Here’s where to stay, and what to do, as we leave summer behind in Stirling. Time to kick up some leaves, explore historic sites, and throw the first log on the fire!

Autumn peace in Lallybroch

Lallybroch, on the Kersebonny Carse, sleeps 10

Balfron Hayloft would make a great autumn getaway

Sleeping up to 10, Balfron Hayloft would make a great autumn family getaway

Where to stay

As we leave summer behind, why not consider one of our more rural properties so that you can make the most of the turning leaves and new birdsong? Lallybroch (named after the fictional estate in Outlander) is an impressive 5-bedroom steading conversion. Set on the Kersebonny Carse just outside Stirling, Lallybroch is within easy reach of all amenities and historic sites. Yet it has a tranquil setting, with striking views to the Castle. In addition, we have Balfron Hayloft, a magnificent traditional stone-built farm steading conversion. It offers ideal family-sized holiday accommodation. Set in the rolling countryside of Stirlingshire with picturesque views of Ben Lomond and the Ochil Hills, Balfron Hayloft is an ideal base for touring the Scottish heartlands. And what’s more, both of these properties have stoves you can warm your toes at in the evenings. To book these and any of our properties, see: http://www.stirlingselfcatering.co.uk/properties/

Kick up some leaves

For those who love autumn colour, there’s no need to get on board an expensive flight to New England. Take a walk round Stirling University Campus in late September/early October for amazing foliage displays. Just an hour from Stirling by car or even less by train, Perthshire has earned itself the title of ‘Big Tree Country’. Here, you can find Europe’s oldest tree, the world’s highest hedge, Shakespeare’s Birnam Wood in present day, and lots more. Visit some of the stunning sites recommended for leaf peeping by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust at https://www.pkct.org/Pages/Category/perthshire-big-tree-country

Bloody Scotland 8-10 September

Far from being a ‘just Stirling’ event, Bloody Scotland is fast becoming a national literary treasure. Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival draws crime writers from all over the world to Stirling every September. In this sixth year of the festival they welcome back popular favourites Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Denise Mina and last year’s McIlvanney Prize winner Chris Brookmyre. You also have the chance to catch Simon Kernick, Lynda La Plante, Peter May, Mark Billingham, and many more. The authors give unforgettable talks on crime and writing. They offer panels on everything from forensics to soil science and witness identification. If you love a crime thriller, you need to be in Stirling this weekend! For a full events line-up, see: www.bloodyscotland.com/

Doors Open Days

Doors Open Days is an annual event throughout Scotland each September. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It opens doors to the most fascinating buildings, sites and landscapes we have, whether large or small, grand or quirky. And it’s free. More than a thousand venues throughout Scotland will open this year. The website is brilliant – simply choose where you are or want to go, and you’ll find your listings. Stirling is opening at least 25 buildings to visitors for free, with plenty more in Falkirk and Clackmannanshire too. Have a browse and plan your itinerary: http://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/

The Enchanted Forest

To celebrate autumn, how about leaving the city behind and heading outdoors for a bit of natural magic? The Enchanted Forest is renowned for being Scotland’s premier sound and light experience and attracted over 70,000 visitors in 2016. With dazzling visuals and innovative design set against an original music score, explore Faskally Wood near Pitlochry in an unforgettable way. Scots Gaelic for ‘Edge of the Water’, this year’s show name Oir an Uisge has taken its inspiration from the magnificent Loch Dunmore that’s at the heart of Faskally Wood. For tickets (and don’t delay), see: http://www.enchantedforest.org.uk/

Autumn colour at Loch Faskally

Autumn colour at Loch Faskally

Craigvinean pine cone shelter by Ronald Weir

Craigvinean Pine Cone Shelter. Photo by Ronald Weir

Photo credits:

  • Craigvinean Pine Cone Shelter: Photo by Ronald Weir and originally supplied by Perthshire Big Tree Country, now http://www.pkct.org/
  • Faskally Wood: Photo copyright Perthshire Picture Agency and originally supplied by Perthshire Big Tree Country, now http://www.pkct.org/
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