NEW EDITION AUGUST 2021
Author: Alistair Lawson
Rewalked by: Richard Hallewell
The area around Stirling sometimes seems a bit of a forgotten corner for walkers in Scotland, but there are some splendid routes. The Ochils give terrific hill walking – whether you are looking at the hill climbs (Ben Cleuch, King’s Seat) or the lineal paths through the hills to Perthshire – while the Gargunnock Hills and Campsie Fells also provide fine moorland walking. Beyond that there is a string of den walks above the ‘Hillfoot’ towns which run along the foot of the Ochils – including Dollar Glen which, with the brooding Castle Campbell (see bottom left) at its head, is perhaps the finest in Scotland – and visits to the unexpected coastline of the upper Forth. Plus a very large stone Pineapple (see right).
Personal favourites are the crossing from Dollar to Auchterarder (which also appears in Walks Crieff, Comrie & Kinross, described in the opposite direction) and the three-waterfall walk in the Gargunnock Hills, with its fine views north to the hills of Perthshire and the Trossachs.
As you might expect in such a busy and populous area, there have been quite a few changes to the routes since we last looked at them, some of which have led to new route descriptions. The old ‘Back Road’ route linking the Hillfoots has been rebranded as the ‘Diamond Jubilee Way’ (though the retention of some older signs can be a little confusing), and a good deal of work has been done to tidy up the popular climb up Dumyat.
If you haven’t tried walking in this area before, you will find some pleasant surprises.
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