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. 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.
Cycling routes in Stirling
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.