Stirling is the home of curling, with dedicated ice sheets at the special Olympic facility at The Peak, Stirling Sports Village, in the town centre. The curling sheets are a 20-minute walk from Castle Walk B&B, or a short taxi ride.
Curling is a sport that caters for players at all levels and physical abilities. If you’re not flexible or fit enough to lunge on the ice to deliver your stone towards a target, you can use a delivery stick. This makes it possible to participate even if you’ve got arthritic knees or can’t get out of a wheelchair, though the athletes among us can be competitive too.
Curling is a lot like bowling on ice, only the ball is a stone that needs to glide across the ice to a target after it is set off on its path by one team member – and the others get to work sweeping brooms in front to keep the stone on track.
The team that gets a stone closest to the bulls-eye or has more stones in the zone – called the “house” – wins.
The ice isn’t particularly slippery. Its texture makes it possible to walk – and run! – on it in trainers. Special grips are available as are footpads to help you push off faster if you so desire.
Curling is Scottish speciality, though it’s also played elsewhere. It’s a great night out for a family or group of friends, though book in advance to secure a sheet for a game or a lesson.