Stirling Castle stands proud watch over the city of Stirling in Scotland. It is one of Scotland’s most effortlessly charming cities, with the mountains of the southern Highlands rising up above the urban area and often dusted with snow in the winter months. Thanks in large part to its centrally-located castle – one of Scotland’s most important – and its network of hilly cobbled streets, Stirling is also one of the best places to visit in Scotland within an hour’s drive of the Central Belt cities of both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Stirling also makes for an excellent stopover on your way further north, either towards the Trossachs, the Cairngorms or the Highlands.
Only a handful of hotels really serve Stirling city centre and its main landmarks, for the city is small, being home to around 38,000 people. As such it pays to book Stirling hotels early wherever possible. Below is a sample of five excellent accommodation options that cater to a range of requirements and budgets in the city. In putting this selection of hotels together, the value for money, location, comfort, cleanliness and various other factors have all played their part in the reckoning.
From £190/ night
With its column-supported neo-Classical facade and plush interiors, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Hotel Colessio was an internationally-focussed accommodation in Glasgow or Edinburgh. But this Stirling hotel’s main draw is its location, a few hundred metres down the road from Stirling Castle, in the most charming part of the city. Rooms vary greatly in size and amenities, but not too much in price, meaning a Deluxe room is worth the extra money if budget allows. All rooms have rainfall showers, a kettle and flatscreen TVs. There’s free parking at the hotel, and an onsite bar and restaurant as well.
From £175/ night
A 19th century hotel with plenty of mod-cons, Stirling Highland Hotel boasts a large indoor swimming pool, spa and a fitness centre. The hotel is located inside the former High School of Stirling, reminders of which are provided via the Headmaster’s Study Bar and the onsite restaurant, Scholars Restaurant, which has been awarded an AA Rosette for its culinary eminence. Rooms have all the necessary amenities, including a kettle, television and free toiletries. For an additional fee there are breakfast and half board options available here too.
From £148/ night
As the name suggests, Stirling Castle is just a short walk along a pedestrian pathway from this lovely bed and breakfast. This option is highly regarded for its comfort and the lovely hosts ensure the standard of cooked English/Irish breakfasts remains high in Scotland, with vegetarian and vegan options also available. Rooms are ensuite and cosy, with toiletries, tea and coffee, and lovely little extra touches provided to provide a pleasant stay. This B&B has only eight rooms, although please be aware that only public parking is available, and it may be tricky to find a space during busier travel periods.
From £100/ night
Serving as a hotel for over 200 years, the Golden Lion Hotel has long been a mainstay hotel in Stirling for weary travellers. And no public building lasts a couple of centuries in these parts without racking up a few stories along the way. For example, Robert Burns once wrote poem on the Golden Lion Hotel’s window frame. Rooms are among the more spacious in town and are comfortable, with a seating area, desk and television all provided. While there is some parking available, Stirling train station is only a few minutes’ walk away too. For food and drink, the Cronies bar and restaurant means you don’t even have to leave the hotel to get sated.
From £47/ night
True to all OYO hotels, Lost Guest House Stirling manages to provide impressive prices and levels of comfort in exchange for fewer facilities. Nevertheless, rooms include free toiletries, a kettle and air conditioning (not that you’ll need it for most of the year in Scotland). Breakfast is not included but can be purchased for a small additional fee. The hotel is on the edge of the city centre, making it easy to reach by car. Due to Stirling’s small size, everything is reachable under your own steam, within ten minutes or so from the OYO Lost.