Stirling Youth Hostel seems to serve as a gateway to the Highlands in some respects. You will more often than not find a very international clientele, and also one geared towards outdoor activities. This is also reflected in the maps of the Highlands that you can find throughout the hostel. For better or worse, the hostel does have a noticeably quieter feel than many of those in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The hostel is in the old town and within walking distance of the train station, albeit a little ways uphill. From the station head out on Station Street and you'll soon come to a "T" roundabout with Murray Place. Turn left and follow Murray around Crawford Arcade to the "Y" intersection with King Street and pedestrianized Port Street. Turn right onto King for a block and then veer left onto Spittal Street. Follow Spittal up the hill -- it will turn into St. John Street and the hostel will be the neo-classical building on your left, the one with the campanile out front.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Bedrooms contain standard hostel bunks, but sinks available in the rooms are a plus for dental and eye care.
Reception at the hostel is open twenty-four hours, and the staff are friendly and helpful. The common room has TVs and table games like billiards -- it's an ok place to unwind if not exactly the coziest place in the world. The kitchen tends to be on the busy side, so you may wind up waiting a bit if you don't beat the rush. On top of that it's only open for cooking breakfast and supper -- you're on your own for lunch. And if you don't feel like cooking up your own breakfast, the hostel serves up a decent one from a separate kitchen for a few pounds extra.
Strirling is probably best known as the home of Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Monument, both fine tourist attractions and not far from the hostel (especially the castle). But Stirling is also home to many fine churches, including the sturdy little Gothic St John's, just a block up the hill from the hostel. Stirling also serves as a good jumping-off point for the Trossachs and the rest of the Scottish Highlands. And Monty Python fans will be in for a treat when they realize they're a short drive or ride from Castle Doune, which, as the only private castle available to the comedy troupe, had to do quintuple duty in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" as Camelot, Swallow Castle, the Castle of Guy de Lombard, Swamp Castle, and Castle Anthrax!
For those making their way into the Highlands, or those just wanting to get a bit further away from the bustle of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Stirling SYHA hostel is a safe bet for comfortable accommodation at a decent price. The Stirling SYHA hostel is about the best deal in the area; better than hotels, but not quite on par with hostel prices in more remote areas of Scotland or other parts of the British Isles.