Nightlife in Stirling
It’s true that Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire can’t offer the same numbers of pubs and club as large cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, but sometimes we need to think of quality rather than quantity. With a large student population and thriving tourist industry, there is a good choice of nightlife, whether it’s a quiet pint or a night on the dancefloor that’s desired. Stirling has two nightclubs, popular with local clubbers but also with students from the city’s university.
The long-established Fubar, in the town centre, has several rooms and offers a choice of types of music for dancing from guest and resident DJs. Thursday tends to be student night and Saturdays cater for over-21s. If the music’s not to your taste, Bar4VIP offers quieter surroundings away from the main club dance area. Closing time is usually 3am. Stirling’s other club is Dusk, located on Baker Street. Open from 10pm to 3am, this venue is popular with a younger crowd.
Falkirk offers three clubs. Storm nightclub in Meadow Street opens on Fridays for over 18s and Saturdays for over 21s from 11am to 3pm, offering ‘five different experiences over two nights’ including a VIP lounge and a retro room with classic 60s, 70s and 80s videos, hosted by resident and guest DJs. The City Nightclub in Princess Street has three dance floors and a terrace bar, also with resident DJs. This club is open 10pm to 2am on Thursdays and to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
If clubbing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of lively pubs and bars all over Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire offering a wide choice of evening entertainment. Quiz nights, darts and karaoke nights are everywhere but some pubs also offer live comedy or music, often weekly. The music can vary from young bands trying to break into the music scene to someone strumming a blues or folk guitar.
With a large student population and thriving tourist industry, there is a good choice of nightlife, whether it’s a quiet pint or a night on the dancefloor that’s desired
In Stirling, Nicky-Tams Bar and Bothy has live Scottish Music on Mondays, an Open Mic on Wednesdays, followed by a Friday night DJ set, live music on Saturday afternoons and some Saturday evenings and a pub quiz to round off the weekend on Sunday evening.
Nearby can be found No. 2 Baker Street where there’s live entertainment virtually every night. Tuesday is quiz night while on Wednesdays there’s a popular jam night. Thursday is acoustic night, while Fridays and Saturdays see live bands playing everything from current hits to Celtic rock and folk music.
In Upper Bridge Street, the Settle Inn dates back to 1733 as an alehouse. They have an open mic night on Mondays, live bands on Saturdays and a reggae night on Fridays. On Wednesdays the place is packed with fiddlers, accordions, guitars, whistles, bodhrans and banjos for the weekly traditional music session.
Traditional music can also be found at other pubs around Stirling including the William Wallace bar at Causewayhead. At the Allanwater Brewhouse, Bridge of Allan’s tiny brewery, they host bands playing Americana, folk and roots music as well as open mics, quiz nights and monthly jazz sessions. The first Sunday of the month is one for fans of traditional music.
They have an open mic night on Mondays, live bands on Saturdays and a reggae night on Fridays. On Wednesdays the place is packed with fiddlers, accordions, guitars, whistles, bodhrans and banjos for the weekly traditional music session
Further afield, the Old Rectory Inn at Callander has a variety of music nights, from tribute acts to acoustic sessions on Sunday afternoons, while the Lade Inn just beyond Callander hosts good live Scottish music every Friday and Saturday.
Around Falkirk several pubs provide live music. Behind the Wall is Falkirk’s best-known venue and bands play there regularly. In Stenhousemuir, The Stables pub restaurant has entertainment every Friday and Saturday. The Brightons Inn near Polmont also has bands playing at weekends. Other music venues include the Cairn in Alva and the Mansefield Arms in Sauchie and the excellent King’s Seat in Dollar.
There are also several real ale breweries in the area, and their produce is sold in many local pubs. In Clackmannanshire these include Devon Ales, situated at the Mansfield Arms in Sauchie, the Williams Bros. brewery in Alloa and the multi- award-winning Harviestoun Brewery at Alva. Near Stirling there’s the TinPot microbrewery in Bridge of Allan, the Black Wolf Brewery in Throsk and the Tryst brewery at Larbert.
Moving away from the pub and club scene, if you’re after traditional music there are several local folk clubs which all welcome visitors. Dunblane Folk Club meets at the Braeport Centre on Sundays for a singaround, it’s BYOB but tea and coffee are available, while Stirling Folk Club meets at Stirling County Rugby Club on Mondays for big name guest performers. In Falkirk, the folk club meets in the Tolbooth Tavern on Thursdays.
There are also several real ale breweries in the area, and their produce is sold in many local pubs for you to sample
Ceilidhs are also held across the area from time to time. Stirling Council hold regular summer ceilidhs in the Tolbooth or in Stirling’s Albert Halls. The bands are always excellent and there’s always a caller to explain the steps to visitors.
If dancing sounds a bit too energetic, there’s always the cinema. Stirling’s Vue cinema has eight screens, a choice of eating places and plenty of parking. Alternatively, Falkirk’s Cineworld has 12 screens, including 3D facilities and also has good parking. On ‘Bargain Tuesday’ the prices are much cheaper.
Another option is the Macrobert Arts Centre at Stirling University, where both mainstream and more obscure art films are screened every week. It also hosts a wide range of stage shows ranging from operas and symphony concerts to musicals and pantomimes. Also in Stirling, there are music, comedy and theatrical events at the Albert Halls and The Tolbooth.
In Falkirk, the FTH is a multipurpose arts centre with a theatre and cinema, and sometimes the Falkirk Stadium stages rock and pop events, while in Alloa the little 63-seat Coach House Theatre, tucked away in the grounds of Inglewood House, stages amateur dramatic productions and the Town Hall sometimes holds bigger shows.
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