Cycling in Stirling

Often called "The Gateway to the Highlands", the city of Stirling has played a starring role in many of the major events of Scottish history. 

Walk (or cycle) in the footsteps of legendary figures such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce as you travel the ancient roadways with a view of the mountains beyond. 

From its impressive hilltop castle, cobbled streets and handsome listed buildings, to the surrounding open countryside dotted with battlefields, monuments and haunting ruins, Stirling is a fascinating region to explore. 

Sound appealing? Here are a few of our favourite cycling routes in the area:

Best for families: Long Line / North Third Loop

The Long Line / North Third Loop is a great route for enjoying the spectacular scenery around Stirling, especially the picturesque North Third Reservoir, dotted with islands and with a view of the mighty mountains in the distance. You can also choose to visit the excellent Battle of Bannockburn Heritage Centre at the start or end of your ride. The route is relatively short and, although hilly, not too challenging – making it suitable for a range of cycling abilities.

Best for scenery: Stirling to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

Fancy getting out of the city entirely and soaking up some of that Highland splendour? This 48-mile route from Stirling to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park takes you past Blair Drummond Safari Park (home to exotic African animals) and Doune Castle (where parts of Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed) before looping through a picturesque section of the woodland park. Cruise past Loch Venachar, Loch Achray and the Lake of Menteith (where the ruined Inchmahome Priory sits on an island in the lake), while keeping an eye out for birds of prey and other wildlife.

Best for sightseeing: Stirling City Tour

The Stirling City Tour is an easy cycling route that affords fabulous views of several major sights while avoiding most of the high-traffic areas. 

Starting at the Stirling Cycle Hub, you'll bike along sections of the River Forth and past the Wallace Monument, perched high on a hillside to the northeast of the city. Next you will loop around Stirling Castle (definitely a prime photo op!) and onward over the historic Stirling Old Bridge, site of a decisive 1297 battle between the Scots and the English.

Best for long distance: Route 76 (Round the Forth)

If you're planning to visit Stirling as part of a more extensive tour of Scotland, you may wish to consider cycling all or part of Route 76 of the National Cycle Network, which takes you on an epic 134-mile journey around the Forth, passing through towns and cities such as Kirkcaldy, Dunbar, Helensburgh, and South Queensferry, along with Stirling. Admire the scenic wonders of the Forth Estuary as you explore these historic destinations and their many attractions before cycling on to other fantastic Scottish regions.

Bike hire and more

Ready to start planning your cycling trip to Stirling? The Stirling Cycle Hub is an invaluable source of info on all things bike-related in the area, including routes and organised rides and events. 

Local shop Velocity 44 offers bikes for hire and purchase, as well cycling parts and accessories, repairs and other useful services. You can also rent a bike through Nextbike Stirling, which, once you register with the Nextbike network, allows you to obtain a code through your mobile to pick up and return a bike at any of their self-service locations. 

Feeling ambitious? Why not consider entering the Stirling Triathlon, held in the grounds of the University of Stirling each June? Challenge yourself to swim, bike and run in an exciting race through this historic location – it's an experience you won't soon forget!

Find a hotel in Inverness

After you've finished exploring the area on your bike, find Stirling hotels with Premier Inn and reward yourself with an excellent night's sleep!