A Hillfoots Town in Clackmannanshire, situated in the Devon Valley at the foot of the Ochil Hills between Menstrie and Tillicoultry. The town developed during the 18th and 19th centuries in association with textile mills powered by the Alva Burn which flows down from the hills. In the 1880s there were nine spinning mills, all powered by steam and water. Knitwear is still produced and a working mill displays the craft of woollen making at the Mill Trail Visitor Centre. Other industries include publishing, engineering and industrial supplies.
Recreational facilities exist at the Cochrane Park which is the venue for the annual Alva Highland Games and there are walks up the Silver Glen and in the nearby Ochil Hills Woodland Park on the lower slopes of Wood Hill. St Serf's Parish Church was established in the 12th Century, the present building dating from 1632. In its churchyard is a fine mausoleum to the Johnstone family built in 1790 by Robert and James Adam who were employed in the remodelling of Alva House.