Walk of the week: Callander to Falls of Leny
Trains stopped running in 1965 and all that remains is the bed which offers fantastic views of Ben Ledi ahead.
Then came the Falls of Leny, full after a few days of heavy rain. The falls are formed by the forcing of a huge mass of water through a gorge. The river is aptly named Garbh Uisge (Gaelic for rough water) and on the day I visited recently a foaming torrent was gushing down at such a rate it seemed huge rocks would be torn from the banks.
So, the next time it rains look on the bright side and pick a waterfall to visit.
DISTANCE 5 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED 150ft.
TIME 2 to 3 hours.
MAP OS Landranger 57.
PARK Callander Meadows car park is off the main street, opposite the Dreadnought Hotel.
Go to the edge of the river next to the car park and turn right, upstream. A path leads along the riverside, making a large loop to the right and eventually reaching an old-style railway sign in the form of a large red X. (You can go directly to this point across a park from the start but the way described allows you to see more of the river.)
Go left at the X then left again to follow a foot and cycle path signed to Strathyre. This crosses a footbridge over the river then continues between fields with a view ahead of Ben Ledi – look in the fields for rounded hillocks; the remains of a Roman fort.
The path crosses a farm track, goes under a bridge and reaches the A821. Cross over with care (or you can detour right to reach the Lade Inn) and continue straight ahead, along the path on the other side.
After passing a stone and concrete mound in the middle of the old railway, the path bends left and reaches a large concrete block. Go right here to drop down to the Falls of Leny. A path leads through woods, downstream – it is worth taking smaller paths to the left to peer over the edge of the gorge carrying the series of falls but be careful as a slip could have very serious consequences.
After admiring the falls continue on the path downstream, through oak trees. When the path forks go right to stay high and move away from the river. The path starts to run parallel to the bed of the old railway and at a small stream a smaller path leads up the bank to the right. Go left to retrace your steps to the start.
There is a big choice in Callander – try the swanky Mhor Fish (a chippie attached to a smart fresh fish shop). On the walk you pass near the Lade Inn which has a good choice of real ale.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA
It is possible to see and get a good insight into the life of red kites at Argaty (signed from Doune, off the A84 to the south, www.argatyredkites.co.uk).
For Monty Python fans the nearby Doune Castle is a good place to head – Monty Python And The Holy Grail was filmed there, and it looks good in its own right too. The castle is currently closed for the filming of US science fiction series Outlander but reopens on 23 November (www.historic-scotland.gov.uk).