Dunblane (Gaelic: Dùn Bhlàthain) is a town of 9,000 people (2011) in Stirlingshire in the Central Belt of Scotland. It grew up around the cathedral, which is now demoted to a parish church. It became a spa town during the 19th century, when the Dunblane Hydro Hotel was built to cathedral-like proportions. In the late 20th century good rail and road connections turned it into a commuter town, within an hour of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The tennis player Sir Andy Murray (1987- ) went to school in Dunblane. When he was 9 years old, during the Dunblane school massacre of 1996, he took cover in another classroom; his family knew the perpetrator.
Thomas Hamilton was a 43-year-old local man who had been involved in youth work, and was briefly a Scout leader, but there were recurrent concerns about his sexualised behaviour with young boys and he was blacklisted. He complained bitterly to all and sundry (even to the Queen) that he was the victim of persecution by police and the Scout movement. He held, quite legally, two 9mm Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolvers. At about 09:30 on Wed 13 March 1996 he made his way into Dunblane Primary School, and entered the gym where a class of five-year olds were about to start a PE lesson. He began firing rapidly. Over the next four minutes 32 were shot; 15 children died plus the PE teacher. Hamilton then shot himself.
- And see Stirling for other long-distance options.
Trains run to 1 Dunblane station from Edinburgh M-Sa every 30 min and hourly on Sunday, taking just over an hour. They run from Glasgow Queen Street direct hourly daily, taking 35 mins; M-Sa has additional services changing at Stirling. All trains from the south stop at Stirling, and usually at Bridge of Allan, so these have a train to Dunblane every 20 min or so.
Trains run north every hour or two to Perth, whence they either go north to Pitlochry, Aviemore and Inverness, or east to Dundee and Aberdeen. But most trains along those routes don't stop at Dunblane, so you might be quicker to backtrack and change at Stirling.
Scottish Citylink Bus M8 runs from Glasgow Buchanan St via Cumbernauld, Stirling and Bridge of Allan to Dunblane (one hour), continuing to Perth and Dundee. Buses run roughly hourly M-Sa, every 3 hours Sunday.
Stagecoach Perth Bus 15A runs from Stirling via Bridge of Allan to Dunblane, continuing via Braco, Muthill and Crieff to Perth. Buses run hourly M-Sat and every two hours Sunday.
From the south follow M9 to its terminus at Jcn 11, then B8033 into town. From the north follow A9 south.
Dunblane is small enough to walk around easily.
- 1 Dunblane Cathedral, The Cross, Dunblane, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Sept M-Sa 09:30-17:30, Su 14:00-17:30; Oct-Mar M-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 14:00-16:00. Large church, it has not been a cathedral since the Presbyterians abolished bishops. Mostly Gothic dating from the 13th century, restored late 19th. Note the woodwork of the 15th-century choir stalls, and the memorial in the nave to the massacre of 1996.
- 2 Dunblane Museum, The Cross, Dunblane, FK15 0AQ, ☏ . Easter to mid-October: M-Sa 10:30-16:30. Volunteer-run museum about the cathedral and town, with a significant collection of communion tokens.
- Doune and Dunblane Show is an agricultural show and Highland Games, held on the first Saturday in July. The next event is Sa 4 July 2020 at Keir Mains, a mile south of town. From M90 terminus jcn 11 take B824 west.
- 1 Monterey Jack's, Riverview, High St FK15 0EE, ☏ . Su-Th 11:00-00:00, F Sa 11:00-01:00. Chain American-style burger restaurant. It's rumoured that this branch will close after April 2019.
- India Gate Tandoori is at the junction of High St and Perth Rd. It's open daily from around noon to 22:30.
- Riverside Pub is at 7C Stirling Rd, open daily 10:00-00:00.
- Tappit Hen on Kirk St is a Belhaven pub, open daily 12:00-00:00.
- 1 Dunblane Hydro, Perth Road, Dunblane FK15 0HG, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. 4-star spa hotel in an iconic 1870s building overlooking the town, now part of the Doubletree by Hilton chain, with restaurant The Kailyard. Generally clean and efficient, some guests have jibbed at pricey Wi-Fi, dreary decor, and the late check-in time. No pets. B&B double from £90.
- 2 Cromlix House, Kinbuck, FK15 9JT (5 miles north of Dunblane), ☏ . 15-room luxury hotel owned by the tennis player Andy Murray, gets great reviews for accommodation, service and restaurant. B&B double from £500.
- Head to Callander for the scenic Trossachs.
- Crieff is a pleasant Victorian town on the edge of the Highlands.
- You'll pass Perth on routes north, but it's worth stopping to explore.
|Routes through Dunblane|
|Perth ← merges with ←||NE S||→ Stirling → Edinburgh/Glasgow|