Stirling's town center has some interesting shopping. One good hunting ground is the Thistle Centre indoor shopping plaza, home of about 65 shops at the junction of Port Street and Murray Place.
The best woolen goods are at R. R. Henderson, 6-8 Friar St. (tel. 01786/473-681), a Highland outfitter selling not only sweaters and scarves but also made-to-order kilts and tartans.
Some of the best shopping is not in Stirling itself but in the outlying area. Take A9 to Larbert and at the roundabout follow A18 west until you see the sign for Barbara Davidson's Pottery Studio, Muirhall Farm, Larbert (tel. 01324/554-430; www.barbara-davidson.com), 14km (8 2/3 miles) south of Stirling. At this 18th-century farmstead, one of Scotland's best-known potters operates her studio and workshop. A large selection of functional wares is exhibited and sold here.
East of Stirling, three towns form the Mill Trail Country: Alva, Alloa, and Tillicoultry. Many quality textile mills have factory outlets here, offering bargain prices on cotton, woolens, and even cashmere goods. The best selection of sweaters is available at Inverallen Handknitters Ltd., Alva Industrial Estate, Alva (tel. 01259/210050; www.inverallanhandknitters.co.uk). The hand-knitted traditional sweaters here are particularly appealing. If you're inspired to knit your own creation, head to Patons & Baldwins, Kilcraigo Mill, Alloa (tel. 01325/394-394), which manufactures quality yarns.
For more complete details, including any directional information or seasonal closings, call or visit the Mill Trail Visitor Centre, West Stirling Street at Alva (tel. 01259/769-696), 14km (8 2/3 miles) east of the center of Stirling. January to June and September to December, it's open daily 10am to 5pm; July to August, it's open daily 9am to 5pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.