Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling and its old town cluster around its fortress while nestling comfortably beside the meandering River Forth. It is strategically placed as the 'gateway to the Highlands' sandwiched between them and the Scottish Lowlands which are undulating and flat in parts. Although it is a relatively small and compact city, it is a vibrant and lively commercial centre. Stirling is the base for local government and administration, light industry and retail. Entertainment, nightlife and great places to eat all abound in this city and the 'top of the town' leading to the fortress is a tourist hotspot. In addition, Stirling is at the middle of a large expanse of agricultural hinterland some of the most productive in Scotland. This makes Stirling function very well as a market town, which is surprising given its large urban population.
Stirling is centrally located to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as being a major jumping off point for people wishing to travel to Loch Lomand, Falkirk and Alloa.