Bridge of Allan

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Bridge of Allan is a town in Stirlingshire.

University of Stirling

Understand[edit]

The town is named after the bridge over Allan Water, north of the town. In the early 18th century, Bridge of Allan comprised not much more than a mill and a collection of poor cottages near the bridge. In 1745, 300 Highlanders from Bonnie Prince Charlie's army blockaded the bridge and collected tolls. In August 1787 Robert Burns visited Stirling and passed through Bridge of Allan on his way to the Roman Fort at Braco and then on to Crieff. In 1793 he wrote his poem 'By Allan Stream'

In the late 18th.Century the area was famous for copper mining but when this declined, Bridge of Allan became a popular Victorian resort and Spa. This was particularly so after the arrival of the railway in 1848. Many grand houses were built at this time, Kilronan House built in 1853 is typical[1]. Today you can still dine in the old spa pump room which is now a restaurant. In the high street there are numerous artisan shops and a varied selection of restaurants and pubs. It is a very popular eating place especially at weekends.

In its Victorian heyday, Bridge of Allan had many illustrious visitors including Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson. For over twenty years Stevenson came here each summer to spend his holidays. There is a lovely walk along the river on the old drove road to Dunblane. Here you can see a cave which is reputed to have been the inspiration for Ben Gunn's cave featured in Treasure Island.

The town was voted the best small town in the 2010 Beautiful Scotland awards.[2]

Get in[edit]

By car on the old A9 road north

There is easy road and rail access to Edinburgh and Glasgow and free parking at Bridge of Allan station.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  •    Wallace MonumentAbbey Craig +44 1786 472140. Opened all year until at least 4PM.. - rising on a hill above Bridge of Allan, this monument honours William Wallace who led the Scottish to victory over the English. Inside you can find various displays about the Battle of Stirling Bridge and about important Scottish persons. You have a great view over Stirling and its surroundings from the top. £8.50/£5.30 (Adult/Child), Friends of Historic Scotland qualify for a 10% discount..
  • Stirling University. And the Airthrey Castle. Landscaped park and estate which became home to the University of Stirling in 1967

Do[edit]

  • Spas - Bridge of Allan is a Victorian-era spa town with strong associations with Robert Louis Stevenson. As a boy and young man Stevenson came to Bridge of Allan for holidays each summer between 1853 and 1874. Many local sites were an inspiration for locations in his novels including Ben Gunns cave on the Darn Walk along the River Allan
  • Darn Walk. An ancient drovers road which follows the course of the River Allan to Dunblane

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Bridge of Allan has numerous good restaurants and pubs some of which are :

  • Old Bridge Inn
  • Allan Water Cafe (great fish and chips)
  • Westerton Arms
  • Royal Ashoka Indian restaurant
  • Lees Chinese takeaway
  • La Bologna Italian restaurant
  • The Crooked Arm Pub
  • Adamo Hotel
  • Royal Hotel

Drink[edit]

  • Meadowpark Hotel. Good Food and drinks
  •    Allanwater BrewhouseQueens Lane, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4HP +44 1786 834555. Brewery with onsite pub. Bres a wide range of ales including one with mangoes, another with nettles. Occasional music in the evening. Tours from £10 to £200 for a full day as a brewer.

Sleep[edit]

  • Kilronan Guest House15 Kenilworth Road +44 1786 831054. Elegant Victorian house built in 1853. Located in a leafy conservation area near Stirling University and the National Wallace Monument. Spacious ensuite rooms, ample offstreet parking in the grounds. Numerous good restaurants and pubs within short walking distance.Frequent trains to Edinburgh and Glasgow from local station. Free Wi-Fi internet access for your laptop
  • Adamo Hotel24 Henderson Street +44 1786 833268. Full service four star hotel, situated in central Bridge of Allan, close to all amenities and an ideal base to explore the local attractions such as Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Bannockburn and Stirling University. Off street car parking available and free WiFi throughout the hotel

Go next[edit]

  • Lecropt Kirk is a handsome essay in Gothic revival style, built in 1827 to the designs of architect William Stirling, and occupying a superb, elevated position overlooking the carse lands (carse is a Scots name for a type of flat area in a river valley) about a mile from the town. Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument can be clearly seen from the church grounds. The interior is a period piece of controlled dignity and beauty, containing in its loft, vaults and monuments the influence of an old landed family, the Stirlings of Keir, built in the age of patronage. This late Georgian church is an early example of its style in Scotland, in company with the other nearby carse Kirks of Kippen and Kincardine in Menteith.
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