They key historic points of interest on the Stirling Marathon 2022 route

The Stirling Scottish Marathon 2022 is a weekend-long celebration of distance running and will see thousands turn out to take on the full and half marathons on Sunday, 15 May.

The Stirling Marathon  (Image Credit: Getty Images)
The Stirling Marathon (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The 26.2-mile highlight of the weekend, kicking off from 8.30am, offers some of the most breathtaking historic points of interest in Scotland, making it arguably one of the most picturesque marathons worldwide.

Starting at the city’s King’s Park, the route sets the bar high from the beginning, with the start line just minutes away from King's Knot on the grounds of the 12th-century park that was once a royal playground.

The earthworks were once part of the grounds of Stirling Castle and were remodelled for King Charles I's Scottish coronation.

The marathon route heads straight for Stirling Castle, which stands tall upon a 250ft extinct volcano entitled Castle Hill and dates as far back as the 12th Century, with additions built between the 1400s and 1600s.

Known as the gateway to the Highlands, its position formed a meeting point between the Lowlands and the Highlands and over the years it was used as a royal residence for many kings and queens.

Perhaps most famously, it was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots and James IV and I, and it now stands as one of Scotland's most popular attractions.

Following the A84, the route incorporates countryside views of the gently rolling hills and heads towards Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park before reaching the historic village of Doune, famed for its 14th-century courtyard castle.

Doune Castle, on the River Teith, was acquired by Robert Stewart, the 1st Duke of Albany and ruler of the kingdom, in 1361.

He spared no expense in ensuring the castle was an impressive sight, which is evident in its grand architecture.

So much so, the castle is these days renowned for being the filming location of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander.

After Doune, the marathon loops round to the small town of Dunblane, which is reported to have been founded by the Celtic missionary in 602.

The scenic Allan Water flows through the town, which is packed with charming villas and old architecture.

Many people know of Dunblane as being the home town of Olympic gold medal winning tennis player Andy Murray.

The marathon will go along the winding High Street to Andy Murray's gold post box, which is one of many around the country to have been established in the hometowns of Olympic gold medal winners following the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

Close to the ancient 7th-century Dunblane Cathedral, the post box provides a great photo opportunity.

The marathon journeys to Bridge of Allan, a stunning former spa town tucked under the Ochil Hills and three miles south of Dunblane.

The small town boasts a wealth of grand buildings which stem from the Victorian era, when Bridge of Allan became a popular spa resort when visitor numbers to the Trossachs soared.

Visitors included novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, who holidayed there during his childhood.

Heading back towards the finish line at King's Park, Stirling Sottish Marathon passes the University of Stirling, which has impressive well-maintained grounds before reaching Stirling's most famous landmark, the Wallace Monument.

The 220ft tower opened in 1869 on Abbey Craig and has an impressive 246-step spiral staircase leading to a viewing point that has panoramic vistas across Ben Lomond, the Forth Valley and across Stirling town.

The monument marks the point where William Wallace's troops succeeded at The Battle of Stirling Bridge and exhibitions in the centre tell his story.

Event goers who have opted for the shorter versions can also marvel at the breathtaking sights in the area.

The half marathon, kicking off at 9.45am on the Sunday, will start and end at the same location as the full marathon and includes the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.

On the Saturday, the 5K, family and junior runs will be held.

To find out more about the event, visit the website of the Stirling Scottish Marathon 2022.