SUNDAY strolls are one of the best things about the weekend. The workday hustle and bustle can be put on the back burner and there is time to enjoy life at a more gentle pace.
When the weather is fine (and the start of spring showed much promise), taking a picnic on a leisurely wander can be just as satisfying as attempting a Munro or a longer route.
Rumbling Bridge Gorge, in the shadow of the Ochil Hills, is aptly named. Here the waters pound through an extremely narrow gorge – a good path is separated from the giddying drops by a fence, but even peering over the side can induce a little dizziness. Take care with children and dogs because of the drops, and don’t be in too much of a hurry to enjoy the verdant surroundings where creepers, moss and tree roots cling to sheer rock faces above the swirling torrent below.
At the far end of the route, the gorge is left behind and at a bend in the river you should take time to stop. Rocks make a good vantage point from which to gaze over rich farmland and up to the Ochils. It is a place too for a picnic or a snack – increasing the leisurely feel to what should be a great little walk on a day when doing little, but doing it well, is as satisfying as life can be.
DISTANCE 1.5 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED Negligible.
TIME 1 hour.
MAP OS Landranger 58.
PARK Turn off the A977 just west of the Crook of Devon on to the A823. Park on the roadside just before the bridge, on the right.
IN SUMMARY Cross the bridge and go through a metal gate on the right, down a high step and on to a path. After about 20 yards, a viewing platform, down some steps, is currently blocked off, but you do get sight of the bridge from above it.
As you follow the main path, keep right to stay next to the fence on the edge of the very narrow gorge. A short way along it is worth dropping down steps on the right to a viewing platform in the middle of the gorge.
A little further along the main path go right again to see the pool and waterfall of Devil’s Mill. Then continue along the main path, ignoring a bridge across the river. (This is the return, so you can cut the walk short here.)
There was a second bridge, just before the path reaches a road, but it was swept away in storms. However, the rocks by the river at this point are a good destination and an ideal spot for a picnic.
To return, go back to the bridge near Devil’s Mill, cross it and go right, up steps, on the other side. Go right again to join a path which leads down the river and back to the road and parking area.
REFRESH There is nothing at the start of the walk – the best place in the area is about four miles up the A823 in Glendevon at the wonderful Tormaukin Hotel, which serves great food.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA The 15th-century Castle Campbell, standing at the top of Dollar Glen, is a dramatic spot (www.historic-scotland.gov.uk). To the south, on the Forth, is the picturesque village of Culross, looked after by the National Trust for Scotland (www.nts.org.uk).