5 great places to chill out in Stirling

Stirling Bridge, Stirling UK

This is a student blog written by 4th year Carys Mainprize.

When I asked a couple of my younger friends what they would like to see had they come across a university blog, they responded quickly with a request for something on ‘social life’. What instantly comes to mind are the two clubs on offer in Stirling, and if you know nothing about Stirling, then yes – we only have two clubs (sorry).

I’ve never experienced a lack of social areas in Stirling, and that got me thinking. What are the best places in Stirling to catch up with friends? Where should you go on a sunny day with your textbooks in tow (or not)? Where’s best to chill out in Stirling?

This is by no means a catch all list (and in no particular order), but certainly some of my favourite places in Stirling that I’ve experienced (so far). And… no, neither of the clubs make this list. If you know something about Stirling, well, you probably know why…

King’s Park

This is number one on my list because I actually only discovered it very recently and I’ve been there several times already. I always knew it existed but had never come across it. On a warm, sunny day, I’m not sure there’s anywhere better in Stirling to be, and it’s a nice spot for a picnic and some studying with mates, or maybe just for a walk.

King's Park in Stirling with sunset
The Cup and Saucer, King’s Park

The Fat Cyclist Café

This is a really small but sweet café. It’s the sort of shop that the word ‘quaint’ was made for. There are upcycled bike parts all over the shop and it’s really cosy inside. The food is great, too – it’s definitely worth a visit.


Venue and Underground are in the University itself, in case you don’t know – there’s a food outlet there and even a Starbucks. Venue is also where many of the Union’s great events take place during semester.

Underground coffee shop in the Stirling University's Union
Going Underground?

Technically they’re two separate areas although they always seem to merge into one in my head. I have memories of killing time between classes here, and having a wee group study session attempting to draw a recirculation system for fish (it’s a ‘wild life’ us marine biologists lead). They’re usually quite busy, so if you like the quiet this is maybe one to avoid – but it’s a nice upbeat atmosphere and sometimes the coffee is necessary!

Crema Central Café

This is Stirling’s independent café, and a really nice space to have a moderately sized group of friends meet up for lunch or a coffee (or, alternatively, a very good hot chocolate). It’s a nice light place with more room than The Fat Cyclist but less noise than your usual café. The soup is great value for money, too.

Stirling Books

Stirling’s small, independent bookshop is perfect for the bookish amongst us. It has a hot drinks machine and is that perfect cosy atmosphere that suits us booklovers quite nicely. It’s a great place to support and they have a small seating area so it’s suitable for friends to gather in. It’s a bit hard to find, at first (on the left of FUBAR, and it’s actually down some stairs), but that makes it all the more special.

There are way more places in Stirling to enjoy than this very short list, but I hope that this encourages you to discover some next time you’re in town.

My name is Carys and I’m a Marine Biology student. I love animals (particularly the watery ones), chocolate (of course) and writing. During my time as a student at Stirling, I’ve been on two club committees, been a course rep several times, and I’m a student ambassador. Life is busy but I can’t complain!

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