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The Local Area Guide to living in Dunblane

An attractive historic market town in the heart of Perthshire, Dunblane has been an important centre of commerce since the 7th century. It earns its name from 'dun', which means fortified hill, and 'Blane', who was a 7th century missionary. The Allan Water flows through the serene city centre, marked by sights, including its medieval Dunblane Cathedral, 17th century Dean's House, and the Leighton Library. Easily accessible by rail and motorway, Dunblane is a short distance from the larger city of Stirling, yet features many amenities of its own, from a supermarket to shops and a golf course.

At the heart of this petite city is a picturesque town square, where you'll find some unique 18th century architecture and head-turning townhouses. With the greenery of Perthshire surrounding the city, bowling, tennis, and horseback riding are all top pastimes in the area. Boasting a laid-back, traditional way of life, this is a small city that feels more like a village.

Information about the local residents

The population of Dunblane has increased significantly in the past few decades, though a settlement has been here for hundreds of years. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 8,811. The city has risen up around the Allan Water, which flows into the River Forth and helped make this settlement a centre of commerce for generations.

You can see the history of this traditional Scottish city in its multitude of building styles, including the medieval Cathedral, Victorian and Edwardian stone houses, and former weaver's homes. These have given way to modern estates which have cropped up over the past 30 years to meet the influx of new residents, straddling both sides of the river.

Nearby Schools

Both primary and secondary schools are located in Dunblane, all highly ranked according to Education Scotland. Dunblane and Newton Primaries both receive 'good' rankings while St Mary's Episcopal Primary and Dunblane High are both ranked 'very good'. The Dunblane High School also came in fifth in the Scotsman's 2013 school league tables.

The high quality of education in Dunblane is a big draw for the city, which attracts both commuters and families in equal measure. Families with younger children are well catered for as well, as there are numerous nurseries to choose from. Many of these are operated at the primary and secondary schools while independent options include Wee Acorns and Arnhall Day Nursery. For higher education, the University of Stirling is a popular local option.

Getting Around

Dunblane's city centre is small enough to explore on foot, but it's also quite well-connected to neighbouring cities by train, bus, and motorway. There are three trains an hour to nearby Stirling, which is less than a 10 minute ride away, or to Glasgow, which is about 40 minutes by rail. Trains depart every 30 minutes for Edinburgh and Perth as well, putting them both well within commuting distance.

Motorists are also well served, as Dunblane sits just at the end of the M9 for swift access to further destinations within Scotland including Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. In fact, Dunblane's central location in the heart of Scotland has made it a popular destination for conferences over the years.

Local Shops

A traditional high street runs through the centre of Dunblane, with appealing stone storefronts sheltering quaint cafes and independent boutiques. You'll find a bevy of gift, craft, and charity shops lined up next to local artisans like Graham Stewart Gold and Silversmith. A Tesco Metro is also available in Dunblane for all your food shopping needs, located just around the corner from the main railway station.

For bigger brand names including Zara and Marks and Spencer, the Thistles Shopping Centre is a short drive away in Stirling. A number of charming cafes and welcoming pubs also dot the main street. Popular local hangouts include the Dunblane Hotel for its oak-beamed ambience and impressive beer selection, as well as the Café Continental for its sweeping river views.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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