Springwood Apartment: a Stirling Love Story

One couple who stayed with us recently at Springwood Apartment have proven love can conquer all – even COVID-19. Helping them seal their marriage against all odds, Stirling became a uniquely special place for Sandeep and Piriyah Kirishnan this August, and Stirling Self Catering played a small part in their fabulous story too …

Sandeep and Piriyah in Springwood Apartment
Sandeep and Piriyah in Springwood Apartment
Piriyah, radiant before her wedding

Piriyah before her wedding

Piriyah and Sandeep Krishnan found themselves stranded thousands of miles apart when lockdown began in March, with their May wedding in Malaysia cancelled. With Piriyah in London, and Sandeep in Kentucky, there seemed no hope of re-organising their wedding. The strict US travel ban had dashed hopes even of reunion anytime soon, as it prohibited Piriyah from joining her fiancé in the US – unless they were married. It appeared an impossible situation.

But one registrar at Stirling Council saw a way to overcome one of the major obstacles that faced the couple, and ultimately enabled them to marry here in Stirling, Scotland.

In her efforts to resolve their predicament, Piriyah had contacted every council in England. However, she had been consistently told that couples must give physical notice one month prior to getting married. But, when she tried Scotland, a Stirling registrar explained that there was, indeed, another option. Piriyah explains, “They said we could give online notice and show our physical documents on the day. So, we gave notice that day and were married 30 days later.”

Piriyah and Sandeep were married in August at the Registry Office at the Tolbooth in Stirling’s Old Town. With just four guests at the outdoor ceremony, family and friends were able to watch online. As a base from which to put together the final details of their wedding, the couple stayed at Stirling Self Catering’s Springwood Apartment, near Stirling City centre. Some of their stunning wedding photos were taken inside the Victorian villa.

Piriyah explained how Stirling Self Catering’s director Kirsteen helped the couple initially: ‘Kirsteen was kind, caring, and was just a phone call away. Also, she had such a positive, joyful attitude that was infectious, and which helped make our stay at Springwood yet more pleasant and comfortable’.

Working to a short timescale, the couple nevertheless found Stirling the perfect place to put together their revised plans. “We were close to the high street with plenty of places to prep for a wedding,” explains Piriyah. “I visited two florists, but in the end went with an M&S bouquet I put together myself. It worked just fine! We used Clan Kilts – brilliant man there, with years of experience and expertise – I couldn’t recommend them enough. After our wedding we then went to Green Gates for lunch with our four guests. The food was delicious! My parents stayed at the Collesio Hotel, just walking distance from the Tolbooth where we got married.”

Springwood Apartment and its owner had a particularly important role in the couple’s story. “This apartment is where the story started in many ways – it’s the place where we began our journey of a lifetime and it will forever hold a special place in our hearts. The owner is a very caring man – he dropped off a card and champagne as soon as he found out we were staying at his property whilst getting married. We are so grateful for everything – the hospitality, warmth and for giving us a place we called home for two weeks during our quarantine period – aka honeymoon! There was something uniquely serene and peaceful about the place, especially the gardens outside. It truly was a home for us, and when we left Springwood, it felt like we were leaving home, as we shared so many memories in such a gorgeous apartment.”

Final preparations

Final preparations before the ceremony

Setting out from Springwood to their new life together

Setting out from Springwood to their new life together

Photo credits:

Come stay. With total peace of mind.

This is the time for reassurance in a world of uncertainty. And it’s also time for everyone to have a break after the anxieties of lockdown. With both of these in mind, we’ve made some important changes to how we work. And we hope they will give you the peace of mind to enjoy your much-deserved holiday with us.

Henderson's Bistro at The Albert Halls, Stirling
Stringent processes mean our properties are meticulously cleaned
Seasonal flavours characterise the Henderson's Bistro menu

Our exacting standards offer you the peace of mind to rest and restore

Book with confidence

Perhaps the biggest worry for everyone when they book a holiday (and especially at the moment!) is ‘What if I have to cancel?’ To take away all of that stress, we’ve introduced Master Cancel. This system offers our guests the flexibility they need to book with confidence. If you have to cancel for any unforeseen circumstances – right up to two days before check in, Master Cancel enables us to refund you, in full, for the cost of the nightly rate of your stay. It’s worth noting though, that Master Cancel doesn’t cover extras such as booking fee, sofa beds, guest beds, or dog fees. Get in touch for the full details.

We’re good to go

Like any other hospitality business worth its salt, we’ve followed UK and Scottish Government guidelines and regulations to the letter. However, we haven’t stopped there. As a member of the Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers, we undertake the stringent Cleaning Protocols for Self-Catering Properties in the Context of COVID-19. Because of that, and other measures we’ve taken, we proudly display the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark. This demonstrates that we adhere to the relevant Government and public health guidance, and have carried out COVID-19 risk assessments to ensure we have the required processes in place. You can learn more about our cleaning protocols, risk assessments and training, and even which disinfectants we use, on this page: https://www.stirlingselfcatering.co.uk/covid-19-information/

My stay planner

At Stirling Self Catering, we pride ourselves on providing guests with full information to enhance their stay. That’s everything from how to work the cooker to interesting events happening in town, and which restaurants are good for families. Formerly, this information was provided in your welcome folder in each property. However, COVID safety protocols mean that we have had to remove all such ‘high-contact’ items from our properties. On booking, you will now receive ‘My Stay Planner’ by email. This will provide all the information you need to make the very best of your stay. It includes tourist leaflets, ‘What’s On’ Guides, and much more.

Arrival and departure

For the time being – and although we love meeting our guests face to face – our arrival and departures are contactless. Your welcome folder – containing  access and key collection information, WiFi codes and all instructions – will be sent to you electronically as part of ‘My Stay Planner’, shortly before your visit. But remember – we are always available by phone should you have any questions during your stay. Further, our properties have sufficient outdoor space to meet safely should you need us at any time.

Thank you everyone

Lastly, it’s time for a huge thank you to everyone who has helped get us to this moment, where we are safely welcoming guests to our beautiful properties, City and country. Our sincere thanks to all those guests who have been so patient as we rearranged or refunded their holidays – thank you! To our owners, who have become partners in the challenge to make our properties forensically clean and safe – we wouldn’t be here without you! To all our suppliers, who’ve had to face their own concerns about business resilience, we thank you! We are delighted that ‘We’re Good to Go’ and can’t wait to welcome you back to Stirling – better than ever!

Henderson's Bistro set up for a wedding celebration

Master Cancel provides total booking confidence for you

Henderson's Bistro set up for a wedding celebration

It’s official! We are ‘Good To Go’ and ready to welcome you

More information about our response to COVID-19: 


Far from the madding crowd

There’s a lot of bad news, media noise and worry in the world right now, and – serious as it is – we will all need a break from it at some point. We believe that, instead of giving up on having a holiday this year, now is the perfect time for a staycation in Stirling, away from crowds, closer to nature and with everything you need for a nourishing retreat from the outside world. Here’s why.

South Doll Cottage

Find seclusion and tranquility in South Doll Farm Cottage

Wood burning stove

Coorie in with loved ones, ignoring the world outside

Secluded rural settings

We have some 16 luxurious properties, many of which are nestled in rural settings that offer peace and seclusion. South Doll Farm Cottage, Ailsa Barn, Lallybroch, Oakside Cottage and Tigh Mor are just a handful of properties that offer total tranquillity and breathing space. What’s more, you’ll find creature comforts perfect for cosying up and battening down the hatches – from woodburning stoves, to stunning vistas, gardens and more. View them all here: https://www.stirlingselfcatering.co.uk/properties/

No need for public transport

One of the best things about Stirling is its location – centrally located in Scotland, it’s a manageable drive if you seek a holiday that entirely avoids congested air or train transport. Even coming from as far south as London, you could be settled into your Stirling home in under 8 hours. What’s more, Stirling’s position at the heart of Scotland means you can easily drive right into some of the least populated, wildest landscapes in a short time. Just two examples – Glencoe is just two hours away by car, and Loch Lomond just an hour. What more could you need? For more ideas, see our blogs here: https://www.stirlingselfcatering.co.uk/blog/heart-200/ and https://www.stirlingselfcatering.co.uk/blog/waterfalls/.

Cleanliness affords peace of mind

Our properties are deep cleaned before and after every stay, not just to ensure they always look immaculate, but to safeguard the health and happiness of all our guests, young and old. Our professional cleaning company are passionate about cleanliness – they are fastidious, with a healthy dose of perfectionism, too. What’s more, they’ve been working with us for years. They are a vital part of our team, and we trust them implicitly.

Recharge the Scottish way

With low population density and lifestyles still relatively close to nature, the Scots as a race are pretty comfortable with solitude. Because of this, you’ll find that many of our properties will afford this opportunity, should you wish it. And why you’re here, why not embrace the Scottish art of ‘coorie’? To ‘coorie’, or to ‘coorie in’ basically means to cuddle up or snuggle, and nothing beats a coorie with a loved one at a warm fireside, ignoring the world outside. For a good coorie, you’ll need hearty fare and a wee dram on hand. Avoid the supermarkets by visiting Stirling’s open-air Farmers Market on the second Saturday of every month, or even have supplies delivered to your door by award-winning Falleninch Farm, in the shadow of Stirling Castle. There’s no need even to step outside.

So, do you still think your big holiday this year is off? Think again. Come stay.

Ailsa Barn's stunning views connect you to nature

Ailsa Barn’s stunning views connect you to nature

Cleanliness gives you peace of mind
Cleanliness gives you peace of mind

Talk to us about what you and your family need from your next holiday:

Easter is coming – get ready!

Easter. Scotland bursts into bloom and the days are noticeably longer. It’s time for getting outdoors, and catching up with the kids now the school term has finished. To help you plan an Easter to remember, we’ve rounded up the best family events throughout Stirlingshire, with a healthy dose of history, too.

Boness and Kinneil Steam trains
You’ll have Easter fun at Boness & Kinneil Steam Railway
Hunt for Easter eggs at Culross Palace, Fife

Hunt for Easter eggs at Culross Palace, Fife

Easter Egg Special Trains at Boness and Kinneil Railway

The railway’s popular Easter Egg special trains run on Friday 10, Saturday 11, Easter Sunday 12 April and Monday 13 April. There’s a free tasty chocolate treat for every child, a journey by steam through the spring countryside and fun in the Museum hunting for Easter eggs. You can even pre-book Fish & Chips for Friday evening 10 April or Afternoon Tea on a Steam Train on Monday 13 April. Stay all day and explore the Museum, Model Railway and the railway site via the Visitor Trail at Bo’ness and the stations along the line. For more information, see: https://www.bkrailway.co.uk/your-visit/events/

Cadbury Egg Hunts with National Trust

Cadbury have teamed up with the National Trust for Scotland again this year to create  Egg Hunts in some of Scotland’s most historic settings. Chocolate and culture, combined! The nearest hunts to Stirling take place from Good Friday to Easter Monday at The Battle of Bannockburn Centre, Alloa Tower in Clackmannanshure, and Culross Palace, Fife. Events are included in the normal admission price. Check your chosen venue’s Egg Hunt dates and other postcodes on the Cadbury website, where you’ll also find lots of free downloads for fun Easter activities at home: https://easter.cadbury.co.uk/

Easter Eggsplorer Trails with Historic Scotland

Not to be outdone, Historic Scotland’s Easter Eggsplorer Trails take place at a number of iconic castles, abbeys, forts and palaces throughout Scotland. All you need to do is find the clues and complete the challenge to be a winner. Drop-in throughout the day, and the events are included in normal admission. Free to members. The nearest participating venue to Stirling is Linlithgow Palace, from Good Friday to Easter Monday, but you can search for other venues here: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/whats-on/event/?eventId=297608b0-3502-4fde-9195-a6cc00fa3d0c

Step into Spring at the Wallace Monument

Stirling’s National Wallace Monument is buzzing with activity for families over the Easter weekend! Follow the story of Sir William Wallace, patriot, martyr, and Guardian of Scotland in three exhibition galleries, then listen to costumed actors performing Tales from the Battlefield, transporting you back to one of the most dramatic periods in Scottish history. Step outside and come face-to-face with owls, falcons, hawks and kestrels from Alba Falconry’s sanctuary and learn about the birds of prey during the static display. And if that isn’t enough fun – step into the Visitor Reception Centre and have your face painted for free! https://www.nationalwallacemonument.com/ht_event/step-into-spring-at-the-national-wallace-monument/

Step into spring at the Wallace Monument

Step into spring at the Wallace Monument

Whatever your plans, have a happy Easter!

Whatever your plans, have a happy Easter!

Photo credits: 

  • Boness & Kinneil Railway: By Thomas Nugent [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Culross Palace: By Palickap (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Wallace Monument: Kindly supplied by Ken Thomson, NWM. 

A Scottish Twist on Valentine’s Day

Dramatic and romantic, there are some stunning waterfalls just a stone’s throw from Stirling. And, what’s more, did you know of the old Scots tradition that a couple may exchange wedding vows and swap bibles over running water to declare their lifelong love? Well, there’s a Valentine’s Day out with a difference. And if you are looking for a convenient watercourse, here you are!

 Bracklinn Falls, Callander, a well-known waterfall which now has a new footbridge over it (not pictured)
Bracklinn Falls, Callander
The Falls of Leny, Kilmahog
The Falls of Leny, Kilmahog

Bracklinn Falls, Callander (15 miles from Stirling)

Located in the woods just above the beautiful town of Callander (worth a visit in its own right), Bracklinn Falls is a spectacular stepped waterfall best viewed from the vantage point just above the cascade. Queen Victoria is said to have visited here, and it’s not hard to see why. For the easiest walk, park your car in the Falls car park about halfway up Bracklinn Road, then follow the footpath up to the falls and the new bridge. For details on this short walk, and others, see here: https://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/things-to-do/walking/short-moderate-walks/bracklinn-falls-circuit/

Falls of Leny, Kilmahog (17 Miles from Stirling)

If you are visiting Callander to see the Bracklinn Falls, be sure to take in the Falls of Leny too, near the village of Kilmahog, just north-west of Callander in the Trossachs National Park. This is a great falls to see if any of your party have mobility problems – there is a car park at the falls, and cyclists can even get right up to the falls too. This is a narrow-gorged waterfall, so is particularly dramatic after heavy rain. For its location see: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/falls-of-leny-p662861#location. The more adventurous can walk there from Callander itself, a distance of around five miles: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/outdoors/walk-of-the-week-callander-to-falls-of-leny-1-3182009

Loup of Fintry, near Fintry (17 miles from Stirling)

Close to Stirling, the Loup of Fintry waterfall is on the River Endrick and lies just two miles from Fintry village. At 94ft high, this spectacular waterfall is best seen after rain or snow, as the Endrick River also feeds the Carron Reservoir. You can find the waterfall signposted two miles East of Fintry on the B818 Denny Road. For location see: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/loup-of-fintry-p669471#location

Pots of Gartness, Killearn, (22 miles from Stirling)

To the west of Killearn you will find Pots of Gartness, a series of stepped rocky waterfall pools whose natural ladder makes for spectacular salmon-watching in October and November. On the Endrick water like the Loup of Fintry, these falls once powered a mill, still visible in ruins alongside the former mill-worker dwellings. To reach the Falls by car, take the A81 Glasgow-Aberfoyle road, signposted for The Wishing Well. There is roadside parking just before the bridge. For location, see: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/pots-of-gartness-p669461#location

Find More Stunning Landscapes Around Stirling

These are just a handful of the many stunning waterfalls to see in Scotland, handpicked because they are closest to Stirling. For information on other natural spectacles, see: https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/landscapes-nature/


The Endrick Water, on which can be found the Loup of Fintry and Pots of Gartness waterfalls
The Endrick Water, on which can be found the Loup of Fintry and Pots of Gartness waterfalls
Photo credits:

  • Bracklinn Falls: Thomas Stenhouse [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Falls of Leny: Colin Smith [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Endrick Water: Louise Harris [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Carron Reservoir: Scotia [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Get ready for spring – it’s coming!

With January almost over, we’re turning our minds to spring. Make the most of these events around Stirling to get outdoors and welcome the new season with open arms!

Help out wildlife at Blackness Castle this February
Help out wildlife at Blackness Castle this February
Blackness Castle also appears in Outlander

Blackness Castle also appears in Outlander

Help out wildlife

On 8 February, drop into Blackness Castle near Linlithgow. This 15th-century fortress looks out over the Firth of Forth and appeared as Fort William in series one of TV show Outlander. During your visit you’ll be able to give wildlife a vital helping hand by making a bird feeder, bird box, or minibeast home to take away. The workshop is perfect for families and is included in your admission price, so is free to Historic Environment Scotland members. For more information: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/blackness-castle/

Reconnect with nature

For spring flowers, emerging bulbs and early blossom, take a leisurely stroll through Bridge of Allan’s beautiful Memorial Park, near the entrance to the University of Stirling. From there, circle the University of Stirling’s Airthrey loch to spot snowdrops, daffodils, and nesting wildfowl – those who love to dote on a fluffy chick or three won’t be disappointed, even this early in the year. Entrance to the University is free, and parking starts at £1. Enjoy lunch in the Macrobert Arts Centre, where it’s well worth picking up an events brochure too. For more information, see: https://macrobertartscentre.org/whatson/

Eat local spring flavours

Everyone is telling us to eat local, eat plant-based, and eat in season, and it’s true; eating what grows locally is best both for us and for the planet. February, March and April will bring asparagus, beetroot, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens, swede and a whole lot more besides. To buy straight from the grower, have a browse round Stirling Farmers’ Market, held on the first Saturday of every month in Port Street, Stirling. What’s more, they even post a list of stallholders in the days preceding on this Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stirling-Farmers-Market/142864599058772, so you can plan both your shop and your menu. You will find not only fresh veg produce but preserves, meats, fish, breads, cheeses and traditional crafts too. There are plenty other markets nearby if you’re out and about: Falkirk holds its Farmers Market on the first Friday of each month in the High Street, while Linlithgow sets up its stalls on the fourth Saturday of every month, in the Vennel. For more details on all these: http://www.scottishfarmersmarkets.co.uk/

Surround yourself in snowdrops

Snowdrops sum up everything that’s good about spring – they are delicate but bold and lift our hearts after the long dark winter. To celebrate their arrival, many of Scotland’s best gardens and woodlands come together to offer visitors and locals a range of fabulous events that collectively make up the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. The festival this year runs from 25 January to 11 March, and includes over 70 events, so you have no excuse to miss it! For more information, visit: http://discoverscottishgardens.org/

Eat local, and in season, at a farmers market near you

Eat plant-based, local, seasonal

Celebrate spring with the snpowdrop festival

Celebrate snowdrops from January to March

Photo credits: Blackness Castle pic source: Wikimedia commons