Ben Cleuch, King's Seat Hill and Tarmangie Hill from Dollar Glen Walking

by Dan Bailey - Oct/2012
This route has been read 6,173 times

The Ochil Hills offer easy-access walks and spacious views spanning the Central Belt. It's an extensive range, stretching east from Stirling to north Fife and the Tay. But the best bits are crammed into the southwest corner, where the Ochils' highest summits rise as a steep green wall over the low-lying Forth basin and the Hillfoots villages of Dollar, Alva and Tillicoultry. With its gorges, woods and waterfalls this southern flank gives the most interesting approaches to the summits - and none more so than Dollar Glen, where the imposing Castle Campbell guards a wooded spur between the cascading Burns of Care and Sorrow. The rolling, grassy hills above are very worthwhile too.

Early morning on Bank Hill above Dollar, 134 kb
Early morning on Bank Hill above Dollar
Fetching Map

Detailed description

NS9630399320 From the top car park take the track downhill, where it soon crosses the Burn of Care before looping back towards Castle Campbell. At the castle entrance sign go right onto a footpath that climbs towards the Burn of Sorrow, then follows it upstream through the woods above the gorge and waterfalls. Cross to the south bank of the burn at a footbridge and continue uphill onto open ground overlooking the castle. Above is Bank Hill. This can be skirted on the right, but it's hardly worth avoiding and has a good view over Dollar.

NS9543999152 From the cairn on top go over the next little summit, cross a saddle and continue up the southeast flank of King's Seat Hill, passing over an unusual series of terraces and gullies (the result of a landslip maybe?). A long steady ascent brings you to a memorial cairn for a WWII air crew. Just beyond is the cairn and stone walled wind break on the broad summit. This is a great viewpoint, taking in a huge sweep of country - the Lomond hills, the Pentlands, the Forth valley, distant peaks of the Highlands ...and industrial landmarks from Rosyth's dockyard and the steaming stacks of Grangemouth to the Burnfoot Hill wind farm (which does a reasonable job of spoiling the Ochils' northern flank).
Looking west from Ben Cleuch, 148 kb
Looking west from Ben Cleuch
© Dan Bailey -, Oct 2012

NS9335999980 Head roughly west in descent, soon bearing right off the well-trodden path to reach a col at the head of the Gannel Burn. Cross a fence, and continue west(ish) up Andrew Gannel Hill - there's a path on the ground, though not on the map. The path follows a fence line for the short descent off Andrew Gannel's west side, and on up towards Ben Cleuch. At a fence junction above The Law meet the better-used Tillicoultry-Ben Cleuch trail, which leads - via some boggy bits - to the high point of the Ochils.
NN9027000633 Retrace your steps onto Andrew Gannel Hill, then bear roughly northeast to follow a less-trodden path that runs beside the fence down to the boggy saddle at Maddy Moss.

NN9231601022 Stay with the muddy path/fence over Skythorn Hill, then traverse the southern flank of Cairnmorris Hill to the col to its east. Squeeze through a new gate in a deer fence, then climb quite steeply onto Tarmangie Hill.

NN9419601393 A wall-and-fence and an obvious path now lead on to Whitewisp Hill, the last summit of the round. Just beyond the summit cairn start bearing right, where a path (of sorts) descends the hill's southern flank onto the little spur of Saddle Hill. Coming off this the trail tends to disappear, so just ad-lib your way down a steep grassy slope (small crags - nothing to worry about) to the shallow-angled sheep pastures below. Rough ground leads to a point overlooking Castle Campbell and the woods of Dollar Glen. Meet a little path at right angles here, and follow it leftwards back down to the castle access track not far from the car park.
Castle Campbell, Dollar, 148 kb
Castle Campbell, Dollar
© Dan Bailey -, Oct 2012

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This route has been read 6,173 times