Welcome to Stirling

The geographical heart of a nation that blends the historic and modern, Stirling is one of Scotland's most attractive places to live. Here are some of the key things you’ll probably want to know…


How big is Stirling?

We think it’s the perfect size. The population’s around 41,000 – the student population is a visible part of that.

This makes Stirling big enough to offer a full ‘city experience’: shopping, café culture, performing arts and nightlife. Yet it’s still compact enough to retain a warm, friendly community feel – and make it easy for you to get around and settle in.

How far is it from the campus?

Stirling city centre is just two miles from the campus — less than 10 minutes by bus. A central train and bus station offer frequent services to all points UK-wide.

What can I do?

Stirling combines the charm of an historic destination with the buzz of a contemporary city. There’s truly something for everyone, much of it aimed directly at students.‌

You’ll soon learn that Stirling is linked to two of Scotland’s historic heroes: William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Along with a dramatic medieval castle, these give it a magical aura.

Stirling’s history blends perfectly with a thriving modern soul. The city lights up at night, and many pubs, clubs and bars gear themselves towards students, with themed nights and DJs. Traditional pubs provide quieter alternatives, with open fires, real ale and folk music. Closer to campus, Bridge of Allan’s pubs are a vibrant mix of old and new, with beer gardens for long summer evenings.

Culturally, Stirling Castle is an established concert and arts venue, having hosted acts such as Travis, James Blunt and Lulu. The Tolbooth building is another busy focus for performing arts and other events.

The city’s a major tourist destination, something reflected in the wide choice of cuisine at the numerous restaurants, bistros and cafés. There’s everything from pub grub to fine dining, with Scottish, American, Greek, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, French and Mexican all well represented. And you can pop into nearby Bridge of Allan for delis, bakeries and a classic fish ’n’ chip shop.

What's the cost of living?

Consistently lower than neighbouring cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh. With plenty of accommodation on campus, you can minimise travel costs. And the self-catering halls mean you can cook to your own budget if you wish.

And if you want to supplement your funds, the University’s Job Shop can help. It advertises part-time, casual and vacation work, both on campus and in the local area.

Where else is nearby?

Nestling where the Scottish highlands and lowlands meet, it’s no surprise that Stirling is known as ‘the heart of Scotland’. On your doorstep is the peace and tranquillity of unspoiled mountains, lochs and shores – perfect for outdoor activities such as walking, canoeing, mountain biking and sailing.

And, as the geographical heart of Scotland, Stirling naturally has superb links to the rest of the country and beyond.

In particular, both Edinburgh and Glasgow are only 45 minutes away by road or rail. Students wishing to fly can choose from either Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, both of which offer direct flights to a wide range of domestic and international destinations.

More information

Download our handy official City of Stirling Guide, developed in partnership with Destination Stirling.


© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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