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Scottish History at the Heart of Dunblane

Scottish History at the Heart of Dunblane

Want to visit some historical landmarks while you're here? Take a look at just some of the top historical sights nearby.

As one of the oldest settlements in Scotland, Dunblane was founded in the 7th century by St. Blane, a mysterious figure who lived on the Isle of Bute in the late 6th and early 7th centuries. In the first written accounts of the town, it's referred to as Dulblaan or Blane's Meadow – although Blane's connection to the area is unclear.

Prior to the 7th century, the Roman army marched through the town, leaving behind a signal station, three camps, a fort and a tiny road leading northward. With thousands of years of history just a few moments away from the hotel, there couldn't be a better place to stay to experience the town's interesting and far-reaching history.

Town highlights:

Dunblane Cathedral

Dunblane Cathedral is one of Scotland's oldest buildings, dating back to around the 1200s. The first four floors of the tower are part of a much older structure, thought to have been built in the 9th century. In its early days as a Catholic cathedral it would have been filled with colourful paintings and ornate alters. In the 1600s the roof collapsed, leaving the cathedral a virtual ruin. A restoration project was undertaken in the early 1890s, funded by Janet Wallace of Glassinghall and designed by famed architect Sir Rowand Anderson. Today, the interior of the cathedral retains much of its medieval characteristics and serene beauty.

The cathedral is open daily. It's definitely at the top of our 'places to visit' list!


Leighton Library

Next to the cathedral you'll pass Leighton Library as you walk through the town. Built as the private library of Bishop Robert Leighton and given to the town as a gift in the late 1680s, it is the oldest private library in Scotland. The library's collection has grown to over 4,500 volumes in at least 80 different languages.

The library is open to the public in the summer months.


The Old Town

Follow in the footsteps of kings and revolutionaries as you stroll through the Old Town of Dunblane, with its striking medieval, Victorian and contemporary architecture. The road was used by William the Conqueror, Edward I and Edward II and their armies. William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and their followers stormed down this same road to fight at the famous Battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. These streets have had some iconic feet walking on them!

Nowadays it's all a little less violent, with quaint shops, cafés and pubs filling the street instead. Stop for a cup of tea and a bit of window shopping while you drink in all the history around you.


Victorian Spa Town

A spring was discovered north of the town in 1813 and many health experts of the time believed the water would improve the health of those who drank from it. During the Hydropathy Movement in the 19th century, the spa offered a range of 'medicinal baths' and healing treatments using the mineral water from the spring. Our hotel was opened on the Cromlix estate in 1878 and the spring was the focal point for romantic walks, fishing, swimming and much more.

Take a walk along the River Allan to enjoy the tranquil countryside; who knows, you might even start to feel the healing effects as you do.

Looking for more things to do while you're here? Check out our Things To Do page.