Bridge of Allan is a town in Stirlingshire.
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. 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.
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.
- Wallace Monument, Abbey Craig. See the main description in Stirling.
- Stirling University. See the main description in Stirling.
- Lecropt Kirk. The church 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.
- 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
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
- Meadowpark Hotel. Good Food and drinks
- Allanwater Brewhouse, Queens Lane, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4HP, ☎ . 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.
- Kilronan Guest House, 15 Kenilworth Road, FK9 4DU, ☎ . 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