If you want to retire in Stirling Scotland you will certainly be at the heart of it all. The city is clustered around a large castle that was built, like many castles, in stages. The original James IV Great Hall was completed in 1503. It sits on a large hill with the city surrounding it below. It is considered to be the center of Scotland, the division between the highlands and the lowlands. The town has been here much longer than the castle and came under attack by Viking invaders who arrived by way of the river Forth.
Stirling’s population stands at 45,000 people, 17% are pensionable age. We easily found modern two-bedroom flats for under $1,000 US a month. Stirling has excellent public transportation and sits on a railway line linking to Edinburgh to the east and Glasgow to the south west, both easy commutes. The weather is milder than much of Scotland with a minimum of 37 F in January and a high of 75F in July.
A market town, Stirling is surrounded by a large rural area of farms and has a retail shopping area. Stirling is a college town with the University of Stirling which brings many cultural events and educational opportunities. They also have professional league teems in football (soccer) rugby and cricket. There is plenty of golf and recreation in the area.
The area is so rich in history, it’s hard to know where to begin. The area was originally a stone age settlement as shown by the nearby standing stones south of town. It is a naturally defensible hill and holds a commanding position around the countryside. Major battles in Scotland’s history took place here including the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 and the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The William Wallace monument sits across the little valley on another hill.
We visited Stirling in 1998 and made it our home 3 days while visiting the countryside. It was great to be near the two biggest cities, but not actually in those areas. Stirling would be a great place to live.
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and local attractions!