Located just three miles from the centre of Stirling, but also a stone’s throw away from one of the most striking hill-profiles in Britain, Bramble Bield provides the ideal base for a country/city break.
Bramble Bield is nestled within the grounds of Powis House, which was itself built in 1746 by William Mayne, who fort at the battle of Culloden. The Mansion is Grade B listed and has many historic features, including a sundial presented to William by his first wife, as a wedding gift, which is a listed monument of Scotland. The mansion itself is set in 8 acres of grounds comprising small fields, woodland and formal gardens with specimen trees. We have an abundance of flora and fauna, including wild orchids, roe deer and about 100 different bird species, and we are awaiting designation as a “Local Nature Conservation Site”.
Nearby, the 40 slopes that make up the Ochils rear dramatically from the flatness of the Forth flood plain to create a truly unique landscape. Gorges, glens and hills provide a variety of options for more experienced walkers and cyclists, while the closest summit ‘Dumyat’ is a family-friendly afternoon out. For those looking for more challenging climbs still, Stirling has long been known as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’ and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are reachable within the hour.
Being close to the historic City of Stirling, there is also plenty to do if the weather takes turns for the worst. Visible from Bramble Bield, the National Wallace Monument is worth a visit rain or shine: here you can trace the remarkable story of William Wallace, who took his campaign for freedom into battle and on to victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. Stirling Castle, too, offers a fascinating day out: Knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors once flocked to the Royal Court at Stirling Castle to revel in the castle’s grandeur. Highlights include the magnificent Unicorn tapestries woven by hand and using techniques dating back to the 1400s – due for completion in 2013, you can witness the weavers at work.
If you’re after a bit of pampering on a dreich day, Bridge of Allan’s Lumia Spa offers a full range of treatments. Bridge of Allan was originally a Spa Town, and today boasts great boutiques, cafes and – a hidden gem – the Allanwater Brewhouse. Edinburgh and Glasgow are also an easy train ride away if you decide to opt for retail therapy or further historic sights.
We are lucky enough to have a fully-stocked Farm Shop and Coffee Bothy just a couple of fields away from Bramble Bield. This can be accessed via a short car drive or cycle on the main road.
For a treat, the Sheriffmuir Inn, sat atop the Ochil Hills, is a lovely winding drive up the hills from us – 20 minutes will get you there, with wonderful views to boot. Alternatively, a three-mile drive from Bramble Bield takes you to Adamo in Bridge of Allan, offering pre-dinner cocktails and a la carte menu. The Allan Water Café opposite does the best fish and chips around.
Last but by no means least, Corrieri’s Italian and Café and Pizzeria has been serving the best oven baked pizzas and homemade Italian ice-cream for over 40 years. Expect a friendly Tuscan-Scottish welcome and a jolly good feed! Corrieri’s is just a mile away from Bramble Bield.
Stuff for the kids
If you need to entertain the kids, Stirling has an excellent Leisure Centre – including indoor climbing wall and curling gallery – just two miles from Bramble Bield. Similarly, the Macrobert Arts Centre is just a stone’s throw away and offers a full range of live theatre (including Children’s shows), dance world cinema.