’ll reach the King’s and Queen’s knot. These are open all year round and can also be an entrance to the Back Walk.
Gowan Hill gives you beautiful views of Stirling. The path begins along from the Union Street accommodation and Lower Bridge Street. There’s a sign that says Gowan Hill which will direct you upwards. At the top, you will find the beheading stone.
You can follow the Back Walk from here or start from opposite Stirling’s library. It’s a straightforward path with interesting sculptures along the way.
10. Go to the Old Town Cemetery
A weird start but hear me out. The Old Town Cemetery is the most peaceful place to think in Stirling. I could sit there and watch the hills all day.
There are dozens of interesting graves and accompanying tales. There’s a pond and a pyramid. Plus, Good Omens was filmed there last year.
11. Stirling pubs
It wouldn’t be student life without a good pub.
There’s Kilted Kangaroo, the Aussie bar. Morrison’s Cold Beer Company is where sports fans come together. Molly Malones, City Walls, the Corn Exchange and Nicky Tam’s are some other popular options.
I like the Curly Coo or the Settle Inn for cosy vibes.
And of course, there’s Spoons’.
12. Miss the UniLink or not be able to park your car
Every student will struggle with transport at some point in their time here.
It’s almost daily that I hear somebody complain about missing the UL or having to park at the furthest car park.
13. Go to TasteBudz after a night out
Being beside Fubar, TasteBudz has landed the best location in Stirling.
Many students will end up here after a night out for the best drunk food.
14. Get lost in Cottrell
Pandemic students may have avoided a few years of this.
Now we’re all equally lost in the maze of classrooms and are hopelessly following the maps.
15. Get a Scran pizza
Scran is famous for its pizzas and for such a cheap price, how can you complain?
Perfect for lunch or dinner or that stressful study day.
16. Spot an Olympian/pro athlete
Stirling is a sports university so expect to see a few sportspeople around.
I once saw Duncan Scott out and about.
17. Join a society or sport club
What better way to make friends, develop a skill or have fun while being a student?
Personally, I heard Brig Newspaper is the one to join…
18. Buy a Stirling hoodie
All students want to rep the uni and the iconic hoodie is the best way to do that.
The Union shop is near the atrium exit and has all the Stirling merch you need.
19. Go to Macrobert Arts Centre
We have a cinema on campus, how cool is that? You aren’t a Stirling student unless you’ve been once.
There’s a ‘pay what you can’ system for lots of screenings – £4.50, £6.50 or £8.50 for a ticket – which is perfect for skint students looking for some entertainment.
20. Take a trip into Bridge of Allan
Bridge of Allan is closer than Stirling to the university. Ciao has amazing pizza and Friend of Mine is the place for brunch.
You can even walk to Dunblane via the Darn path.
Featured image credit: Harry Williamson