Stirling Winter Warmers
Frosty mornings, chunky knits, cosy fires, dark evenings – winter is most definitely upon us! Stirling comes alive in winter, and we’ve put together some of our top things to do over the winter months.
From ceilidhs, festive food and drink, Christmas Lights Switch On and Hogmanay celebrations, Stirling’s Winter Festival website hosts all the information on big events happening in Stirling this festive season. Visit www.stirlingwinterfestival.com for all information.
Stirling does Hogmanay like no other, with TWO firework events to kick off the New Year. This year, radio partners Capital Scotland will provide the soundtrack to the celebrations for both events. With hot food venders on site, and over 18’s are able to bring their own tipple to the party (though glass bottles will not be allowed into the event).
The earlier Family Hogmanay is great for families, with a fireworks display designed to be softer and quieter than the later event, suitable for a younger audience.
This year’s main Hogmanay display celebrates the 150th anniversary of The National Wallace Monument with simultaneous fireworks being let off at midnight from both the monument and Stirling Castle in what will be an iconic spectacle.
This year Go Forth Business Improvement District, in partnership with city centre businesses, have been given twenty reindeer by Santa Claus and they are located in shops across the city centre. Find all twenty reindeer to be in with a chance of winning an iPad and five amazing runners up prizes. More information can be found here.
Stirling Castle – Festive Events
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This year’s Christmas programme at Stirling Castle is bigger and better than ever with both daytime and evening events to suit all ages and interests. From the Festive Christmas Market, festive Christmas lunch, carols at the castle and many more you’re spoilt for choice of things to do.
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Stirling city centre, with its Old Town laden with unique antiquated buildings and cobbled streets that snake their way up the ramparts of the restored palace are a joy to explore. Stirling’s provincial size makes it quite hard to get lost in. As you leave the train station, simply walk upward in the direction of Castle Walk and you will soon reach the Old Town. There’s so much to see, from the Back Walk, to Gowan Hill, Riverside and so much more.
If countryside walking is more your thing, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is the perfect rural playground to explore the great outdoors. From a winter woodland stroll, to something more challenging, check out our walking guide here: https://www.yourstirling.com/see-do/cycling-and-walking/
One way to make the most of Stirling’s walks with the Explore Stirling Mobile App.
This winter, Stirling comes alive with various shopping events, new high street additions to the city centre and an array of boutique stores and well-known brands.
December will see the farmer’s market come to Stirling city centre twice, a festive pop-up market in Thistles shopping centre, Made in Stirling’s new store at No.44 King Street and so many more.
Visit our list of shopping highlights, or take a wander through Stirling and the surrounding towns and villages of Callander, Dunblane, Aberfoyle and Bridge of Allan where you’ll be sure to pick up a treat or two.
Best Winter Warmers
If you find that the Scottish weather is a little chilly, and are in need of a cosy spot to settle in away from the chill, why not try some of our favourite places to grab a hot drink (and maybe even a mince pie or two!)
- Cronies Bar & Restaurant at the Golden Lion Hotel on King Street, Robert Burns himself dined here with his Cronies in the summer of 1787; with a cosy fireplace to keep you warm what’s not to love
- After an afternoon exploring Bridge of Allan, head to Jam Jar Café for delicious treats and mulled wine by the log-burner
- How about breakfast with the family and Santa himself at Cooks of Stirling? Weekend dates in December available for a fun morning with storytelling, activities and a gift from Santa for the little ones.
- If you’re passing through Doune, the highly recommended Buttercup Café is brimming with tasty treats, why not try one of their festive seasonal hot drinks to see you on your way
- Visit Blair Drummond Smiddy for all things winter warmer, including speciality scones and warm drinks. While you’re there stock up on some local produce from the Buchery and Farm Shop or pick up a Scottish gift for a loved one.
If the prospect of overindulgence over the festive season leaves you motivated for a New Year fitness challenge, the all new Simplyhealth Great Stirling Castle Run is taking place on 12th January 2019.
The scenic 7km route will take you past King’s Knot, Beheading Stone, Castle Canons, Heritage Trail Wood Carvings and Stirling Castle before crossing the finish line in Kings Park.
The action doesn’t stop there however, as Kings Park is the setting of world-class sporting action with the Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry taking place at the same time. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy a truly memorable run through Stirling’s history, whilst mixing it with the world’s running elite.