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May 2019+

Callander Crags and Bracklinn Falls.

Map - OL46 - THE TROSSACHS - Callander, Aberfoyle & Lochearnhead, Balquhidder & Strathyre.

Distance - 4 miles Strenuousity - 3.

Stirling Coat of Arms

It's fairly well-known that the Romans didn't really take to Caledonia. They spent a little bit of time this far north, General  Gnaeus Julius Agricola dishing out a beating at the Battle of Mons Graupius or, the Grampian Mountains if you'd rather.

This may or may not have happened. The match report was made by his son-in-law Tacitus and yes, he liked to keep it brief. This hasn't been borrowed from an Asterisk™ book, it's known because this pair have been here before.

Asterix

The  Roman Camp Hotel is a nod to the earthwork remains just west of town but was a little too stuffy although the turbot was tremendous. It's remembered to have rained and also the date, October 23rd, 2002.

But isn't that your wedding anniversary? Aww, how romantic?

Not really, Newcastle United beat Juventus  1-0 that night only, this time, the uppity Northerners turned the tables on the Italian invaders with ITV™ providing the highlights.

There have been a few visits to the 'Gateway to the Highlands' and although others may make that claim, it all depends on your direction.

It rained most of those times, as well, but the high street has enough to keep you interested[1] and  Mhor Bread's tearoom's chipotle ketchup on the bacon butty is smokingly bad and by that, it's meant good.

There's no real need for the OS OL46, this walk's actually available in leaflet form. A haul up Callander Crags that overlook the town from the north then returning via some disappointing waterfalls, probably.

THE TROSSACHS - Callander, Aberfoyle & Lochearnhead, Balquhidder & Strathyre

It's not raining for once and the forecast is good. Veni, vidi, vici old Agricola might have once said although today, there's a lost-looking stag party in a minibus in the main car park...

'I came, I saw, I fell on the floor.'

[1] Deciding on a shirt one night, half of this one's wardrobe seems to be have been bought here.

If you've parked opposite the Dreadnought Hotel, walk to the public car park that's behind it.

Callander - Dreadnought Hotel

If you've parked in the public car park behind the Dreadnought Hotel, well done, you're already there and you can ask those shifty-looking stags what they're up to while you're waiting.

It's not known who the embossed bloke with the beard is, one of the McNabs, probably. Some of this building is 17th-century and acted as the clan seat, which is the reason for the hotel bar's name.

Macnab's since you ask.

Walk west out of the car park to Tulipan Crescent and the brown Crags Path waymarker. Turn right to pass the smart house on the left, not shown, to discover... the path has been taped off!

Not in a murder scene kind of way, a storm in late 2015 toppled some trees, you see, and the path isn't expected to reopen until summer 2016.

That means it will have reopened and the right way is left but today requires a right to keep on the clear track through the trees, postponing that uphill haul, for now.

Callander Crags - Above Callander

After about half-a-mile, you'll start to gain some proper height with a get-your-breath-back pausing view down to Callander and the quarry and lake at Cambusmore.

When the trees run out, the crags should become visible ahead of you. That's where you would be had you gone left at the start but this way sees a short but steep bit of path up to meet them. Turning right, you'll soon arrive at the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cairn, obviously.

Callander Crags - Queen Victoria Jubilee Cairn Callander Crags - View To Stirling Callander Crags - Behind Queen Victoria Jubilee Cairn

Put here in 1897 to celebrate her Diamond you-know-what, there's a view to Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Monument on a good day. Make the most of it, the weather from the west's coming in fast. Deary me, who's providing these forecasts?

Once the weather has passed, continue north-east as the path starts to descend and things become generally less craggy. Callander Crags, of course, part of the  Highland Boundary Fault and this is straddling it right here.

To the north, a view of what's believed to be Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich. A pair of Munros in Perthshire, they can be combined and both bagged in one go.

Callander Crags - Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich

Just not today, eh?

The path veers right to meet a single track road where you might meet a car. You might also meet this fella, the  Willow Warbler, it's thought. It was certainly doing some warbling with the punky haircut a clue even though that's definitely not some willow it's sat on.

Near Callander Crags - Phylloscopus trochilus? Near Callander Crags - Phylloscopus collybita?

More birdsong just further on and this the  Chiffchaff, it's thought. They look very similar[1] but their singing couldn't be more different. Let's face it, the basic visuals aren't even covered and  Oddie would have known in a flash!

There's a potential diversion nearby to the Red Well, a natural spring that bubbles up a rusty looking fluid. Deciding not to bother, simply carry on the road until you reach the car park for Bracklinn Falls.

[1] It might even have been the same one.

Turn left at the car park and in less than a mile... WHOA! Who put this here? It's no Iguazú but these waterfalls are seriously undersold.

Near Callander Crags - Bracklinn Falls Near Callander Crags - Bracklinn Falls Bridge

The wooden footbridge replaced the original steel one that was washed away in 2004. It even went on to win a prize at the International Footbridge Awards in the 'aesthetics short-span' category since you ask.

As work dos go, things don't get any more niche than that.

Avoid the temptation to try and leave by the deforested area above the golf course even though they got in here somehow.

Near Callander Crags - Near Bracklinn Falls

If you do that, you'll end up doubling back and taking the road down to town from the car park.

In the time-honoured tradition of toffs at the top, there are some smart-looking houses along Bracklin Road.

Callander - Bracklin Road Callander - Bracklin Road

After the bridge that crosses the old railway line, it's only a short hop down to town.

It's soon back to the comforts of civilisation and Main Street.

Callander - Main Street Callander - Comfort break

Speaking of which, you'll be glad of these? Bet you've been holding it in since those waterfalls, eh?

 
Lady Kentmores Antiques (Main Street)

An antique shop might not come as a total surprise in what is, after all, a destination for day-trippers. This ain't no ordinary shop, though, it incorporates an emporium with a small fee payable to view their curios.

It's all rather bonkers and couldn't be any more out of place if it was up on the crags next to the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cairn.

Fauna Saw...

What Number Behaviour  
Chiffchaff 1 (or 0) Warbly.
Willow Warbler 1 (or 0) See Chiffchaff.