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Heron fishing in Dollar Burn - seen from our bedroom window
Heron fishing in Dollar Burn - seen from our bedroom window

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Route No. 190 - Saturday 26 August 2006
Dollar, Dollar Burn, Castle Campbell, Burn of Sorrows circuit - 4.5km
Ochil Hills
Clackmannanshire, Scotland

Map OS Explorer 366 Stirling & Ochil Hills West at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service


A dipper in the Dollar Burn
A dipper in the Dollar Burn

There right in the town we spotted a dipper working its way along the burn looking for grubs in the stream bed, and a little further on a heron fishing in the burn. It didn't fly off along the burn until I took too close an interest in it with my camera.

We were invited to a family Christening in Tillicoultry on Sunday so we decided to stay a couple of nights B&B and have a look at the area which I had never visited before. We stayed in a little town called Dollar just 3km from Tillicoultry, in a house overlooking the Dollar Burn (map ref. NS 962979). On Saturday morning we set off up the street beside the burn.

A heron fishing in the Dollar Burn
A heron fishing in the Dollar Burn

Woodland path in Dollar Glen
Woodland path in Dollar Glen

Here there was an information board showing the waymarked trails through the glen. We took the trail to the right of the burn up to Castle Campbell. It was a steep climb with timber staircases and board walks up the steepest parts.

At the top of the street, next to the golf club house, (map ref. NS 963983) we took the path up Dollar Glen, keeping to the right hand bank of the burn through a little park until we reached some woodland at map ref. NS 962988.

Wooden staircase in Dollar Glen
Wooden staircase in Dollar Glen

Looking across Dollar glen from a staircase on the side of the gorge
Looking across Dollar Glen from a staircase on the side of the gorge

Woodland path up the Dollar Glen gorge
Woodland path up the Dollar Glen gorge

After our rest we continued to follow the path upstream on the right hand bank of the Burn of Sorrows. After a few hundred metres we left the woodland and came out into a more open valley between steep hills rising up both sides of the Burn of Sorrows. We walked a little way up the valley but soon had to turn back (map ref. NS 956995) in order to return to our B&B to change, get some lunch and go to a bit of a family do in Tillicoultry starting in the afternoon.

It was a warm, overcast day and by the time we reached the castle we were very hot and thirsty. We sat on a seat by the Castle driveway for a rest and a drink. The climb up to the glen had been through a narrow rocky gorge with sheer rock walls in places and the path just a ledge part way up the wall of the gorge.

Castle Campbell at the head of Dollar Glen
Castle Campbell at the head of Dollar Glen

Castle Campbell at the head of Dollar Glen
Castle Campbell at the head of Dollar Glen
Waterfall on the Burn of Sorrows
Waterfall on the Burn of Sorrows
Climbing up the side of the Burn of Sorrows
Climbing up the side of the Burn of Sorrows
The Burn of Sorrows just before we had to turn back
The Burn of Sorrows just before we had to turn back
Woodland in Dollar Glen
Woodland in Dollar Glen

We retraced our steps to the castle and took the path down through the woods above the gorge on the opposite bank. It was a very pretty route with a wonderful view of the castle across the gorge.

Looking across Dollar Glen to Castle Campbell
Looking across Dollar Glen to Castle Campbell

Following the path back down Dollar Glen
Following the path back down Dollar Glen
Stile over a fallen tree on the way down Dollar Glen
Stile over a fallen tree on the way down Dollar Glen

Following the path back down Dollar Glen
Following the path back down Dollar Glen

I must come back to the Ochil Hills for some proper walking. It's a lovely area that was unknown to me until this weekend.

The whole walk was only 4.5km and took us about 2 hours including our stops. Whilst I was getting changed in our B&B room I noticed the heron still fishing in the burn below our window.

Heron fishing in Dollar Burn - seen from our bedroom window
Heron fishing in Dollar Burn - seen from our bedroom window