Budget-Friendly Fun in Stirling: 6 Things to Do for Free!

Budget-Friendly Fun in Stirling: 6 Things to Do for Free!

Have you ever considered the beauty, history and culture of Scotland? If so, a visit to the magnificent city of Stirling should be top of your list. Located in central Scotland, just an hour away from exciting cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling has become known for its impressive calibre of attractions that attract people from all over the world. Whether it's exploring ancient castles and royal heritage or taking in contemporary art galleries and local bars – there's something for everyone! In this blog post we'll take a look at why visiting the stunning city of Stirling is worth your while; providing some interesting historical facts along with information on where best to explore.

In this blog post we list:

  • The best places to visit for no charge at all
  • Show all places on an interactive map to help you locate each place easily.

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The historic city of Stirling has many options for places to visit for free on your trip. You could check out local artwork about the history of the city at The Stirling Smith Art Gallery, go back in history at the Church of the Holy Rude or take in the views at the summit of Dumyat Hill. Click on each name to be taken straight to the blog post for that place.

Free things to do in Stirling
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    Other Blog Posts From Stirling

    We write lots of blog posts from each individual area and have a few more from the city of Stirling. Have a look at our other blog posts by clicking the buttons below:

    Museums and Galleries

    Stirling smith art gallery

    Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

    Founded in 1874, the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum is full of incredible sights, sounds and stories that no one should miss when they next visit the city. Discover the stunning works of art on display in their elegant gallery curated by the knowledgeable staff. Learn more about the rich history of the area with interactive exhibits that bring these stories to life; there’s something for every age group! See their website for the exhibitions that are currently on.

    Free things to do in Stirling FAQ's

    Yes! The park and ride is a great way to avoid traffic and save money on parking. Just park your car in the lot and take the bus into town. It's a great option for visitors and commuters alike. There are two park and ride locations: Castleview and Springkerse.

    No - there is an admission fee. However, the castle is well worth the visit! The admission fee for Stirling Castle varies depending on your age and if you pay online or at the gate. You can also purchase family tickets on their official website.

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    History and Culture

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    Church of the Holy Rude

    This wondrous chapel is located at the foot of Stirling Castle and dates back over 800 years! The church is most famous for being the site of the coronation of James VI in 1567, making it an essential part of Scotland's always-fascinating history. Inside its stunning spire you'll find stained glass windows, paintings, ancient monuments and a graveyard outside that dates back centuries. The Church remains open to visitors year round and is still used today as a place of worship. Whether you go there with friends, family or simply by yourself, make sure not to miss this impressive place with its sense of tradition running through every brick.

    Robert The Bruce Statue

    The Robert the Bruce statue was erected  in 1964 and is located in the town of Bannockburn (the location of his famous victory in the Battle of Bannockburn). This iconic piece of public sculpture depicts an early 14th-century Scottish King and warrior who famously led Scotland to freedom during the Wars of Independence against England. The monument provides a tangible reminder of an important moment in Scottish history that continues to influence a shared identity as a proud nation today. After a refurbishment in 2013, the sculpture is visited by thousands each year and gives each person a taste of Scotland’s past.

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    Walks and Nature Trails

    free things to do in stirling

    Dumyat Walk

    If you're looking for a beautiful outdoor experience just outside the city, then Dumyat Hill is the perfect spot to visit. With breathtaking views and great walking trails, the hill offers an experience of a lifetime. Located just 3.6 miles from the city centre, you won't have to go too far out of your way to enjoy a peaceful and refreshing stroll. Start at the Pendreich forestry car park for the easier of the two routes and enjoy the views when you get to the top.

    Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

    If you're looking for a unique and beautiful place to visit, then Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is an ideal destination. Located only 45 minutes away the loch is one of Scotland's most stunning natural landmarks and offers mesmerising views of the surrounding area. The loch also gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities such as fishing, cycling, sailing and even bird watching. If you’re looking for relaxation and recreation in picturesque settings, Loch Lomond should be your go-to spot when visiting Stirling. Not only will you take in breathtaking sceneries with its rolling hills and dramatic peaks like Ben Lomond, but you’ll also come away feeling recharged and refreshed after your visit. With many walking trails throughout The Trossachs, you can spend many days out in nature taking in the Scottish scenery.

    Gowan Hill

    It's always nice to take a walk and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature - and you won't want to miss out on this experience on the Gowan Hill Heritage Trail. With its beautiful views of the rolling hills, Stirling Bridge and Wallace Monument in the distance and with the history you discover whilst you walk, it is an ideal spot for both leisurely strolls whilst topping up your knowledge of the city and castle. You’ll pass by the beheading stone that saw many executions over the centuries and the cannons that were once in operation defending the area over many battles.


    Use the map below to locate all the places mentioned to create your itinerary for your trip.

    Open Google Maps to see distance information between locations and directions on how to get to each place.

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