Powis House, a Stately Mansion in the Ochil Hills

by Keith Savage · 2 comments


Powis House, Stirling, Scotland

Stirlingshire is an area of Scotland I’ve passed through many times on journeys further north. This is the northern edge of Scotland’s populated Central Belt, and the gentle landscape turns into rolling hills before rising up into the highlands beyond’s Stirling’s watchful gaze. I’ve spent hardly more than a handful of nights here, and, unfortunately, that didn’t change on my last trip to Scotland. I had only a single night in charming Stirling to hit the town’s high points, and I chose to stay at Powis House which stands just a few miles northeast of the city center.

Powis House’s location was perfect for me — just off the A91 after you cross the River Forth — since I had a car and try to avoid driving into city centers, and just across the road stood the towering National Wallace Monument. As I pulled through a wrought-iron gate and down the lane leading to Powis House my eyes fell upon a stately beige mansion set amongst private grounds rife with old trees and hens. As you know by now, I’m picky about accommodations, but it was clear on first sight that I had grown skilled at finding those that pass muster.

Powis House is an 18th-century mansion built in 1746 by the son of William Mayne, but these days Colin and Jane Kilgour own and run the place as a B&B. It has an air of Georgian elegance, and the three rooms available to guests have been restored to classic comfort. I was met by Jane upon my arrival and taken up into the massive, bright sitting room for a recuperative tea. I had just driven up from the Borders and had a full day of sightseeing so it was very nice to relax and take in the house’s charms.

Powis House has a lot of character, and you immediately notice the trappings of its long history upon entering the foyer. Antlers hang on the walls over bookcases stuffed with histories and tomes, and a stuffed fox stands watch over visitors entering his eternal domain.

The guest’s sitting room occupies a large part of the second floor, and its huge windows overlook the house’s beautiful grounds. The sturdy wood floor and high ceiling remind you of days gone by and, as I sipped tea and used wifi, I couldn’t help but wonder at the functions that might’ve taken place in this room hundreds of years ago.

My bedroom was large with solid wooden furniture and a comfortable brightness. Everything was well put together and clean, and the adjoining bathroom continued the bright theme. The night’s sleep was good and had me feeling refreshed and ready to make the drive to Fife.

Before that drive, however, there was one very important event that needed to take place: Breakfast. Powis House’s dining room was perhaps the most spectacular room in the house with a huge table and wide windows gathering the morning light. I had a quiet meal with a couple from Germany. Of course, with only a single night, I had to try the Scottish breakfast. Powis House did not disappoint. The sautéed mushrooms, haggis, and bangers were particularly good.

After breakfast I had a nice long chat with Colin, who gave me loads of excellent business advice (some of which prompted me to start offering trip consultations), before heading out behind Powis House to soak in the grounds one last time.

Powis House is an ideal stay near Stirling. The house and grounds are gorgeous, the location is perfect, and Colin and Jane offer a warm welcome. If you’re discerning about accommodations, like me, you’ll find that Powis House is sure to make you happy.

I look forward to returning to Powis House for a longer stay and a more thorough exploration of Stirlingshire.

Disclosure: I received a discounted rate from Powis House. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.


TaniaNo Gravatar October 22, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Hi Keith. My husband Colin and I have booked Powis House in Stirling in August, 2016. Thanks so much for your insightful review.We found it helpful as we will be coming all the way from NZ. I think we have your room 🙂

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 22, 2015 at 2:24 PM

You’re most welcome, Tania.

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