Make a Stop at Bridge of Allan
Those who are visiting Scotland for the first time may be forgiven for mistaking Bridge of Allan for a bridge instead of a town. The name is somewhat misleading. However Bridge of Allan has long been a popular stop on the main road from Stirling. The charming little town is only three miles north of Stirling and two miles south of Dunblane. This means that it is very accessible and perfectly situated to provide more rural accommodation for those wishing to only spend a little time in Stirling while they are vacationing here.
Bridge of Allan is not as old as many other Scottish towns but it certainly has enough charm to make up for the lack of history. It started life simply as a bridge that was built over the Allan Water in 1520 in an effort to carry traffic from Stirling to Perth. At around about the same time, a copper mine opened up nearby in the hills just east of the bridge. The traffic from the bridge, the running water and the mines was all that was needed to bring about the establishment of a small little settlement. However this settlement remained small for many years. By the mid 1700s it was still only a tiny little settlement that featured a mill and a few inns. However that was soon to change. Soon Bridge of Allan began producing textiles and the size of the copper mine increased. In 1759 the entire Airthrey Estate, which included most of the land in the area, was bought by the Haldane family. As soon as Robert Haldane could afford to, he commissioned the construction of Airthrey Castle. Parts of this original castle can still be seen today at the picturesque Bridge of Allan Stirling University Campus.
Shortly after the copper mines ceased production mineral springs were discovered. Sir Robert Abercrombie, the land owner at the time, decided to utilize this natural phenomenon by turning Bridge of Allan into a spa town. The decision caused the sleepy little town to spring to life and soon it was expanding at a rapid rate. By 1830 – just seventeen years after the springs were discovered – the town had become a fashionable summer retreat. It is estimated that approximately 30 000 visitors came to the town every year and a number of coaches and omnibuses ran from Bridge of Allan to various city centers. When the railway arrived in 1848 the town saw renewed growth and expansion. Today the town continues to be a popular holiday destination. Besides the spas it has several interesting landmarks including Chalmers Church, The Allan Water Mill and the Paterson Memorial. So come to the town of Bridge of Allan in Scotland and discover its wonderful sense of charm for yourself.