Located where the River Forth becomes the Firth of Forth, Alloa is an attractive town in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It was once an important trading port for goods travelling between Glasgow and Europe, with a medieval tower, centuries-old mansions and a tropical fruit-inspired folly among its attractions.
Things to do in Alloa
One of Alloa’s most famous landmarks is its 14th-century tower, which is all that remains from a medieval residence built by the Earls of Mar. It is the largest surviving keep in Scotland and is managed by the National Trust. Step inside to explore its 18th-century interiors and marvel at the original oak roof, then enjoy sweeping views across the surrounding countryside.
Also of architectural significance is the Alloa Town Hall, a Renaissance masterpiece designed by Alfred Waterhouse in the 1880s. It’s a short stroll from West End Public Park with its children’s playground and tree-lined avenues, as well as the squirrel-filled Greenfield Park. To the north is Gean House, an early 20th-century Arts and Crafts-style mansion designed by William Kerr.
Want to see one of Scotland’s most bizarre buildings? Don’t miss The Pineapple, which was built in 1761 as a summerhouse for the Earl of Dunmore. Unusual fruits and vegetables were once grown in the estate’s glasshouses, while pineapples flourished in the walled garden. In addition to being an architectural marvel, The Pineapple’s curling pond attracts a variety of native wildlife.
Getting around Alloa
Alloa is around 15 minutes’ drive from Stirling and about an hour from Edinburgh. Edinburgh Airport is 35 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe, North America and the Middle East. Regular trains connect to the Alloa railway station and the town is small enough to explore on foot.