SouthWest of Stirling

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The Fintry and Gargunnock hills from Stirling

On a clear sunny day you could choose no better than this wee drive into the hills of Gargunnoch and Fintry. Be warned to take your time since the roads in this area are narrow and twisting.

Follow signs from Stirling to the Bannockburn centre on the Glasgow road then turn right onto the road signposted to Carron Bridge and then 150 yards later, right over the motorway. The views behind stretch away over the Forth valley to the  hills to the north with Stirling Castle in the middle. Nearby is the site of the Battle of Sauchieburn (1488) in which James III was killed

The road now passes a Fish Hatchery on the right and, later on, to the left, Loch Coulter. At the Carron Bridge Inn, turn right onto the B818. A two mile diversion south, over the junction, and  Carron Bridge on the "Tak-ma-doon" road to Kilsyth brings you to a car park and viewpoint on the left with a fantastic viewover southern Scotland. After soaking in the view, return  to Carron Bridge Inn and turn left to the Carron Valley reserrvoir.

The Reservoir has picnic places scattered arounbd and walks by the water. The road now follows  the reservoir for four miles. Nearing the end of the reservoir a very narrow road leaves on the right. Take this road then after about half a mile turn right onto a forestry road to 'Grahams Castle'. A path through the trees leads eventually to a grassy area looking down to the reservoir. This is the site of the castle.  It was built by John de Graham who was killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298. He was one of the companions of William Wallace, the Scottish hero of the wars of independance .

Turn left toget back to the B818 where you can turn right  to pass by the reservoir dam.
Cross a humpy backed bridge to find parking near by a gate on your left.  Leave the car here and take the fifteen minute walk leading to the Loup of Fintry on the River Endrick. This one hundred foot waterfall is a worthwhile visit especially after heavy rain, but watch you feet (wellies needed) after rain as the going is a wee bit mucky at times. Return to the car and continue down the road to Endrick Bridge. Here you join the B822 and turn right to drive through Clachan of Fintry and  Newton. Take the right fork here over the bridge and past the old cotton mill and Culcreuch Castle, said to be built over five hundred years ago. Keep on going to pass the rocky crags of Stronend on your right, and continue on the B822 towards Kippen. Meander through Kippen, quite an ancient and interesting village with a strange mixture of original old buildings in the village with modern villas on the southern side. At the foot of the hill you join the A811 where a (careful) right turn onto this racetrack of a main road leads back to Stirling.

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