New boots were needing testing, as was a repair patch on my jacket, and I had time for a quick outing. All of this aligned perfectly for a walk to Bracklinn Falls
Set above Callander, the falls are an impressive sight when water is plunging down the gorge, its sides so straight they look almost man-made. Since it was raining, it seemed the perfect place to go – and I had yet to see the new bridge that spans the falls, built in 2010 after flash floods swept away it predecessor in 2004.
The bridge looks impressive, all locally sourced wood and even a canopy in the middle to keep the rain off a bit. It also means a circuit can be completed by going up the other side of Keltie Burn.
It was on return to the car park that I realised my new boots were doing well and the patch was also doing its job. So, feeling quite happy with the way things were going, I made a detour up Callander Craig. Even though the views to Ben Ledi were obscured by low cloud, the feeling of wide open space was still there, making what was meant to be a quick stroll a little more strenuous.
DISTANCE 4 miles. HEIGHT CLIMBED 800ft.
TIME 2 to 3 hours. MAP OS Landranger 57. PARKING Arriving in Callander from Stirling, turn left off the A84 just after a sign for the Roman Camp hotel, up Bracklin Road. This leads out of the town, past a car park on the left and up to one for Bracklinn Falls, on the right.
Follow a track left at the bottom of the car park. The path forks – either way leads to the bridge but left has an easier gradient. For a good view up Keltie Burn, go right, downstream, before crossing the bridge, until you reach a bend in the gorge. Once over the bridge, follow a path upstream. At first you go through birch, then the path zig-zags to the right to reach a forestry track, which goes left.
Continue through the trees for about two-thirds of a mile. The track drops down to a bridge, which you cross, and goes up to meet a minor road. Go left and follow the road for half a mile to a sharp left-hand bend. Go right, up a path signed ‘Crags’, which leads to a fence and a large cairn, built to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Go past the cairn, through a gate, turning left after a footbridge to drop down stone steps to some forestry.
After crossing a footbridge, take a narrow path to the left on a sharp right-hand bend. Pass waterworks to reach the road you drove in on and go left to the car park.
For a touch of luxury, try Roman Camp country house hotel.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA
Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed at Doune Castle (www.historic-scotland.gov.uk), eight miles down the A84, but it is impressive in its own right.