Stirling Castle Detail
I have a great love for Stirling Castle, although I couldnt tell you facts and figures about it, it is just the feel and look of the castle that touches me somehow. I can never get tired of visiting it, or the area around. Each time I go, I see something else that catches my eye. This is one of the details of the gargoyles of the castle. If I remember correctly, this was King James (the 6th, I think), but I could be wrong on that fact. I can never get tired of visiting it, or the area around. Each time I go, I see something else that catches my eye. This is one of the details of the gargoyles of the castle. If I remember correctly, this was King James (the 6th, I think), but I could be wrong on that fact.
The Argaty estate
About 2 miles out of Doune and well signposted is the Argaty Estate. This farm offers visitors the chance to watch Red Kites flying in the area. There is a hide where you can sit and watch the birds but you can also go with a guide to the area on a guided walk. We were there early in the morning and the notice said that the kites are not often seen in the morning but we were so lucky and saw them flying and also sitting in the trees.
These beautiful birds were driven to extinction by persecution 130 years but have now been re-introduced to central Scotland by the RSPB.
There is an honesty box with the suggestion of a 4 pound donation for adults. the parking area is rough and you have to walk through part of the farm - but seeing these wonderful birds of prey flying free makes the visit worth while.
Dumyat and the Ochils
Dumyat (pronounced Doo - My - AT), the hill that dominates the town, makes a lovely short climb, and the views make the ascent well worth it.
Alternatively, you could just stay below and delight in the way it changes its mood with the shifting light.
There is a road up to Castle Campbell from the town of Dollar but parking is very limited. The other alternative is to park in Dollar and walk up through the park and then up Dollar Glen by the burn. The climb does get a little steep near the end but its mostly not too bad and its a nice walk through the woods and passed a couple of waterfalls - there a couple more if you follow the path further round past the castle. I wouldn't recommend this way if you aren't very fit though, I was pretty relieved to see the park bench at the top of the path!!!
Loup O Fintry
This is a cascade, actually quite a way from Stirling, and would probably be included in a trip to Fintry, if you wanted a tour of some countryside. There are several ways to reach it, but the most interesting, if you have the nerve to drive it, is the very narrow road from the North Third. It can also be reached along the somewhat wider B818 from Denny or Fintry. Loup, for non Scots, means leap. Another name is the Endrick Falls, the river being the Endrick, which flows to Glasgow. The watershed kind of crosses here, with the Carron flowing East, and the Endrick, West.
There is rough parking on the verge of the road, and a path walk of around ten minutes to the falls - in summmer through head high bracken at points. Don't fall in!
Location is about six miles west of Carronbridge, three east of Fintry. There is a small signpost, but you could easily miss it. I made this trip on a hot sunny July evening, when I just wanted to get out into the country (after baking in the sun before).