Gargunnock House

Near Stirling, Central Scotland - Sleeps 16

About this Landmark

A graceful and pleasantly old-fashioned Scottish country house with a Classical air at the foot of the Gargunnock Hills. The house accomodates up to 16 people so is ideal for breaks with large groups of friends or family.

Dog Beds 4 Twin, 4 Double

  • Sleeps16
  • 4 nights from from£827
  • equivalent to £12.92 per person per night

A Georgian treatment of a former tower house

The main front of Gargunnock House, when approached through the park, looks regular, classical and serenely late Georgian. But this façade of 1794 is only skin deep, imposing order on additions to an old tower, made then and in the previous two centuries. It still forms the core of the house, whose large and elegant dining room and drawing room create a perfect venue for a large gathering. The old tower dictates that the main rooms are on the first floor, above the traditional vaulted basement.

A house visited by Chopin?

Unquestionably the finest room is the drawing room; it contains a piano (now ornamental) on which, just possibly, Frédéric Chopin once played. Gargunnock was bought in 1835 by Charles Stirling, a Glasgow merchant and son of an old Perthshire family. His sister, Jane, was Chopin’s pupil and friend. She brought him to Scotland in 1848, taking him to stay with her sisters and cousins and family tradition is firm that he also came to Gargunnock. The late Miss Viola Stirling was the last of her family. She left Gargunnock to trustees on whose behalf we now let it for holidays. Staying here feels rather as if the family has gone away for a while. They have taken their personal things with them, but the furniture remains, the flower garden is cared for, the park is grazed and the estate maintained in orderly fashion. There is fine country in all directions, and Stirling is nearby, but most of all you can enjoy living briefly in this graceful and pleasantly old-fashioned country house at the foot of the Gargunnock Hills.

Floor Plan

‘What a fantastic house . . . we still can’t figure out what the curly-horned beasts in the dining room are.’

‘The highlights were eating on the great table, walking to the waterfall and the hills.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Gargunnock House stands at the foot of the Gargunnock Hills in five acres of mature parkland, woodland and a walled garden. Each year starts with a spectacular display of Galanthus snowdrops.

The Gargunnock Trustees have created a very helpful website with information on local attractions, suppliers and events. 

Gargunnock House
Near Stirling, Central Scotland - Sleeps 16
Clear directions

Places to visit nearby

Stirling Castle

Wallace Monument

Church of the Holy Rude

Bannockburn battlefield

‘What a fantastic house . . . we still can’t figure out what the curly-horned beasts in the dining room are.’

‘The highlights were eating on the great table, walking to the waterfall and the hills.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via an unmade track from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Stirling – 5.5 miles
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There are a few parking spaces adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is an oil central heating system and two open fires.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker and two dishwashers.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are five bathrooms, one with a shower over the bath, one with a free-standing shower unit and three with baths.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    All 3 of staircases are spiral, 2 of them are narrow and steep and are the only access to 4 of the bedrooms.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There are open grounds. The gardens are open to the public on Wednesdays, mid-April to mid-June and in September and October all for Scotland’s Garden Scheme.  The gardens may be open at other times but the Gardener will keep guests informed of any parties or alternative open days.
    The local villagers use the drive and paths around the estate under the “right to roam” but should not be anywhere around the house or stables.

    Booking and Payment

  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will advise you as to whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to carry out the changeover then we consider that it is open and available. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, which may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Is it true there are no televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

An impressive architectural conjuring trick

Gargunnock, like many Scottish houses, started life as a tower house in the 16th century. Over the next two hundred years wings were added and the rooms inside were remodelled in line with evolving tastes and patterns of life. In a final and impressive architectural conjuring trick, the last wing to be built, in 1794, was merged with its 17th century companion behind a tidy Georgian front. Visitors glimpsing it across the park from the south would be lulled into thinking it an apparently modern house. Only when they came closer did tell-tale turrets and crowstepped gables give the game away.

Charles Stirling, the fifth son of an old and distinguished family and who had prospered as a merchant in Glasgow, bought the remodelled Gargunnock in 1835. His great-granddaughter, Miss Viola Stirling, was the last of the family to own and run the estate. On her death in 1989 she left Gargunnock to trustees, with the hope that it could be 'preserved and administered so as to exemplify and perpetuate the tradition of Scottish country life.' In particular she suggested the house might be used as a base for 'quiet perambulation and contemplation,' its grounds and garden being 'attractive at all times of the year to those in search of peace and quiet.'

Finding a user to satisfy these wishes was no easy matter, especially if the family furniture and paintings were to remain. The trustees sought advice from a variety of sources but no solution offered itself. Then in the autumn of 1993 the trustees of the Landmark Trust visited Scotland. At the suggestion of the architect James Simpson they made a detour from their planned itinerary to look at Gargunnock House. Was there a possibility of Landmark finding a use for it?

Experience the house

For up to 16 people

A graceful and pleasantly old-fashioned Scottish country house with a Classical air, in parkland at the foot of the Gargunnock Hills.

Book a stay

Not normally within Landmark's range

Such large buildings are not normally within Landmark's range however worthwhile and in need of help they might be. Yet, with its unspoiled surroundings and its atmosphere of a much-used and loved country house from which the owners have briefly departed, it was a place which would give people a great deal of pleasure if they could stay in it. Landmark could not afford to take the building on itself but suggested instead that it might help the Gargunnock trustees carry out such work as was needed and then let it on their behalf.

If the system worked, everybody gained and if it did not then the house would be in better shape for a new tenant. To do the work as economically as possible, Landmark employed a team of men who lived and worked on site, supervised by an architect/clerk of works, Andrew Thomas. The work began in August 1994 and was completed in March 1995.

Experience the house

For up to 16 people

A graceful and pleasantly old-fashioned Scottish country house with a Classical air, in parkland at the foot of the Gargunnock Hills.

Book a stay

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

QuestionWhat's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.