Bracklinn Falls

By Colin Hogarth

If you are ever in Callander, be sure to make a date with the Bracklinn Falls. Located in the woods above the town, the spectacular tumble of white water never fails to impress.

The car park at the start of this walk is a short drive out of town, up a steep narrow road which leaves the A84 opposite the Roman Camp Hotel on Callander's main thoroughfare. At the back of the car park, a small path descends to an information board where the route proper begins. Turn left and a good solid path runs east through mixed woodland. It skirts the edge of a tall plantation of conifers on the right, open scrubland covering the hillside to your left, before emerging on to open hillside, with views over the valley of the River Teith.

The path rises a little along the edge of an open field before, in due course, descending a fairly steep set of wooden steps where the rumbling of the falls becomes ever louder, confirming your approach. Popular with visitors as far back as the Victorian era, the falls come alive as the Keltie Water squeezes its bubbling torrent through a series of narrow rock channels. There's a little bridge over the most impressive bit and, on the far side, a natural platform of rock offers a good spot from which to view the frothing turbulence below. Take care as it is quite a drop.

From here, a path climbs through the trees. It follows the river east, perched high above the channel below to your right. The woodland narrows and open fields soon become apparent to the left. Continue along the path as it curves right, emerging into a grassy field where sheep are often to be found grazing. Bear left at this point and walk up the field to a fence at the top. Follow this to the right to reach a shed at the end of a track and turn left, heading up the track.

The route climbs round the open hillside and, in about half a mile, enters forestry. Carry on up through the trees and, at the next junction of tracks, bear left and descend to a bridge over the river. The way rises to meet a single track road on the other side.

Turn left on the tarmac and follow the road south. It you want an easy day, just follow it back to the car park. For a more strenuous detour, look out for a path on the right when the road kinks and enters woodland. There is a sign for Callander Crag but it is the wrong way round for this approach and can easily be missed.

A narrow path climbs through the trees, rising on to open hillside. After a fairly stiff ascent, it arrives at a tall stone monument marking the summit of this low peak. It is high enough, however, to offer excellent views over Callander and the surrounding countryside.

Carry straight on over the heather-clad top and the path descends into forestry to a small wooden footbridge in a dip. Turn left here and a decaying set of over 300 wooden steps descends through the trees. Watch your footing here, especially after rain. The way eventually joins a track far below. Turn left, then left again when you reach the public road and this will lead you back up to the carpark.


Distance 4 miles/7km.
Map OS 1:50,000 sheet 57.
Start/parking Bracklinn Falls car park (grid ref NN 637083).
Grading An easy walk through woodland and over open country with a short but strenuous ascent to the top of Callander Crag (optional). No dogs.
Update We understand that following the foot and mouth crisis of 2001 the landowner has erected a high fence between Bracklinn Falls and the open field beyond the woodland.