Walk of the week: Dollar Glen

Dollar Glen. Picture: Ann Fleming/Johnston Press
Dollar Glen. Picture: Ann Fleming/Johnston Press
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NAMES on a map are important, not only because you can be sure of where you are but also because they can sometimes conjure up images of lost times when the landscape, and what happened there, was recorded.

Dollar Burn flows through the town of the same name, which is quite straightforward. But it is fed below the imposing fortress of Castle Campbell by the wonderfully named Burn of Sorrow and Burn of Care.

Castle Campbell itself was once known as Castle Gloom and the origin of Dollar is said by some to be from the Celtic for sadness – dolour.

The exact origin of the names is unclear although there is mention of the death of a brokenhearted princess in the castle which may provide some clues.

Whatever the etymology, the walk takes in all of these miserably named places to provide wonderful views of the surrounding hills as well as a dramatic gorge that leads up from the edge of the town.

DISTANCE 2 miles.


TIME 1 to 2 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 58.

PARK In the centre of Dollar there is roadside parking.

IN SUMMARY Go to the eastern end of Dollar’s main street and on reaching the Castle Campbell Hotel go left, up West Burnside – you turn left just before a small stone clock tower. As the name suggests, the road follows a burn – the Dollar Burn.

At the top go right to cross the burn then go left, through a gap in a stone wall with a sign for Dollar Glen.

A path leads by the burn and crosses the Mill Green. Then, after entering trees, go right at a fork, next to an information board. Follow the path up the glen, using steps and bridges along the way and taking care of steep drops down the gorge on unfenced sections. At the top you emerge next to Castle Campbell. Go right, along a drive away from the castle, and take the second path on the left after only 20 yards. This leads up past a small bench to reach a fork where you go right, still uphill. A little further on go through a wooden pedestrian gate then continue to a wooden footbridge over the Burn of Sorrow. Go left here but first look right for a small waterfall plunging into a round pool known locally as the Witches Cauldron. The path to the left, straight after the bridge, sees the start of the descent – cross a footbridge lower down then go uphill a little way before going right at a fork. Then, go right at the next fork before crossing another footbridge.

Go right, up steps, just before another pedestrian gate. (Going through the gate and following a path for about 100 yards makes a good detour for a view of the tree-clad gorge.) On the main path continue to a fork and go right, ignoring a stile on the right. The path drops all the way down to a long footbridge. On the other side you reach the information board passed near the start of the walk. Go right here to retrace your steps to the centre of Dollar.

REFRESH There is a good choice in Dollar. Try the Castle Campbell Hotel.

WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA Castle Campbell is passed on the walk and the 15th century fortress is worth a look round.

Twitter: @ScotlandWalk