Been probably 30 years since I've been to Scotland (Edinburgh, Inverness), so planning a revisit with family. Probably will spend a couple of nights in Edinburgh, but wanted opinions on using Stirling as a base for 4 or 5 days (and possibly renting a car for daytrips to Loch Lomond, Callandar, etc). There's probably one or two days' worth of things to see in Stirling itself, so any other daytrip suggestions (and whether a car is worth it) would be appreciated. Thanks.
Stirling's central location does make it a good base for several days. However, consider whether you'll be happy "commuting" from your Stirling hotel to the destinations you want to see outside the city. It's possible to get to a lot of surrounding places by public transport, but the fares and schedules may limit your choices. OTOH if you rent a car then you'll be dealing with parking in Stirling each night and traffic & navigation to & fro.
What kinds of things interest you and your family? Do you want to go walking near Ben Lomond or take a boat trip on Loch Lomond? Are you golfers wanting to visit St. Andrews? Do castles and palaces attract you? Distilleries?
Rent a car. I used Callendar as a base for a week and it went fine.
Yes, thanks for the replies. We have thought about renting a car, but yes the parking back in Stirling would present a problem. Interests would include visiting Loch Lomand and surrounding smaller towns, castles / "palaces", and perhaps a distillery or two. (Distilleries and pubs might be somewhat hindered by having a car!) Idea of buses (from recollection) was tedious even 30 years ago when trying to visit smaller villages and towns. Perhaps the suggestion of Callendar as "base" with a car might be more feasible?
Also debating the idea of keeping the car and then heading south into Yorkshire (and dropping the car there - Durham or York). Our eventual departure city at the end of the trip is London LHR, so that might also make more sense. I've driven in Ireland as recently as 2004, but it will take a bit of re-adjustment I'm sure. Would not want to "refresh" by having to navigate in larger towns and cities.
THanks, and further suggestions welcome!