University is all about trying new things – and Stirling is the perfect place to get involved. Nestled right in the heart of Scotland, the city gives you a backstage pass to some of the country’s weirdest and most wonderful experiences imaginable.
To give you an idea, here are our top 10 events that you need to mark in your calendar.
01 - STAY COOL AT THE LOONY DOOK IN JANUARY
Feeling bold? One of Scotland’s biggest New Year’s Day traditions is the annual Firth of Forth Loony Dook, which sees thousands of brave souls charge into the freezing sea to celebrate the new year and raise money for charity.
02 - HIT THE SLOPES IN AVIEMORE IN FEBRUARY
Do you enjoy skiing or snowboarding? We’re just a short drive from the Cairngorms National Park and Aviemore. There are world-class runs available for all skill levels and, for practice, there’s a 120m dry slope just eight miles from the University.
03 - SHOP THE STYLE MILE IN MARCH
Stirling’s got plenty of fantastic shops – but nothing compares to Glasgow’s Style Mile. According to Lonely Planet, it’s the UK’s biggest shopping district outside London, with more than 200 quirky shops and massive names in international fashion. Best of all, it’s just 32 minutes down the road from Stirling.
04 - CELEBRATE IN STYLE AT THE SPORTS UNION BALL IN APRIL
The Sports Union Ball is without doubt one of the most anticipated events on the social calendar. As the annual awards ceremony for student achievements in sport at the University of Stirling, it’s a celebration not to be missed.
05 - BE INTRIGUED AT STIRLING CASTLE IN MAY
Perched high above the city, award-winning Stirling Castle will transport you to the 16th century with all its splendour. Meet historical characters in the Royal Palace and learn about kings, queens and warriors of old who changed the course of Scotland’s history.
06 - EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL IN AUGUST
Looking for a bit of culture? The world’s largest arts festival is just a hop and a skip away from Stirling. It runs over 25 days in August, and features more than 50,000 performances across 300 venues. You’ll find all sorts of music, dance, theatre, comedy, cabaret, musicals, lectures, special events and so much more.
07 - STIRLING AND BRIDGE OF ALLAN HIGHLAND GAMES IN AUGUST
Keen to experience the real Scotland? Every summer, pipe bands and athletes from across the globe flock to the University’s doorstep to show off their skills and compete in traditional feats of strength like the caber toss, hammer throw and tug of war.
08 - GET LOST IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST IN OCTOBER
Named the UK’s Best Cultural Event in 2016, the Enchanted Forest is Scotland’s top immersive sound and light event. It’s set amidst the stunning Faskally Wood just north of Stirling, and is the perfect way to find your holiday spirit.
09 - DECK THE HALLS IN EDINBURGH IN NOVEMBER
Counting down the days until Christmas? You’ll find plenty of magic in Edinburgh. For seven weeks every year, the medieval old town is transformed into a winter wonderland – complete with traditional markets, ice skating and plenty of mulled wine.
10 - RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT STIRLING HOGMANAY
Have you ever counted down to midnight in a medieval castle? Every year, locals gather at Stirling Castle to ring in the New Year with some of music’s biggest names. There’s always plenty of food and drink to keep you warm, and the atmosphere is totally electrifying.