Up until about 1936 Stirling was the easternmost bridge/road crossing point over the river. There has been a bridge in existence in the town since about the 13th century.
This area is what I consider to be "the chin to the face" of Scotland.
There's lots of interesting towns, villages and scenery along the river. You can even do a river tour which takes you right from the starting point out to the sea. Much as I am not fond of the works at Grangemouth when you see it all lit up at night from the motorway/highway it's inspiring.