Drinks and entertainment
It is common practice in Britain to socialise in pubs/bars, which are usually open from around midday to 11pm or midnight. Close to the conference venue there are bars at the Stirling Court Hotel, the MacRobert centre (at the roundabout on MacRobert Court within the University), the William Wallace Bar on Causewayhead corner, and at the Meadowpark and Birds and Bees (see above).
There are several popular pubs in Bridge of Allan (2km north-west of the University), including the Jam Jar (café/restaurant/bar), the AllanWater Brewhouse (excellent microbrewery with regular live entertainment for those into their beers – and they’re also currently creating a new in-house gin), the Westerton Arms (unfussy local) and the Fifty Five Bar and Grill (located in the Royal Hotel, the place to show-off a little).
There are also numerous bars and pubs in the city centre of Stirling. Different pubs within the centre of Stirling cater to slightly different clienteles – for academic conference participants, we suggest the Cold Beer Company (work colleagues and sports bar), No 2 Baker Street (folk music and real ale), the BrewDog (beards and IPA), the Curly Coo or Settle Inn (whisky and history), or the City Walls or Corn Exchange (fresh faced).
Local guide – Food, Drink, and Entertainment
Below you will find some suggestions for things to do, see and drink/eat while visiting Stirling.
Options for Food
Most venues serving food in Scotland will stop taking new orders at around 9 or 8.30pm, and sometimes as early as 8pm.
The city centre in Stirling features a very large number of restaurants, bars that serve food, and
kiosks/take-away outlets. Many are clustered around the intersections of Baker Street/King Street/Friars Street/Murray Place,
an area located approximately 150-250m west of the train station (up the hill, heading towards the Castle). The city centre is particularly well known for its high volume of Indian restaurants, but caters to all varieties of popular British food – e.g. Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Italian and American. It is feasible to walk from the University to the Centre of Stirling (walking time approx. 50 minutes) but it is usually more sensible to take a bus from the University (MacRobert court or Main Entrance, services UL, 2A, 63, X39). You can check the best route here although please note that the UL service is not listed (timetables are available at the bus stops on campus). Throughout Stirling, Bridge of Allan and on campus there is also the NextBike service for short-term bike hire.
It is an approximate 30 minute walk (north west, along the A9 or along Kenilworth Road) from the University/conference venue to the centre of Bridge of Allan, a large village with approximately 8 restaurants and bars including several that serve relatively high quality meals. Popular choices include Vecchia Bologna, the Jam Jar, Rana’s and La Cucina.
We would highlight seven restaurants/cafes within a 10 minute walk of the University/conference venue that are open into the evening: within the University campus, the MacRobert centre café and the Stirling Court Hotel offer waiter service meals, and the Refresh café (Willow Court building, north side of the loch) and Sports Centre café serve hot and cold snacks. There are also several daytime options for food, drinks and snacks around campus, with most clustered around the main atrium. Please see the campus map on page 5 for the location of these cafes and restaurants.
On the Western edge of campus next to the main entrance, the Meadowpark features a relatively high quality restaurant menu. Corrieri’s Italian restaurant is located a 5 minute walk past the south-east boundary of campus, adjacent to the roundabout at Causewayhead corner (closed on Tuesdays). A little further on (past Causewayhead corner towards Stirling, then 800m west along Easter Cornton Road), the Birds and Bees is a relatively spacious combined restaurant and pub.
Given the large number of delegates and it being term-time on campus, we would recommend booking a table (where available) in advance to guarantee your preferred choice.
Sports facilities are available in Stirling on the University campus at the Gannochy sports centre (http://www.stir.ac.uk/sports-centre/, including elite level tennis and swimming facilities) and at the Peak venue in Forthside in Stirling (http://www.the-peak-stirling.org.uk/, including an ice rink and climbing wall). Conference delegates staying at the Stirling Court Hotel have complimentary use of the University sports facilities as part of their hotel booking. Delegates not staying at Stirling Court can access the gym and swimming pool but will have to pay £4.50 for the swimming pool and £9 for the gym. Please see the swimming pool timetable for times it can be accessed.
There are many appealing walking routes in the Stirling area, including low-level pedestrianised routes such as around the University campus (e.g. https://www.stir.ac.uk/sports-centre/classes/jogging/; https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fife-stirling/stirling-university.shtml), and accessible hill walks such as ascending Dumyat (e.g. https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fife-stirling/dumyat.shtml).
Popular tourist attractions in Stirling include Stirling Castle (close to the city centre) and the Wallace Monument (close to the University and visible from the conference venue). Both incorporate small museums and both offer appealing views of the wider area. Stirling also hosts the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre and an Old Town Jail museum. Other significant tourist attractions within the wider region include the Falkirk wheel, Doune Castle, the Kelpies and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are 40 and 60 minutes away by train, respectively.
There is an arts centre on the University Campus with a cinema and occasional live events, located within the MacRobert Centre (see http://macrobertartscentre.org/). Stirling University also hosts its own art collection in the Pathfoot Building and across campus in the form of sculptures. There is a large multiplex cinema (Vue) in Stirling (in the Forthside area, south-east of the train station). Other occasional gigs and entertainment events are held at various venues within the city of Stirling – for suggestions, try http://www.destinationstirling.com/whats-on/ or http://www.whatsonstirling.co.uk/.
In the main atrium on campus there is also a pharmacy, bank, ATM, book shop, Uni merchandise shop and two convenience stores (as well as the cafés and restaurants listed above). There is also a Medical Centre on the north side of the campus.
Tony Robertson, Local Organising Chair: +44 (0) 7788145477
Stirling Court Hotel: +44 (0)1786 466000
Visit Scotland Information Centre: +44 (0)1786 475019
Traveline Scotland: +44 (0)871 200 22 33
Scotrail: +44 (0)845 601 5929
Police non-emergency: 101
Hospital: +44 (0)1324 566 000 (Larbert)
Minor Injuries Hospital: +44 (0)1786 434 036 (Stirling)
Saturn Taxis: +44 (0)1786 811111
Stirling Taxis: +44 (0)1786 816236