Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire

article - Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire

Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire are counties in the Central Belt of Scotland. They’re lowland, with a mix of farmland and urban industry, but with hills rising steeply nearby. The big attraction is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

. . . Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire . . .

Map of Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire

  • 56.1172-3.93971 Stirling, the only city, is a pocket-sized Edinburgh, with a historic town centre and the castle perched on a crag.
  • Bridge of Allan, basically a northern suburb of the city, hosts Stirling University. A short walk leads to the dramatic lookout of the Wallace Monument.

The upper Firth of Forth is tidal, with sea-going vessels, and oil and other industries along its banks.

  • 55.990785-3.7064231 Polmont is a small commuter town for Edinburgh. Nearby industrial Grangemouth is an oil town, a dystopian landscape of metal towers and flares.
  • 56.0011-3.78351 Falkirks Wheel is an ingenious modern boat lift connecting the Forth & Clyde canal from Glasgow with the Union canal from Edinburgh.
  • 56.1161-3.79591 Alloa, the administrative centre of Clackmannanshire, is at the navigable limit of the Forth.
  • 56.16249-3.668141 Dollar at the foot of the hills has a scenic glen.

North of Stirling:

  • 56.183827-3.967411 Dunblane has a fine cathedral, a museum, and the fortress-like Hydro hotel.
  • 56.19-4.0531 Doune has an imposing much-filmed castle.
  • 56.24403-4.214461 Callander is a small market town, a good base for exploring the Trossachs.
  • 56.394-4.6171 Crianlarich on the northern edge of the county is the gateway to Oban, Glencoe and Ben Nevis.

West: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is the prime reason to visit this area. The Trossachs are a scenic glen (accessed from either Callander or Aberfoyle), above which is Loch Katrine, the reservoir supplying Glasgow. The loch is set among beautiful hills; a lane (no vehicles, bikes welcome) winds along its east bank, and a little ferry putters across it. Loch Lomond is a long fjord scooped out by glaciers but later cut off from the sea, so it became fresh-water. The road to the east bank is via 56.06496-4.451071 Drymen and 56.084-4.541 Balmaha to end at Rowardennan, start of the climb up Ben Lomond. There’s no through road on this bank, nevertheless it’s the best approach as the west bank is very busy with traffic along the A82 and coach trippers asking if this is the loch that has the Loch Ness monster.

. . . Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire . . .

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. . . Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire . . .