RSVP Annual Conference 2024: University of Stirling

View of Loch, Cottrell Building and the Wallace Monument

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Annual Conference, ‘Place in the Victorian Press’ will be held from 13-15 June 2024 at the University of Stirling in central Scotland. The University and SCVS look forward to welcoming delegates to campus.

If you have a query about this event which is not answered below, please contact  communications@rs4vp.org

Conference timings and registration

The conference will run from the early evening of Thursday 13th June (with registration available from 2pm that afternoon) until 5:30pm on Saturday 15th. There will be a drinks reception from 5:30pm on Thursday 13th, and an optional conference dinner and ceilidh at the Stirling Court Hotel on the evening of Friday 14th.

Registration is now closed. The final short programme, and full programme with abstracts and biographies of speakers, is below. Note that we will provide hard copies of the short programme at the conference.

All delegates must be members of RSVP: information about joining or renewing membership is here.

Venue

The University of Stirling campus is located on the outskirts of the small city of Stirling, and about 15 minutes walk from the town of Bridge of Allan. All conference activities other than the drinks reception and dinner will take place in the Pathfoot Building on campus. Pathfoot is approximately 5-10 mins walk from the student accommodation blocks and 15 minutes walk from the Stirling Court Hotel. Campus maps are available here.

The campus is famous for its natural beauty and features a loch, forests, a standing stone, an eighteenth-century castle, and easy access to the the hills and the Wallace Monument. Look out for our wildlife, including the friendly deer and the oystercatchers and seagulls currently nesting in the courtyards of the conference venue! It is home to the University Art Collection – much of it housed in the Pathfoot Building. Pathfoot also houses our working nineteenth-century Columbian newspaper press, the Pathfoot Press. Delegates should check the logistics information supplied for details of pre-conference workshops, including a printing workshop with the press and a tour of campus or the Art Collection.

The Campus Central hub has a small supermarket, cafes, and a pharmacy: other shops are available in Bridge of Allan or the city centre.

Delegates should note that Scottish weather in June is highly unpredictable: we advise checking in advance and bringing clothing and shoes suitable for all weathers, and especially for our famed Scottish rain.

Getting here

Stirling is an easy train journey of less than an hour from either Glasgow Queen Street or Edinburgh Waverley stations, with frequent trains from both, and is on the train line from/to the North (Inverness/Aberdeen/Dundee) or there is a regular bus service from other cities. Download the ScotRail or Trainline apps for the best way to buy tickets and to check timetables. While ScotRail is usually reliable, always check on UK trains in advance of showing up at the station.

From Stirling train or bus station to campus takes around 20 minutes by bus, timetable dependent. Unilink buses, clearly identified as such, leave from the furthest stop in the row of bus stops opposite the train station, to the right as you exit the station. There is also a taxi rank across from the station – expect to pay c.£8-12 for travel to campus.

Walking to campus is possible and takes c.45 mins from the city centre. A preferable option is to take the train for an additional 6 minute journey to Bridge of Allan (no additional cost, if you book a train ticket from Glasgow or Edinburgh), turn right on exiting the platform, and from there it is a 25 minute walk along a straight road, via Bridge of Allan’s shops and cafes, to the campus.

If you choose to drive, there is parking across campus though at peak teaching times it can be hard to find a place. Information about paying for parking, which is best done via downloading an app, is in the link below. Guests at the Stirling Court have free parking in the hotel car park. Please note that parking is free elsewhere on campus on Saturday but not on Thursday or Friday.

If coming by plane, the closest airport is Edinburgh. From Edinburgh airport, there is a direct bus service to campus or make your way to Edinburgh Waverley/Haymarket station by tram/bus. From Glasgow airport, take the bus to the city centre and walk the short distance to Queen Street station.

Full travel information is available here: https://www.stir.ac.uk/about/getting-here/

Accommodation

Accommodation is managed via the University’s Stirling Court Hotel and accommodation services. As these operate as a separate entity to the hosting Faculty of Arts and Humanities, queries about accommodation need to be addressed directly to the hotel.

These rooms can only be booked directly at the Stirling Court website: https://smchotelaccommodation.stir.ac.uk

Please note that due to another event, there is limited campus accommodation available on the night of Wednesday 12 June.  Since both Glasgow and Edinburgh are within easy reach, we would suggest that if you arrive on Wednesday night, you stay in one of the cities for a short visit before travelling to campus on Thursday.

There are a number of hotel and B&B options in central Stirling, including a Premier Inn and Travelodge as more budget options, and smarter hotels like the Hotel Colessio or Stirling Highland Hotel. Bridge of Allan, which is more easily walkable, also has at least two hotels. Stirling town centre hotels are commutable via the bus line. It is also feasible to commute to campus daily from accommodation in Edinburgh, Glasgow or their surrounding local areas.

Local attractions

In Stirling itself, the two must-see heritage sites are Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument. (Please note that there is a steep climb up to the Monument). The Stirling Smith art gallery and museum is also well worth visiting and will be the location of our drinks reception on the Thursday evening. We also recommend walking through the Victorian Stirling Arcade on King Street and visiting the Made in Stirling shop to explore work by local craftspeople.

For energetic visitors, there is a magnificent view from the Dumyat hill walk (this can be started from the campus itself), or an attractive river walk linking Bridge of Allan and Dunblane – also can be done from campus – with the option of taking the train on the return leg, which passes a cave said to have inspired the young Robert Louis Stevenson. Do not venture on a Scottish walk without appropriate footwear and clothing!

Scotland’s major towns and cities and their many attractions are easily reached on day trips from Stirling by public transport, and if you have a car – or take the train line north towards Inverness, or north-west via Glasgow Queen Street towards Mallaig – the Highlands are also very accessible for a day or longer.

Airthrey castle on Stirling campus

Airthrey Castle, University of Stirling campus