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Living in Stirling
Situated in central Scotland, Stirling is known as the “Gateway to the Highlands” because beyond it are mountains and the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
There are two types of people in the world; those who enjoy their indoor comforts - the sofa, the telly, the heating - and those who secretly wish that every student dorm was a yurt in the middle of nowhere, and that the stairs to their lecture were an epic mountain trail. If you are in that second group, chances are high that you’ll get on well with Stirling.
Travelling due north, there aren’t any other cities until Inverness, and between the two are the magnificent mountains of Scotland, including the Trossachs and Cairngorms National Park. As far as we can see there isn’t anywhere else in the UK that can provide you with both a good-sized city complete with university, in this case the University of Stirling, and an apparently endless adventure playground. The whole area is a paradise for hill-walkers, not to mention canoeists, archers, cyclists, quad-bikers, climbers, riflemen, snowboarders, campers...
With all that on your doorstep, we can understand why you might find it very difficult to stay in your house but at some point you’re going to need to buy some dinner, or at least some new hiking socks that don’t have holes in. Fortunately Stirling has a full contingent of shops, including the very large Thistle shopping centre which houses all your high street essentials.
The city is built up around the River Forth and the large castle that still sits there. It’s one of the biggest in Scotland and is open to the public, hosting events all through the year. You can turn up and speak to real live (possibly not) medieval inhabitants of the castle or, for a Hallowe’en social perhaps, have a ghost tour round some of Stirling’s historic buildings.
Also, just outside the town is the National Wallace Monument, giving you the perfect excuse to run up and down the hills with a pint in one hand and a plastic sword in the other, pretending to be in Braveheart and yelling “FREEEEEDOOOM!” to your heart’s content. As if you needed a reason.
It’s raining, where can I go?
- The Old Town Jail: A couple of hours here will make you appreciate your student halls so much more!
- The Macrobert: This arts centre offers theatre showings and an independant cinema. It also does student deals and a weekly curry night! Maybe if you ask nicely they’ll just let you live there full time.
- Brucefields Family Golf Centre: If you love the Scottish golfing tradition but aren’t so keen on the weather, this indoor range here could be a good solution.
Good to know
- Taxi: Rab’s or Albion
- Bus: Every hour during peak times nearly 20 buses run between the main campus and town and students with ID cards can get a discount. The main bus company is First and it’s possible to buy a week-long ticket that gives you unlimited travel between the two.
Read Stirling Reviews
Public transport to and from the university is brilliant - £1.70 for a return with a student card during the day to and from the centre and the bus comes every 5-10 minutes. The shops in Stirling are pretty good and have everything anyone could need, however, lacks a good number of clothes shops - if you fancy treating yourself to a shopping spree you're probably best to get a train to Glasgow. Nights out are amazing - because there are only 2 clubs they're always filled with students and you see everyone, as well as the clubs having great deals too. Eating out is great and there are many options, but I would recommend the Wetherspoons for best value for money if you're casually eating out with friends. Cost of living is great - everything you could need is in town. When you first move there it might be easy to get into the habit of living out of the Nisa shop on campus, but this would be a big mistake: everything's overpriced so make sure to do shopping in town.
Terrible night life! Only 2 clubs However very friendly and students fill them up quite quickly and very cheap! Lots of cheap nice individual restaurants and a new spoons. Lots of buses and 40min trains to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Thistles centre is great but shops are small. Better going to Glasgow. Very scenic and lots to do!
A lovely town that has little to offer other than a few historical tourist attractions and some pretty views. The nightlife is a choice of local scummy pubs, Dusk, which is one of the worst clubs I have ever set foot in, or Fubar, which can only be described as 'sticky'.
stirling is a great place to live
everything in Stirling is fairly inexpensive, especially to live here. The nightlife is cheap!
Not a lot of things to do that don't involve drinking or going out except bowling or shopping really